Filing this from the Capitol…
The nominating speeches are over, and House Democrats are voting now to choose their new Majority Leader.
For Rep. John Murtha, nominators included incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Kendrick Meek (FL) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH).
For Steny Hoyer, it was Rep’s Henry Waxman (CA), Elijah Cummings (MD), Dennis Cardoza (CA) and Brad Ellsworth (IN).
Murtha, the more conservative of the two, chose Pelosi and two liberals to assumedly testify to his true-blue bona fides, while Hoyer offered a mix of moderate (Cardoza and Ellsworth) and liberal (Waxman and Cummings).
Notably, Hoyer also included a freshman, Ellsworth, to assumedly make a play for the caucus’ large crop of newcomers. Ellsworth is making a bold move by so openly defying his Speaker, but it’s one that could be politically wise — he represents a 60% Bush district in Southern Indiana.