A whisper campaign is underway to promote U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of Columbia as the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
Allies of the S.C. Democratic lawmaker, currently assistant House Democratic leader, say the conversations are still in the early stages. They add, however, there are real and active efforts to pitch the idea of Clyburn, the highest-ranking African-American lawmaker in Congress, as a so-called “bridge speaker” should Democrats retake the House’s majority in November and members decide to replace their current leader, California Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
For years, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland quietly has sold himself as a Pelosi successor. He has told members he would step in for one or two terms as speaker as a “bridge” between the old guard and a new generation of leaders, promising to groom younger members and facilitate a transition of power.
But in the past few weeks, Clyburn’s name has been put forward as an alternative choice to Hoyer by lawmakers who either are bound by loyalty to Clyburn or think the election of the first black speaker would make for good optics — or both.
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Source: McClatchy DC