The Political Fallout of John Murtha’s Death
Democratic Rep. John Murtha died Monday. Representing a competitive working-class Pennsylvania district, Murtha is being remembered for his influence on defense, his volte-face on the Iraq War, and his close friendship with Nancy Pelosi. Commentators on the left and right are greeting his death with sympathy, while acknowledging disagreements. Beltway pundits, of course, are quickly laying out the prospects for the race in his district.
- Prepare for a Fight Rick Klein of ABC News “Murtha’s district is certain to be hotly contested this year. Republicans have long viewed his predominantly rural district as a prime pick-up opportunity. Murtha’s was the only congressional district in the country to support John Kerry in 2004 and John McCain in 2008.”
- Weakens Democrats Further writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. “Murtha’s passing comes at a tenuous time for House Democrats as they seek to convince some of their older members to re-up for another term in the face of what looks to be a difficult national political environment for the party. … Murtha’s death also makes Pennsylvania perhaps the most competitive state in the country when it comes to the battle for the House.”