After years of dutiful service to the Democrats, anti-Trump stalwart Adam Schiff (D-Ca.) is looking for a payday.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the loyal ally to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) is making a push for her job. But in an ironic twist of fate, the party’s “diversity” obsession might get in his way.
Schiff wants to be Speaker
Many suspect Pelosi, 82, is planning to retire after the midterm elections, especially if she loses her majority, as many expect. The race to replace Pelosi has already begun, with Hakeem Jeffries (D-Ny.), James Clyburn (D-Sc.), and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) topping the list.
Schiff recently started putting feelers out to the party’s various factions, the Washington Post report said, but the response has been lukewarm.
The Congressional Black Caucus, in particular, is said to be “infuriated” that Schiff wants to deny the job to Jeffries or Clyburn, both black men. Democrats in general are eager for more “diverse” leadership, and many have come to accept Jeffries, who chairs the House Democratic caucus, as the heir apparent.
“I told (Schiff) I thought it would be a difficult thing because of the lead that Hakeem has,” one California Democrat said.
The report notes that Schiff, 62, is the “kind of leader many Democrats have urged the party to move beyond: older, White and in politics nearly three decades,” although he is younger than Clyburn, 82.
Loyal partisan passed over?
Schiff “believes he is more experienced than other colleagues who are seeking leadership positions,” the report said. But when asked about his plans recently, he demurred.
“The Speaker has been truly the most impressive and credible and productive Speaker in our history. So I hope that she will stay,” he told CNN.
Schiff does have one thing going for him: he’s a close ally of Pelosi and one of her top lieutenants in the Democratic party’s endless war with Donald Trump. Between Russian collusion, the Ukraine impeachment, and the ongoing January 6th witch hunt, Schiff has proven to Democrats that he is a ruthless, devoted partisan.
He is also beating his competitors in fundraising. Still, some Democrats say that Schiff’s prominent role in anti-Trump political theater hasn’t necessarily prepared him for the responsibilities of Speaker.
“We are all very grateful for what he has done and what he continues to do,” one Democratic lawmaker said, “but it’s been more of a high-profile political role than what we may need to knit the caucus together.”