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Frederica Wilson backs Nancy Pelosi -- but not the House hat ban

Vanquished House Dems were meeting today to consider votes for a new minority leader for the next congress -- and outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has Miami Rep.-elect Frederica Wilson's enthusiastic backing. (Pelosi wants the job but a number of Democrats blame her for the party's "shellacking" at the ballot.) UPDATE: She was elected 150 to 43.

Wilson, though, said she admires "the way she stood up, as a woman and as the first female Speaker and advocated for the people, power to the people.

"She accomplished things that Americans need and that have been woefully neglected, like health care," Wilson said. "It's extremely significant for a lot of the people in my district and she made sure it happened."

Wilson is hoping to have a conversation with the likely new Speaker, John Boehner. At issue: whether or not the longtime lawmaker can wear her signature hats on the House floor. The House bars members from wearing hats while the body is in session, but Wilson said she believes the speaker can waive the rule -- which dates to the 1800s.

"It's sexist," Wilson said. "It dates back to when men wore hats and we know that men don't wear hats indoors, but women wear hats indoors. Hats are what I wear. People get excited when they see the hats. Once you get accustomed to it, it's just me. Some people wear wigs, or high heel shoes or big earrings or pins. This is just me."

Wilson had to take her hat off for her official congressional picture, but plans to appeal that ruling as well. She did wear her hat on the House floor the other day -- but the House wasn't in session. The new members were given a tour of the floor and shown how to vote. Wilson -- a veteran of Tallahassee -- said she was struck by the fact that there wasn't assigned seating.

"I think I'm going to sit with the Republicans," she said, laughing. "I'm going to sit with my homeboys."

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