BOSTON (CBS) — “To everything, there is a season” it says in the Old Testament, and while that is commonly interpreted to be an endorsement of change, it also means there’s a right time for everything.
Democrats in the Massachusetts House might keep that in mind today as they consider whether or not to change their own internal rules to allow Speaker Robert DeLeo to seek additional terms as speaker after the current one ends in 2017.
As things stand now, House rules bar anyone from serving as speaker for more than eight years. The rule was put in place in 2009 and was endorsed by none other than DeLeo as a way to reassure the public that the House was sensitive to their concerns about leaders staying in power too long.
But DeLeo has changed his mind, and wants to stay on. And while I share that original fear of leadership getting stale and arrogant, I see no reason why he shouldn’t.
DeLeo has not grown stale or arrogant. He has arguably become one of the most effective and responsive legislative leaders ever, a moderate both politically and temperamentally who listens and responds to his critics, respects his members, and legitimately cares about the well-being of his constituents.
What more do you want in a speaker?
And haven’t we, after two straight presidents and two consecutive governors who struggled to overcome inexperience in government, learned the value of direct experience?
We could be on the verge of a very productive period on Beacon Hill, with smart, experienced players in all the key positions.
Why would we want to turn those great qualifications into a disqualification?