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November 16, 2010

Democratic Civil War Back On?

Over the weekend soon to be ex-Speaker thought she cut a deal to keep both Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn on the Democratic leadership team by shoving Clyburn, the top ranking black in Congress, to the back of the bus.

No so fast says the Congressional Black Caucus.

The Congressional Black Caucus wants more details about the proposal to create a leadership position for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

The Congressional Black Caucus is withholding its endorsement of a proposal by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to create a new Democratic leadership position for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

The CBC met for nearly two hours on Monday to discuss the deal that Pelosi brokered to end a leadership battle between Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Clyburn, who had been vying for the second-ranking post of minority whip.

The caucus chairwoman, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), said after the meeting that the CBC wanted more details about Clyburn’s policy and strategy portfolio and was “reserving judgment” about the package the Speaker is offering.

“We fully support our current whip, Mr. Clyburn, for the No. 3 position and we’re currently reserving judgment on the entire package until we see what the actual portfolio entails in terms of responsibilities,” Lee told reporters.

If that wasn't enough, Nancy is getting a challenge from Heath Schuler for Minority Leader.

Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.) formally launched his long-shot bid Monday to oust Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as the leader of House Democrats, beginning to ask lawmakers to support his more centrist campaign to be minority leader.

"I'll be running," Shuler said after votes Monday, in his most definitive declaration yet that he'll oppose Pelosi.

Shuler hails from the depleted ranks of the conservative-leaning Blue Dog Coalition, whose Democratic ranks were roughly halved by midterm elections two weeks ago. Many consider his effort a protest candidacy that will give the remaining moderate Democrats an alternative to voting for Pelosi, whose popularity plummeted during the fall elections amid thousands of campaign commercials displayed her in a negative light.

Shuler's bid is a long shot at best since his constituency of Blue Dogs was decimated on Election Day. The challenge is mostly about 2012...Shuler and several other Democrats ran away from Pelosi this year in order to avoid being swept up in the wave. If one of them didn't run they couldn't pull that trick again in 2 years. Now Shuler can say he tried to change the directions of Democrats in the House and others can say they voted for him.

Mostly it's just kind of fun to watch Nancy squirm. It's amazing she thought she could lead the caucus to such a historic defeat and then maintain the status quo when they came back.

Pelosi must really like having a driver if she's willing to put up with this kind of grief from members who don't seem to be as grateful to her driving them into the minority as she seems to think they should be.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:22 AM

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