Just a few years ago, Democrats had seats in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia that are now controlled by Republicans. In the most recent presidential election, President Barack Obama won Virginia and almost won North Carolina. So the South is hardly a lost cause for Democrats.
This is why Democrats need to shrug off the assertions that the Blue Dogs are over and again make real efforts to take back those seats — and with them, control of the House of Representatives.
After all, ranking member and minority leader are pretty good titles to have, but chairman and speaker of the House sound a heck of a lot better.
Former Reps. Ronnie Shows, D-Miss., and Charlie Melancon, D-La., were part of the Blue Dog Caucus during their tenures on Capitol Hill.
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.