Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch is changing his tune, saying that now he probably will support Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House. Lynch and Congressman Seth Moulton were the last holdouts in the state's delegation opposing Pelosi. Now Moulton looks like he is standing alone. WGBH News senior editor Peter Kadzis spoke with WGBH All Things Considered anchor Barbara Howard about where the Massachusetts delegation stands in supporting Pelosi’s bid for the gavel. This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Barbara Howard: So, the Democrats nominated Pelosi for speaker of the House yesterday, but a final vote in the full House is not happening until January. For years, Lynch has been calling for new leadership, but is now saying he will back Pelosi. What do you make of that?
Peter Kadzis: Things change and the context is all-important. The new Congress that's going to be sitting in January has a progressive majority of 4 to 1 — four progressives for every one conservative among the Democrats. So believe it or not, Lynch is a heck of a lot closer ideologically to Pelosi today than he was two years ago.
Howard: Well, both Lynch and Moulton were pushing for her not to become speaker of the House, but now Moulton is the only member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation not supporting her. He has been leading the charge against her for a long time. Where does this leave him?
Kadzis: I think Moulton has made a mistake, not in pushing for change, but for pushing specifically against Pelosi. If his argument had been, 'Look, the three leaders — Nancy Pelosi is 78, Steny Hoyer is 79, James Clyburn is 78' — if he had just said we need some younger blood in there, rather than pushing specifically against Pelosi, he wouldn't be backed into the corner in the way that he is. By the way, if I had to predict this minute, I would expect Pelosi to be elected speaker. She is not, however, home-free yet.
Howard: If she is elected, does that leave Moulton isolated or weakened?
Kadzis: Other Massachusetts congress-people say no, that it is not Pelosi’s style to be vindictive. I think it tarnishes Moulton's luster within Congress. He will be a lesser figure, that's for sure.
Howard: And in the meantime, you have Ayanna Pressley. She was coming into Congress all about bringing new blood. But then she got behind Pelosi.
Kadzis: She never, ever spoke out against Pelosi. And she always, and I say this to her credit, said, "I'm not there yet. I'm not even going to think about it until I'm elected." She's off to a really good start. She traded her support for Pelosi with a guarantee from her that a gun control bill would move forward. So, so far so good for the Congresswoman-elect.
Howard: Well Pressley, of course, did defeat Mike Capuano in the Democratic primary back in September. That brings to mind a question. Senator Ed Markey, another older, long-serving white male like Capuano — does Markey face the risk of a primary challenger when he's up for re-election in 2020?
Kadzis: I'd say it's a 50/50 shot. It's just that the entire political climate is so fluid that almost everyone is subject to a challenge.
Howard: That's WGBH News senior editor Peter Kadzis, talking about the state of the Massachusetts congressional delegation. This is WGBH’s All Things Considered.