Clyburn urges full leadership shakeup If Democrats fail to retake House

Clyburn urges full leadership shakeup If Democrats fail to retake House

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Rep. Jim Clyburn, one of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s top lieutenants, said Friday that if Democrats fail to retake the House in November, the party’s entire House leadership team should step down.

“If we’re still in the minority” after Election Day, he told POLITICO following his annual fish fry here, “all of us have got to go.”

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While an overhaul of Democratic House leadership is almost certain if the party falls short in the midterm elections, a re-ordering is possible even if Democrats win the majority.

With a younger class of Democrats clamoring to break into leadership, Clyburn, 77, appeared at the fish fry alongside Rep. Tim Ryan, the Ohio Democrat who challenged Pelosi unsuccessfully for her leadership position in 2016.

Clyburn, the assistant minority leader and the highest ranking African-American in Congress, referred repeatedly to Ryan as a “good friend” and a favorite drinking partner in Washington.

A glass of Jack Daniel’s in hand at the fish fry, a mainstay on the Democratic Party circuit, Clyburn said he did not take Ryan’s leadership challenge personally, adding, “I understand exactly what he was saying.”

Clyburn said the party will undertake a “real assessment” of leadership after the November elections, regardless of the outcome.

For his part, Ryan, a longshot potential presidential candidate, lauded Clyburn, pointing to a growing number of young people in the South Carolina Democratic Party.

“Look at what he’s doing here in South Carolina,” Ryan told POLITICO. “Part of his genius is that he gets the fact that you’ve got to bring up young people.”

Ryan has said he will not challenge Pelosi again. Of his position that the party would be better served if she weren’t speaker, he said, “My view on that has not changed.”


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