The big news last week was that long-time Dem leader would be stepping down and making room for younger leadership…..
Rep. Hakeem Jefferies is being served up as the new Dem leader in the House.
As Nancy Pelosi steps down from her leadership post among House Democrats, she promises not to be a meddling “mother-in-law in the kitchen” as a new generation takes over, per the Daily Beast. And while her successor as party leader in the chamber has not been officially chosen, pretty much everyone is betting it will be Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York City, currently chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Jeffries formally announced his bid to replace Pelosi on Friday, reports NBC News. Details:
- A first: Jeffries would become the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in the House or Senate, per the Washington Post.
- New generation: Jeffries is 52 and expected lieutenants Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California are 59 and 43. They would replace Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn—who are all in their 80s—as the top three House Democrats.
- Self-described: “I’m a Black progressive Democrat concerned with addressing racial and social and economic injustice with the fierce urgency of now,” Jeffries told the Atlantic last year in a profile. But he added, “There will never be a moment where I bend the knee to hard-left democratic socialism.” Elaborating on that distinction: “Black progressives do tend to tackle issues first and foremost with an understanding that systemic racism has been in the soil of America for over 400 years,” he said. “Hard-left progressives tend to view the defining problem in America as one that is anchored in class.”
- But how progressive is he? At New York, Zak Cheney-Rice dubs Jeffries “Speaker of the Establishment,” and it’s not a compliment. Jeffries has seen a “rapid ascent up the party’s ranks secured by endearing himself to its elders and siding with longtime incumbents and party leaders even as they’ve grown out of touch with their constituents,” writes Cheney-Rice. “Much will be made of the historic nature of his promotion and the change it appears to signify. But for the party Establishment, the benefit of this generational change appears to be stasis.”
- Bio: Jeffries is a lawyer and a Brooklyn native who has been in the House since 2013, per the BBC. The Post notes that he was once seen as an anti-establishment figure when the “Brooklyn Democratic machine” redrew districts to “stifle” Jeffries’ political ascent. The tactic was featured in the 2010 documentary Gerrymandering. Since then, however, he “has forged relationships with Democratic establishment figures in Washington while navigating the ascending left in his backyard.” The latter is a reference to figures such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
- Famous constituent: During the Senate impeachment hearing of former President Trump, Jeffries made headlines by quoting a famous lyric of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. “And if you don’t know, now you know.” See the video at CBS News. The rapper, real name Christopher Wallace, was from Jeffries’ district, and Jeffries previously praised him on the House floor as the “classic embodiment of the American dream,” per the BBC.
I agree that the Dems have needed new leadership for decades…..good to see it is finally coming to a head…..but I am not certain in these days when special interests the Dems are no better than the GOP as far as bought ideology.
Do you think change is coming?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”