Watch CBSN Live

Pelosi Needs To Clean House

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Nancy Pelosi has been officially chosen as the next Speaker of the House. One of her first real tests will be how adept she is at housecleaning.

When Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution took over Congress in 1994, they were on a mission. They had a plan: They were going to be an incorruptible force for conservative change.

But as the Republicans cemented their hold on the capital, idealism gave way to intoxication. The Republicans loved their power so much that they realized they never wanted to relinquish it. Instead of adhering to the values that got them into office, they sold their souls to lobbyists. Re-election trumped principle. Pork beat prudence.

Now it's the Democrats' turn. Pelosi has gone on record with her opposition to set-asides and earmarks. If she really wants to restore respect to the House, the first thing she needs to do is show us how clean it is.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
View CBS News In