Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD) has been tagged by Nancy Pelosi to replace the outgoing Rahm Emmanuel as the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Blue America, the online progressive organization that supports grassroot progressive candidates is thrilled with the idea. Check out Fire Dog Lake to see their enthusiasm.
Personally, I’m of mixed minds. I think that Blue America did some excellent things supporting Progressive Candidates, and the fact that they raised (over 3 blogs) almost a half million dollars is quite impressiev. Van Hollen is a fresh face but he’s only a two term Congressman, so while he’s a solid progressive (check his record here). According to the Daily Kos he’s the fourth highest fund raiser this year for the House. What no one is mention is that he is a Rep from the Potomac/Bethesda area (where some of the most affluent citizens in America reside) so I wonder what his national fundraising chops are.
I don’t really understand the anger and vitriol from the Progressive community towards Emmanuel. This is a guy who dispite tremendous gerrymandered disadvantages won a net 33 seats in this election. I understand that some think he’s a cog in the Clinton political machine…and others think he’s not progressive enough. Call me a pragmatist, but is it better that we swept the House and won some almost unwinnable seats or should we have run people left of most 95% of the nation? I think Emmanuel did a fine job (even if he wants a Cabinet position in the next Clinton administration.
Best of luck to Van Hollen though, a high profile job for a newbie with A LOT of pressure not to blow this. Watch for his on the sunday circuit in about 12-18 months.