By EMILY HAILE, Capital News Service
WASHINGTON - As the top two Democratic House leaders head into contentious intraparty elections today, a former U.S. senator from Maryland fondly recalled them as "youngsters" who got along well more than 40 years ago.
Speaking from his farm outside Glyndon, 83-year-old former Sen. Daniel B. Brewster remembers two of his interns in their bygone days: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
He was an ambitious young legislative staffer. She, an attractive and capable receptionist.
"As far as I know they worked well together," though they had different areas of expertise, said Brewster, who served as a senator from 1963 to 1969 and lost his seat after a bribery scandal.
"(Nancy) was an excellent front person."
"Steny, on the other hand, worked directly for me and helped me with a number of different projects."
Expected to become the next speaker, Pelosi turned heads this week when she endorsed Hoyer's opponent, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., for the No. 2 position of majority leader.
Brewster said he has remained close with both leaders and refrained from taking sides as the two vie for leadership positions.
But Pelosi's recent endorsement of Murtha surprised him.
"I have no knowledge of why Nancy's supporting somebody else," he said.
Despite any differences, he wished both Pelosi and Hoyer well and expressed pride and confidence in their proven leadership skills.
"Maryland is fortunate to produce two such tremendously able and attractive Democratic leaders."