House Democrats Face Leadership Void

Monday, 14 May 2012 02:33 PM

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Democrats worry that there is no heir apparent should House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi decide to retire from her leadership role if the Democrats fail to retake the House.

The party's current leaders in the House are viewed as too old, too liberal or too conservative, the National Journal reported.

“Just look at the landscape. There’s a real dearth of talented, dynamic communicators right now in the caucus,” one source told the paper. “People are either too liberal, or too conservative … or too old.”

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., are both 72 and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., is 71. The leadership of the GOP, however, is relatively young. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., is 62, Majority Leader Reps. Eric Cantor, R-Va., is 48, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is 47.

The Journal notes that Pelosi has revealed no plans she intends to leave Congress or quit her leadership post and neither have Hoyer or Clyburn. However, should the party fail to re-take the House or come close to grabbing the 25 seats necessary, some Democrats think Pelosi might step aside.

Should she do so, names mentioned to move up include: Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.; Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.; Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y.; DCCC National Finance Chairman and New Democratic Coalition Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.; and Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Penn., according to the Journal.

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