Cleaning House: Pelosi’s aging Number Two also steps down, making room for new blood

As the GOP clings to the Old Guard, re-electing Mitch McConnell as Senate leader and nominating Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, Democrats are busy clearing the path for a new generation of liberal leaders.

Much has been made of Nancy Pelosi’s exit, and now her second in command, 83-year-old House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has announced that he, too, will be stepping down to make way for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to take over in January as the minority leader.

“In May of this year, I will have served in the Congress for forty-two years,” Hoyer wrote in a letter to his fellow Democrats. “Thirty-six of those years, I have been honored to serve in the Democratic leadership. I continue to be blessed by God with good health and a zeal for public service and a determination to build a country that honors its best values and vision and continues to be a land in which our people can ‘Make it in America.'”

“I believe that it is time for me, however, to continue my service in a different role,” the letter continued. “Therefore, I have decided not to seek elected leadership in the 118th Congress.”

The lawmaker said he will remain in Congress and will “return to the Appropriations Committee,” but “now is the time for a new generation of leaders.”

To that end, Hoyer has endorsed Jeffries, the current chair of the House Democratic Caucus, to replace Pelosi.

“I am proud to offer my strong endorsement to Hakeem Jeffries for Democratic Leader, a role in which he will make history for the institution of the House and for our country,” Hoyer wrote. “He is a skilled and capable leader who will help us win back the Majority in 2024 as we strive to continue delivering on our promises to the American people.”

“I look forward to serving as a resource to him, to the rest of our Democratic leadership team, and to our entire Caucus in whatever capacity I can best be of assistance as we move forward together to address the nation’s challenges,” he stated.

If successful as Pelosi’s successor, Jeffries will have jumped “several levels of leadership” to take her throne, according to the Daily Mail. Currently, he faces no challengers for the job.

That Dems are backing the 52-year-old from New York is not surprising.

Over the years, he has proven he has mastered the liberal left’s top superpower: hyperbole. And he has a healthy hatred for former President Donald Trump, which is, one can assume, a basic requirement for the job.

Back in 2019, in a speech to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jeffries declared Trump to be the head of the KKK.

“We have a hater in the White House. The birther-in-chief. The Grand Wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said. “One of the things that we’ve learned is that while Jim Crow may be dead he’s still got some nieces and nephews that are alive and well.”

He will certainly help Democrats to continue to “fortify” future elections.

After Texas revamped its election laws in May 2021, Jeffries claimed Republicans “want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election.”

“The Texas law is shameful, and Republicans clearly in Texas and throughout the country want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election,” he stated. “That’s the only way that I can interpret the voter suppression epidemic that we see working its way from one state, Georgia to Arizona to Texas, and all across the country, in so many different ways.”

To his credit, the art of projection is probably another skill necessary for a leader of his party to possess, so Jeffries can safely check that box, too.

And let’s not forget that, if Jeffries takes over for Pelosi, with whom he has a close working relationship, he will be the first black member of Congress to lead either chamber, so there’s that.

The only group of Democrats who may not be pleased with Jeffries as the choice to replace Pelosi is the Squad.

Jeffries “has not forged as close of connections with the left wing of his party,” the Daily Mail writes, adding, “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even considered launching a primary challenge against him in 2020.”

Online, users on Twitter are echoing the progressives’ concerns.

“The immediate challenge for presumptive Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries is that he lacks Pelosi’s credibility with the left,” tweeted Max Burns. “Many progressive Dems skeptical that he can speak for where the party should be in 2022. Fears he’ll burn party enthusiasm fighting the left.”

Melissa Fine


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