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December 9, 2008

Pelosi expands Van Hollen's leadership role

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Montgomery County Democrat who chaired the party’s 2008 house election operation to a 20-seat gain, is being rewarded with an expanded role in the House leadership.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has championed Van Hollen’s rise in the House, named him an assistant to the speaker focusing on policy issues and incumbent retention.

“Chris Van Hollen is a first-rate thinker and political strategist who knows the policy, politics, and people that are essential to House Leadership successfully developing and executing our agenda for change with the Caucus and the incoming Obama Administration,” Pelosi said.

The announcement comes after Van Hollen, elected to a fourth term last month, accepted the thankless task of a second term chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. After winning more than 50 seats in 2006 and 2008, House Democrats will have their hands full in 2010 simply holding onto the seats they’ve gained.

After the election, Van Hollen said he wasn’t seeking another term with the DCCC, and floated the idea of succeeding departing Rep. Rahm Emanuel as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. It was Pelosi, looking to avoid a battle for the position between Van Hollen and current caucus Vice Chairman John B. Larson of Connecticut, who persuaded Van Hollen to run the political operation for another cycle.

“Chris Van Hollen was the maestro of this year’s historic election,” Pelosi said. “He is uniquely positioned to lead House Democrats’ official incumbent retention efforts and help our new Members succeed. As DCCC Chairman next cycle, Chris will provide the continuous leadership needed for the more than 30 new Members of the Democratic Caucus and the challenging mid-term election ahead of us.”

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 2:23 PM | | Comments (1)


Some "reward", Nancy, saddling Chris with this thankless job a third time. Hope Chris can bank some IOU's with the incoming class. Little wonder you and Steny have gotten along so fabulously, going back to your memorable days together as interns in Dan Brewster's Office.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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