Harman leaving Congress for DC think tank
February 7th, 2011
11:42 AM ET
12 years ago

Harman leaving Congress for DC think tank

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Jane Harman will retire from Congress and head the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, three Democratic sources familiar with Harman's plans confirm to CNN.

Harman, who served in Congress from 1993-1999 and then from 2001 until the present, is expected to take the top post at the Washington think tank being vacated by former Rep. Lee Hamilton. It is not clear when Harman will officially resign from Congress, but she will not serve out the rest of her term, one Democratic source says.

"Harman has been talking to the Wilson Center over the last several weeks and decided this is a good move for her," the Democratic source added. "This is an opportunity for her to solidify her role as a wise woman in the Democratic establishment."

The 65 year-old California Democrat has long butted heads with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who in 2006 refused to elevate Harman to chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when Democrats took control that year. Her role in Congress has also been diminished in the minority, and it is possible that her California district could be reapportioned this year as a result of the Census figures.

Harman represents California's 36th Congressional District, which includes swaths of the west side of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and parts of Venice Beach along with Playa del Vista, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa and Redondo Beach.

The territory is considered safe Democratic ground: President Obama won 64 percent of the vote in the district in 2008 and Sen. John Kerry took 59 percent in the 2004 presidential election.

Harman's husband, Sydney, recently bought Newsweek Magazine.

- CNN's Dana Bash, Mark Preston and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report

Filed under: Jane Harman
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Altasbarfed

    Now the district can get a liberal representative in line with the South Bay values.

    February 7, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Meh... California. Trade one moonbat for another. Next!

    February 7, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Why is she quitting one month into her term? They should appoint her opponent from the Nov. election!

    February 7, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. NCLaw441

    One month into term and she resigns? Is there a scandal afoot?

    February 7, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Rickster

    It's always good news when a democrat leaves office.

    February 7, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Harman's husband, Sydney, recently bought Newsweek Magazine.

    Me too, every week. Makes great toilet paper!

    February 7, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Sgt Schultz

    Lame...she is needed in Congress more than some "think tank". Although she is getting up there in age. Also she seemed a bit too cozy with the numerous defense contractors in her district. Overall she did a good job for her district and she will be missed. The hype about not getting along with Pelosi is not true.

    February 7, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Just more of the rich hiring the rich.

    February 7, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. SnowBrdr

    Jerry appoint Marcy!

    February 7, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Phil in KC

    Well, one reason she waited may have something to do with the election itself and keeping the seat safe. It was probably pretty safe that she could win re-election. Then they had to see who the Governor was going to be. I'm assuming Jerry Brown will be appointing her successor. After all, you wouldn't want a Republican governor naming her replacement. So she gets elected to keep it safe in Democratic hands and you make sure you have a Democratic Governor to name her replacement. Shrewd politics, if a bit disengenuous.

    February 7, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |