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Nancy Pelosi’s removal from the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives paves the way for new faces, “leaving a very strong legacy” behind her. Among them, the elected moderate of New York Hakeem Jeffries, 52, well placed to succeed him. Decryption.
The end of an era. By announcing her withdrawal from the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, 82, paved the way for the arrival of a new generation of elected Democrats.
The first woman to occupy the perch of the lower house of Congress, a tactician gifted with an unparalleled political flair, the elected representative of California has often made rain or shine on Capitol Hill, where she was elected ” speaker” since 2007, under the presidency of George W. Bush.
“Nancy Pelosi will be remembered as one of the most accomplished parliamentarians in American history – pushing boundaries, opening up opportunities and working to serve Americans,” former Democratic President Barack Obama tweeted.
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For his part, the current president, Joe Biden, hailed on Twitter “one of the most important speakers of the House of Representatives in American history” and praised her “patriotism” and her “dignity”.
“She is a woman who leaves a very strong legacy and who notably knew how to hold her group with an iron fist by managing the divisions between the progressives and the moderates of the Democratic Party, of which she was a part”, analyzes Jean-Éric Branaa, lecturer at the University of Paris-Panthéon-Assas, specialist in American politics.
Hakeem Jeffries, heir to Nancy Pelosi
Because beyond the highlights of her career as a “speaker” and in particular her two years of fierce opposition to Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi has indeed managed to impose her line among the Democratic representatives, even if it means, sometimes, twisting the arm of the party’s left-wing rising star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Hakeem Jeffries embodies this tour de force. At 52, the New York elected official is the favorite to succeed him as leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. If this hypothesis were to materialize, he would become the first African-American to lead one of the two main parties in Congress. The vote is due to take place on November 30.
“Hakeem Jeffries is Nancy Pelosi younger, as a man and in black, jokes Jean-Éric Branaa. In terms of the political line, it’s really a photocopy. Like her, he’s a moderate. He is known to have been very opposed to Bernie Sanders. It is clear that the most progressive see him arriving with less happiness.”
Asked, Thursday, November 17, about a possible support for a candidacy of Hakeem Jeffries to take over from Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez preferred to kick into touch immediately, declaring that there was “a big job of reconstruction to be carried out” within his political family.
Democrat Rejuvenation Operation
In the meantime, Hakeem Jeffries, first elected to Congress in 2012, has been able to build his network in Washington and enjoys the support of many elected officials. Perceived as a good leader, passing perfectly on television, an excellent speaker, he knows the workings of the Capitol very well and should, unsurprisingly, succeed Nancy Pelosi.
Because it was the latter who placed him in orbit: aware of the need for generational renewal within the Democratic Party, the former “speaker” slowly but surely brought up Hakeem Jeffries, but also the elected official from Massachusetts Katherine Clark, 59, and California lawmaker Pete Aguilar, 43. The latter two could also inherit prominent positions in the Democratic leadership.
Hakeem Jeffries was thus a member of the prosecution team in Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings. Pete Aguilar sits on the commission of inquiry into the January 6, 2021 attack. And Katherine Clark was a regular part of meetings between Democrats that helped to iron out differences between moderates and progressives.
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“The rejuvenation among the Democrats is striking, underlines Jean-Éric Branaa. Nancy Pelosi is 82 years old and the other leaders of the party in office until now, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn, are also over 80 years old. a change that voters have been asking for for some time, especially young people.”
Still, it is in opposition that the new generation will have to learn. Republicans have grabbed a majority of at least 218 seats in the House of Representatives which, although very short, will give them blocking power over Joe Biden’s policy until 2024.