House Democrats Avoid Leadership Fight
A last minute deal has avoided what could have been a messy fight for Minority Whip between Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn:
House Democrats averted a messy leadership struggle, clearing the way for Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer to become second in command of their new minority without a challenge from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn.
Under an arrangement worked out in private, officials said late Friday that Clyburn would instead receive a new position, title unknown and duties undescribed, explicitly labeled the third-ranking post in leadership.
Pelosi is assured of remaining Democratic party leader when the new Congress convenes in January under a Republican majority. She has drawn no opposition for the post even though several members of the rank and file have said they would prefer she step aside after historic election losses. The GOP gained at least 60 seats in midterm elections, more than enough to return to power after a four-year absence.
A race between Hoyer, D-Md., and Clyburn, D-S.C., for the post of party whip took shape in the days following the election and quickly took on racial overtones. Clyburn is the most powerful African-American in Congress, and he drew a formal endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus. But he failed to generate enough additional support to overcome Hoyer’s strength among liberals and conservatives alike, and it appeared his only options were to run against Hoyer and lose or else concede the obvious and step aside.
So the Democrats head into the minority with the same leadership team that lost them a majority. I’m not sure that’s the best idea, but then again I’m not necessarily wishing for the Democrats to be successful.