While the most important thing in Washington, DC over the past few days has been an internal Party struggle, the American people never lost sight, even for a brief moment, of the most important conflict: Iraq. That's clear from the support of bloggers from across the country, phone calls and emails of support to my office and editorials in local papers endorsing our plan for change.
I ran for Majority Leader to put the issue of Iraq front and center and to push as hard as I could to change our war strategy. Like you, many of my colleagues understood that this race was about delivering on our promise we made to the American people a little over a week ago.
I am especially grateful for the support of our next House Speaker, and the first woman to hold the position, Nancy Pelosi. I just can't say enough nice things about her. And I congratulate Steny Hoyer and will work closely with him. While we didn't win, nothing has changed my commitment one bit.
Don't get me wrong, other things matter too, such as ethics reforms and the Democrats' agenda, and I'm going to keep my promise to work hard with Speaker Pelosi and the Leadership to pass those as well.
But Iraq is the key. Democrats won the election because we spoke up, and the real test of our leadership lies ahead. Thank you for your support, and now let's get to work.