(Washington) -- It’s war between Democratic congressional leaders Steny Hoyer of Maryland and James Clyburn of South Carolina, who spent the weekend trying to shore up support to become the next House Minority Whip. Both sides have been working the phones, getting commitments of support from members.
With more endorsements in the bag, Hoyer appears to be winning the fight. Clyburn acknowledged as much in a television interview Monday morning. “I probably am the underdog in this race,” Clyburn said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I've been here 18 years. Steny's been here 30 years. He has his friends. I have mine.” On Sunday afternoon, Team Hoyer released a letter of support signed by 30 House Democrats, including Representatives Linda Sanchez of California, Jim Moran of Virginia, Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, John Dingell of Michigan, Jerrold Nadler of New York and others.
Despite all of the posturing, Clyburn predicted that the two senior Democrats would still be “friends” once the leadership fracas is over.
The dust, meantime, has yet to settle over Nancy Pelosi’s announcement she wants to remain the top Democrat in the House, seeking the minority leader’s post after the California Congresswoman’s term as House Speaker effectually ended in last Tuesday’s election losses, which the president referred to as a “shellacking.”
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