Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton may have lost the battle but won the war when it comes to fresh leadership in the Democratic party. He did not succeed in his quest to keep Nancy Pelosi from becoming House Speaker, but a new deal promises regular changes at the top.
Moulton had passionately defended his decision to take on Pelosi along with more than a dozen other House lawmakers saying the 2018 election was a call for new leadership.
The characterization of Moulton's crusade has ranged from courageous to overkill. But now that a deal has been struck, creating term limits for Pelosi and others in top leadership, Moulton says the House is stronger because of it.
In a statement, Moulton said in part:
"The leaders of our caucus will no longer be determined by tenure and loyalty but by frequent and open elections... That's progress."
Steve Kerrigan, a former senior advisor to Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, says it is Pelosi who is the big winner as she is poised to become the speaker next month.
"I appreciate what Seth and the others were trying to do in terms of new leadership," Kerrigan said. "I don't necessarily appreciate some of the tactics. Certainly, we are hearing a lot of rumors up in his district that folks are looking to challenge him."
Sen. Barbara L'Italien, of Andover, is the first to publicly say she is considering adding that Pelosi needs an ally.
"She needs someone who is going to support her," L'Italien said. "I now question whether he'll be able to really deliver for this district."
As for Moulton's House colleagues, many are not surprised at the outcome and happy to be moving on.
With more still almost two years until Election Day 2020, some are pointing out that the leadership battle could be old news by then.
"Speaker-Elect Pelosi often would talk about being a leader in transition. And I think, you know it's not a bad idea to have rules in place to ensure generational change in our leadership," said Congresswoman-elect Lori Trahan.