Sweet blog scoop: Rahm Emanuel in line to become #4 Democrat in the House. On deck for Dem Caucus Chairman

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Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), an architect of the campaign that won the Democrats the House, is putting in a bid to become the number four leader in House, with his selection by his colleagues virtually assured. When the Democrats organize for the new Congress, Emanuel will be in line to be the Democratic Caucus Chair, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Emanuel is making his bid for Chair on a ticket with Rep. John Larson (D-Ct.), who will run for vice chair of the Democratic caucus. Larson is currently the vice-chair of the caucus.

In a statement, Emanuel said, "This week, the American people sent a message to
Washington: it's time for a New Direction for America.

"As the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, I have spent the last twenty months committed to recruiting and electing candidates in every region of this country and helping bring unity
to our party. Now, we have the responsibility to carry through on the commitment of change and progress we made to the American people. And I hope to help meet that responsibility as Chair of the Democratic caucus,
under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi.

"I seek this post, and not any other, because I believe what we need now is a unified Democratic caucus, focused squarely on the business of moving this country forward."

Larson stated in the joint statement, "It has been an honor to serve the Caucus and I look forward to continuing to serve its members. "

Democrats return to Washington next Thursday to pick their leaders for the 110th Congress, to be sworn in next January.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who made her first trip to the White House today as Speaker-designate, will take a post of overseeing the entire House.

The speaker is elected by the members of the House—with the majority party supplying the votes to name one of their own as speaker. The other leadership posts are filled by each party.

There is a battle brewing for House Majority Leader between Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) the current minority whip and Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.).

The third ranking post is Majority Whip, where there already is a declared candidate, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who wants to move up from the number four spot.

Clyburn had been laying the groundwork for the position in the event of a Democratic takeover. He made his bid official on Wednesday. Clybourn is an African-American and is running for the whip post with the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus

Emanuel realized that there was no need to set up what could have been an inflammatory confrontation with Clyburn and his backers in going after the Whip job, which he could have won.

All four positions have a seat at the table in shaping the Democratic agenda. Emanuel will be able to redefine the role as he sees fit. All he needs is the creditional to be at that small table and he will make of the job what he wants.

Emanuel already sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, an appointment he demanded when he took over as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Caucus chair has a major role in shaping policy. At present, the chair runs regular Wednesday meetings when the House is in session where members discuss party positions and the overall agenda. Emanuel is expected to give the job a significantly higher profile and will be empowered to take on a broader agenda.

On Wednesday, Emanuel traveled from Washington to New York and appeared on a segment of the Charlie Rose show to discuss Tuesday's election. He returns to Chicago on Thursday.

7 Comments

Perhaps not terribly articulate, perhaps a bit disorganized but here is my original email to Lynn Sweet:

Dear Lynn Sweet:

Don't you want to think about your first paragraph?

'Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), an architect of the campaign that won the
Democrats the House, is putting in a bid to become the No. 4 leader in
the House, with his selection by his colleagues virtually assured.'

Obviously I'm referring to 'an architect of the campaign' -- If we
(Democrats) had entrusted the entire Congressional campaign to
Emanuel, we wouldn't have such a resounding success. Emanuel's
favorites, those that he pumped big money into and vocally supported,
lost. Every one lost. (Duckworth? 3milliondollars?!) Plain and simple.
He and the DCCC chose not to support almost all of those running at
the grassroots level, chose not to finance their run, effectively
shutting them out in the early stages of the campaign and making the odds
seem insurmountable. Now he's positioning himself front and center as
some sort of leader responsible for the Democratic landslide and the
media are buying this unquestioningly, enabling these distortions if
not outright lies. Emanuel needs to be put in his place. He failed.
Do not buy into the PR spin.

Thank you.

Just look at that idiot's face while rejoicing with Pelosi on the riser yesterday-- that should tell you what a smug, vain self-important twat he is. He hogging the glory is an insult to the tens of thousands of volunteers, whether bloggers or the none-too-tech savvy GOTV callers and door-to-door foot soldiers and small donor/ActBlue contributors that made the victory possible. Rham had nothing to do with any of this. Remember that.

Just want to echo "verbal.normal" above.

Rahm is getting WAY too much credit.

This victory couldnt have happened without the support of the netroots, ActBlue, DailyKos, etc.

This victory couldnt have happened without Howard Dean's 50-state strategy (which Rahm was against from beginning).

This victory couldn't have happened without Webb in Virginia and Tester in Montana. Neither of whom would have had a chance if not for Dean's 50-state strategy and the netroots.

I agree with everyone else posting here you are way too biased. WOW does Rham proofread this blog? lets see, the Foley scandal, the Ney and Abramoff scandal, the Hastert Highway scandal, the investigation in PA congressman, the war , and the average gain in the second term of a GOP pres was 28 Dem seats, what did they gain 54 like in 94', uh no 28. The GOP had this coming and the Dems couldnt deliver a knockout punch. The majorities are still too slim to get what they want. So is Rham ready to join Obama as a diety in your eyes now Lynn?

Oh wow Lynn goody gum drops Rhams the #4 House DEm, we just lost the speaker of the house you brilliant non partisian political hack, uh I mean writer.Does your blinding partisan vision realize how that could really hurt this state? Wow the number 4 dem in a closley divided house, wow what a great accomplishment! are you putting a statue of Rham up in your basement?


LYNN SWEET REPLY
It's rahm.
if you did not like this item, take a look at my column in the Sunday Sun-Times
best, lynn

Lynn,

Are you able to verify the following-- since it has been reported that only 8 of Rahm's 22 hand-picked candidates actually won, and that 13 were defeated, and one is still in a race too close to call?
If this is true, then Rahm owes an explanation to the people who have backed him in good faith?

If the Democrats have won 28 seats and Rahm's choices accounted for only 8 of the 28, it would seem to me to mean that there is something different from "Rahm's Genius" and "Rahm's Toughness" at work here.

CAn you explain this?

LYNN SWEET REPLY
Gerald...it is also true no dem incumbents got beat--and not all were in safe districts...

Perhaps the angry, spelling-challenged posters above should be forgiven for the tone of their complaints, but they seem to be forgetting that without a strong DCCC chair like Emanuel to marshall the Dem troops and keep everybody on the same playbook, the Democratic Party would have been floundering in its usual mess of intra-party bickering.

And while candidates like Duckworth lost, she still ran a VERY competitive race in DuPage County, of all places. DuPage County! One of the reddest places in America. Howard Dean's 50-state strategy was largely a flop and he's on the way out (paging Harold Ford...) Rahm certainly deserves much of the credit he has gotten.

Though we all can not be as smart as Max, a 28 seat pick up is the average gain in the second term of a GOP president, thats average. The GOP had scandal, the Iraq war and a do nothing speaker who wasn't a leader ,but a status quo maintainer. If they put the money and the resources into a race against Emanuel's 5th youd see a 54-44 win by Emanuel, around the same numbers Duckworth lost by. So before you place this bozo on a pedestal, he couldn't carry Newt's water. Rham (D-Tomczak) is a shady self-promoter.

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Lynn Sweet

<Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 9, 2006 12:57 PM.

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