November 9th, 2010
05:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Pelosi weighs in on Hoyer/Clyburn

Washington (CNN) – Multiple senior Democratic sources say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stepped into the battle between Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, for the number two Democratic leadership post, and is personally trying to negotiate a compromise. The sources say her goal is to avoid forcing the caucus to cast what many fear could be divisive votes.

"The speaker and everyone else think it's good to settle this quickly." said one of the senior Democratic sources with knowledge of the private conversations.

Sources close to both Hoyer and Clyburn confirm the two top Democrats have been speaking to Pelosi, but it's unclear where those conversations are going.

Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami tells CNN, "In the course of the preparation for the lame duck, the Speaker has had conversations with Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Clyburn and other members of the leadership and she wants them both to be in leadership."

One idea floating among senior House Democrats is that one of them would take the number two job of House Minority Whip, and the other would take the number three spot of House Caucus Chairman.

A source close to Clyburn tells CNN that the South Carolina Democrat doesn't want to do anything that would squeeze out either of the other two men already in leadership: Xavier Becerra and John Larson.

And the fact that Clyburn is the highest ranking African American in Congress is increasingly becoming an issue.

The Congressional Black Caucus issued a statement Tuesday afternoon formally endorsing Clyburn for House Minority Whip.

"With our country at a crossroads, it is vitally important that we have a leadership team in place that recognizes and reflects the strength and diversity of both the Democratic Caucus and our great nation," read the statement announcing the decision.

At this point, sources close to both men still insist each has the upper hand in terms of support from the caucus for the House Minority Whip post.
Hoyer has been releasing a steady stream of endorsements to illustrate he has support from a broad spectrum of the caucus.

Clyburn has been more reluctant to specify who has given him assurances. A Clyburn aide insists that's not because he doesn't have as much support as Hoyer, but because it's not Clyburn's style.

In a comment to "The Hill" newspaper, Clyburn himself appeared annoyed at Hoyer's tactics, saying "I don't see how you maintain a comfort level for all of our members by rolling out these names. I don't think it does the process any real good. I've never done it, I'm not going to do it."

Aside from that comment, and despite the high stakes battle between Clyburn and Hoyer, aides to both insist that even behind the scenes, it has remained remarkably calm and free of the typical trash- talking you normally see in close leadership elections.

Filed under: House Democrats • James Clyburn • Nancy Pelosi • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. stufthis

    Allow both of them to share the responsibility, as both are quality leaders.

    November 9, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...And quite frankly, it serves you weak-spined Democraps right.
    If you can't punch back hard enough,you should've picked up a brick, God knows the RethugliKKKlans gave you enough of them.
    Yes, I'm a Democrat, but I'm for my country FIRST and FOREMOST.

    November 9, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. stufthis

    Nancy will need all the help she can muster to prevent republicans from instituting 'Boner Care,' which is the repeal of health reform and replacing it with nothing.

    November 9, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Lucas Breen

    Nancy, retire or at least step aside. You have created the problem with Hoyer and Clyburn. Please refer to Election results from 11/2.

    November 9, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. more lies from HUSSENI obama

    hitler aide pelosi is making all of us happy with her 6% approval rating

    November 9, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. the real ib

    This woman needs to just go away and shut up. She is the main reason the democrats lost so many seats in congress and she is to blind to see it; no not blind just plain power hungry. Please Pelosi shut up and go away or see your party lose more seats in 2012.

    November 9, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Pelosi created this mess between these two men when she didn't go home. I see some bad blood coming up and I hope there is a positiive solution.

    November 9, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Tea Party Time

    Why, why, why won't Pelosi just go away? Didn't she get the clear message from the election. No one likes her or her socialistic policies so please, go away. There must be something you can do that you are good at so go do it but get out of Washington. We don't want you!

    November 9, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. Monster Zero

    What a bunch of miserable failures...The three architects of the healthcare bill sold or should I say crammed up America's arse on lie after lie. My families (little monster zeros and Godzukis) premiums have doubled and are around 15K/yr before we receive one ounce of insurance coverage. but of course if I were an indigent or illegal it would all be free...

    November 9, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. S. In California

    Hillary v Obama ALL over again. Run for your lives.

    November 9, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    "And the fact that Clyburn is the highest ranking African American in Congress is increasingly becoming an issue.
    The Congressional Black Caucus issued a statement Tuesday afternoon formally endorsing Clyburn for House Minority Whip"
    Interesting turn of events here. Where are all the liberal noise-makers? You know the one who are ALWAYS quick to call someone else a racist! Question for you liberals! Why did the CBC endorse Clyburn? The next time you feel the need to label anyone a racist, think about my question!

    November 9, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Denny

    Simple solution: don't vote Pelosi in as minority leader. But neither of these guys can compare to her ability to ram things through.

    November 9, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. Precious

    Go ahead Nancy, show Americans where the true racism is, and in which party. Show us who truly gets the lower (or should I say the bitter) end of the stick!!!!

    November 9, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. Chris

    Classic. Dems lose control and yet they are still infighting. They aren't paying attention. This is not why the people in this nation sent them to Washington D.C. This almost makes me feel sorry for what Bush had to work with when they came into power after the 2006 elections. Almost.

    November 9, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |