Emanuel Expected to Head DCCC

Posted January 5, 2005 at 1:46pm

Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel will soon be named as the new head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to several well-placed sources.

Although House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (Calif.) has yet to make a formal declaration, Emanuel’s placement this morning on the Ways and Means Committee, a plum assignment for the second term Member, was also seen as a tacit acknowledgement by insiders that he had agreed to take the post.

Emanuel will succeed the late Rep. Robert Matsui (Calif.) in the job. Matsui died Jan. 1 from a rare blood disorder and was honored in a memorial service in the Capitol earlier today.

Pelosi’s office chose not to comment on the matter, citing Matsui’s passing.

“It is inappropriate and wrong to have that discussion right now,” Emanuel said.

The Illinois Congressman is widely viewed as the best choice to chair the party’s campaign arm due to his fundraising capabilities and his strategic know-how, both honed during his time as a senior staffer at both the DCCC and the White House during the Clinton administration.

Emanuel was chosen over Reps. Mike Thompson (Calif.), who took himself out of the running late last year and Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.). Thompson also received a seat on the Ways and Means Committee, however.

The Illinois Congressman served as one of several vice chairs at the DCCC during the 2004 cycle.

He came to Congress after winning an extremely competitive open-seat primary race in the north Chicago district being vacated by then-Rep. Rod Blagojevich (D), who went on to be elected governor.

Late last year House Republicans unanimously re-elected Rep. Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Republicans gained three seats in last month’s election, bringing their total to 232 seats. Democrats control 201 seats, not including Matsui’s vacant seat.