Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rahm Emanuel, the corporate-friendly centrist who actively worked against a number of anti-war progressives in 2006 Democratic primaries for U.S. House seats and then refused to support at least some of those candidates in November, is handing his DCCC leadership position off to a congressman who has a dramatically better track record on foreign and domestic policy issues.
The new head of the DCCC has a far steadier record of opposing the Bush administration on the war in Iraq, on the Patriot Act and other civil liberties concerns and on economic policy. Van Hollen also knows a thing or two about running in a primary against high-profile candidates with lots of national support and money. Before ousting a Republican incumbent in the difficult 2002 election cycle, he won a Democratic primary against Mark Kennedy Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan who, seemingly, had most of the advantages in the race.
Van Hollen is not a perfect player. But he is far more in touch with the values of Democratic voters than Emanuel ever was. And he is far more likely than Emanuel to support candidates based on their ability to win -- rather than their willingness to muzzle their message so as not to offend Wall Street and the foreign-policy hawks in Washington.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
"A Democrat Who Thinks Like A Democrat"