Thursday, November 09, 2006

Could this Election Cycle Highlight Rift Between Blacks & Jews?

The next battle royale in the Congress could be the new House Majority leadership races as Democratic members who played pivotal roles in this Tuesday's upset are vying for coveted spots. But, the more interesting question are the political gains of African Americans in Congress, since this stunning upset could mean numerous committee and sub-committee chairs for the CBC - still, these chairs aren't guaranteed. It'll be interesting to watch how much backbone the CBC will have when newly-minted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is forced to pluck some of those chairs in favor of White and Latino members wanting their piece of the Committee pie.

Even more compelling will be the race for House Majority Whip between Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL). CBC members have already stated their desire for that spot, and we're certain Clyburn and others are mighty upset that Emanuel is blocking that potential. We will watch with interest as to how this plays out in influencing the already tense, up-and-down relationship between African Americans and Jewish Americans, since Emanuel is Jewish. Privately, CBC members may be sulking about Jewish politicians ruining their chances at serious political leverage, pointing also to how Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), who is also Jewish, dashed former Black Congressman Kweisi Mfume's (D-MD) chances for the U.S. Senate. Jewish support for Black political and civil rights causes does not go unnoticed, but this next leadership battle could cause considerable rifts in an already complicated relationship.