CBC Endorses Clyburn for Whip

Posted November 9, 2010 at 3:10pm

The Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday formally endorsed its former chairman, Majority Whip James Clyburn, over Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to be Minority Whip in the next Congress.

“He has been an extremely effective consensus-building member of the Democratic Leadership who has brought together all corners of our caucus behind a unified agenda,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who is chairwoman of the 42-member group, said in a statement announcing the endorsement.

“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. As we transition into the minority, it is even more important that Congressman Clyburn continue in his role as Whip.”

The CBC endorsement is not a surprise; several members have already come out in favor of Clyburn’s candidacy.

In addition to serving as a former CBC chairman, Clyburn is the only African-American member of elected leadership. Until now, Hoyer had a significant advantage in the number of public supporters for his campaign. But the backing of all or most of the CBC for Clyburn makes the race tighter.

Lee was an early Clyburn supporter, as was CBC Vice Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), another CBC member, has been making calls to moderates on behalf of Clyburn and has been arguing that Hoyer should run against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for Minority Leader instead, according to aides to moderate lawmakers.