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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."

Comments

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Observer

She is an embarrassment to Florida & I hope Boehner says no. She is a joke.

Miami

what an idiot. She knew going in that you could not wear hats.

edukatednfla

The state and national branches of the Democratic Party have imploded due to a focus on political correctness within the party's structures. Race and gender have mattered far more than competence, recruiting competitive candidates and running campaigns that can excite voters in a positive way. The Pelosi/Thurman school of party leadership has allowed the GOP and RPOF to use bumper sticker slogans to demolish Democratic candidates.

Kevin

Why doesn't she just buy a wig?

josh

She's an idiot. The rule which passed in 1837, has nothing to do with men not wearing hats indoors. It was a heated debate in the House starting around 1820's about whether they should continue to follow the British Parliaments custom of wearing hats during their parliamentry proceedings. The custom was to while the were servants of the crown, they were not subject to the king. Many in the H.O.R in the 1800's didn't want to carry on any tradition that tied itself to the British crown/government, so they decided to quit the practice. This rule has stood for 173 years, and we should change it because she like colorful hats? She is supposed to go there to work for the people of her state, not make a fashion statement. It's people like this..that make me distrust and lose respect for our elected officials. She's a joke..and it's not even funny.

Ngovicaus

Hello seew

Gordon

I quote Ms Wilson: "Once you get accustomed to it, it's just me". There is no me in Congress, Wilson got to remember it is now We the People. She is representing the people of South Florida, she should be focusing on getting jobs and getting the economy on track! Being a Democrat that will be difficult for her to grasp, but dropping the "sexist bomb" for her own benifit may be typical of the Dems I think her focus for the next year or so is to worry about the people her voted her in and not her UGLY hats.

Paullette Wimberly

Bella Abzug Congresswoman of NY, she fought to wear her Wide Brim Hats on the Floor 1971-1977.

Also do you remember when women could not wear Pants on the Floor. I think it changed around 1991-1992,Does anyone remmber that. Do you remember when Blacks could not serve in Congress. Next timeyou might not be able to wear allagator shoes because they are endngered animal. Why do Black people have to re-fight battles we have won. What if a Sigh woman was elected?

Emily

How is it sexist to require that no one wear hats across gender lines? Isn't it more sexist to allow women to wear hats but not men? If you want equality ladies - at least be consistent. It goes both ways. And just for the record - these sequin hats are awful.

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