I've traveled with Jack Murtha to Iraq three times to learn more about the region, talk with our diplomats and military leaders, and meet with our troops. Those visits are the main reason that I opposed the War in Iraq since its inception. But many Americans still believed the spin coming from the Pentagon and needed a decorated war veteran and one of our nation's strongest supporters of the military to speak up. Traditionally, Jack has shied away from publicity. But last November, he felt compelled to publicly denounce the War in Iraq and offer a plan that will bring our troops home and promote stability in the Middle East. His efforts infused enthusiasm in Democrats across the country who opposed the war because one of our party's foremost authorities on defense issues was speaking out for their cause. I believe that Jack's outspoken opposition to the war during his travels across the country resonated with Americans and resulted in a Democratic victory on election day.
Future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has unified Democrats like never before. Soon, House Democrats will meet to officially choose her as our nominee for Speaker and elect the remaining members of our leadership. I will be voting for Jack Murtha for Majority Leader because of his outstanding leadership qualities developed in the Marines and honed during more than thirty years in the House of Representatives. I will also be voting for him because America has listened to Jack Murtha and embraced his message by electing a Democratic Congress. House Democrats have two outstanding choices for Majority Leader and whatever the outcome, I know that we will remain united. But Jack Murtha's leadership over the past year has energized Democrats across the nation and makes him the best choice to be Majority Leader.
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