‘So far, not good’: James Clyburn concerned about potential Biden admin being short on black representation

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing again and again, expecting different results.

Which, more or less sums up the complaints by Rep. James Clyburn, the most senior black lawmaker on Capitol Hill, that a potential Joe Biden administration is short on black representation.


Questions and concerns about how committed Biden may be to the black community were brought up during the presidential campaign, given his record over the years, so Clyburn, who was just re-elected as House Majority Whip, can’t play dumb here.

Clyburn discussed the lack of African-Americans named to senior posts so far, with Fox News’ Juan Williams.

“From all I hear, black people have been given fair consideration,” Clyburn said. “But there’s only one black woman so far. I want to see where the process leads to, what it produces, but so far it’s not good.”

“People ask why Democrats do not do well in rural communities and this is one of the reasons,” he added.

Clyburn supports Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, for Agriculture secretary, and former Jacksonville mayor Alvin Brown, to head up the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is also behind California attorney general Xavier Becerra for U.S. Attorney General.

As for Fudge’s apparent lack of qualifications, she represents a largely-urban district in the Cleveland area, Clyburn betrayed his entitlement vision of the government’s role in society.

“Eighty percent of Agriculture Department’s work has nothing to do with farming,” he said. “It is food stamps, nutrition, building schools in rural areas, making sure people have broadband … [and] tele-health programs.”

Of course, his concerns haven’t stopped Clyburn from singing the praises of a Biden-Harris ticket, as seen in a tweet shared the day before he voiced his concerns.

“My wife was always right. When I didn’t listen, I paid dearly,” he tweeted. “She was one of the 1st people to tell me the Biden-Harris ticket would be the right ticket. Even from the grave, she proved right.”

It’s fair to say that’s a pretty strong endorsement — of course, Clyburn already got his being re-elected a majority whip. ( He ran unopposed.)

Clyburn played a critical role in Biden’s success, helping deliver South Carolina at a time when Sen. Bernie Sanders was surging and some were suggesting that the 78-year-old former vice president was done.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:


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