Yesterday, North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler threw down the gauntlet and said he would challenge Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leader in the House.
It’s a brave and principled stand by a relative newcomer to Congress who is putting his standing within the party and possibly even his career at risk by entering a race even he admits he can’t win.
It did the trick. The chattering classes in Washington ate it up. Shuler’s statement opened a discussion of whether or not the party needs a fresh start in a post-election day Washington. But, there was one problem that Heath Shuler may not have factored into his thinking. There’s only one thing everyone in DC can agree upon: The Redskins.
So, every story included a mention of Shuler’s shitty football career
After a junior year in which he almost won the Heisman Trophy, Heath Shuler was picked in the first round of the 1994 National Football League draft by the Washington Redskins. In fewer than two seasons — and after a few too many interceptions — he was replaced as the team’s starting quarterback. ESPN described him as one of the all-time draft busts.
Shuler, who’s 38 years old, is a relatively junior lawmaker, having served just two terms before his recent reelection. A stand-out college quarterback at the University of Tennessee who came in second in the vote for the Heisman Trophy in 1993 and was a first-round pick in the 1994 NFL draft, Shuler had a relatively brief professional football career that was largely unsuccessful.
Rep. Heath Shuler (won four, lost nine as QB) arguing why he thinks Nancy Pelosi should be ousted from the top of the party which –hint, hint — might open up a spot on the leadership ladder for a young conservative Democrat from North Carolina.
Cook’s fearless prediction: That Shuler, a former NFL quarterback, would get more votes than he threw touchdowns with the Washington Redskins. (Shuler tossed for 13 scores in 18 games with the Redskins in the mid-1990s; for comparison’s sake, 23 of the 54 conservative Blue Dog Democrats in the House won reelection two weeks ago.)