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OPINION - Make Way for Young Democratic Leaders

Published on Sunday, July 1, 2018

OPINION - Make Way for Young Democratic Leaders

But with the loss of Mr. Crowley, who was a relative young ’un in the Democratic leadership, at age 56, House Democrats have nothing even approaching a backup plan. This has set off a fresh round of hand-wringing and squabbling — privately, if not publicly — about when a new generation will get a chance to lead, and who should be the face of that leadership. This is hardly a useful distraction during a high-stakes election year. But it’s a situation for which Ms. Pelosi has only herself to blame.

For too long, this regime has clung to power at the expense of future leaders. Neither of Ms. Pelosi’s two chief deputies, Steny Hoyer, the party whip, and Jim Clyburn, the assistant leader, is a remotely viable successor. Like Ms. Pelosi, both men are just shy of 80 and have occupied top-tier posts for over a decade. At this point, the caucus leadership has gone from stale to downright ossified.

Of course, experience and maturity can be valuable traits. But Democrats are supposed to be the party of the future, the forward-looking party, the party of youth and progress. That spirit is hard to convey with a House leadership team that looks uniformly and dramatically like the past. The optics are particularly jarring in contrast to the lineup of Republican leaders, who are all in their late 40s (Speaker Paul Ryan) or early 50s (the majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and the chief whip, Steve Scalise).

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Author: Editor

Categories: Local Issues, State Issues, National Issues


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