Sen. Patty Murray is quietly moving up the Democratic ranks after having been called on within the past year to head the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and to co-chair the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction.
She already secured the chairmanship of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee after agreeing to lead the DSCC; veterans’ issues have long been her passion. But when Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) retires at the end of next year, she will also be in line to take over his spot. Plus, one Democratic leadership aide noted that she’s currently No. 4 in leadership and not planning to leave those ranks anytime soon, even if she won’t publicly lobby for an elevated position.
“I think everybody around here loves to speculate on that sort of stuff: Why is this person doing this? What’s in their future? I can tell you with pretty good authority that that is not the game she’s playing. She doesn’t make choices like this based on what’s next,” another top Democratic staffer said. “There’s no crescendo here in the back of her brain, though she is putting herself in a better position to advance her goals and values.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.