CONGRESS | Not even a week spent in office and Rep. Eric Swalwell nabbed himself a senior position within the Democratic caucus as House Assistant Whip. Democratic Whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), appointed the young freshmen to the position on Jan. 7 while heaping praise over Swalwell’s priorities.
“Rep. Swalwell, as a new Member of Congress, will bring a fresh perspective to the Whip team. I look forward to working with him to advance the priorities of the American people, including efforts to promote job creation and strengthen the middle class,” said Hoyer in a press release released by Swalwell.
Swalwell responded, “I look forward to working with the House Democratic Leadership and all of my colleagues to advance common sense solutions to our nation’s problems. I believe my youthful energy and new ideas will help our party and our country move forward in the 113th Congress.”
Swalwell’s appointment is a clear indicator of notable support around the new congressman. Hoyer is a friend of one of Swalwell’s congressional influences, Ellen Tauscher, who supported Hoyer as minority whip in 2001 over Nancy Pelosi. It stirred some angst within the Democratic Party between Pelosi and Tauscher although by 2007 much of this was supposedly smoothed over.
But with Swalwell missing major endorsements of house-hold names like Pelosi during his run against long time Congressman Pete Stark, Swalwell needed big name support from other corners of the Democratic Party, like Tauscher. It’s this kind of support that helps Swalwell gather support in Washington D.C. as the inexperienced freshmen begins his career in national politics.
Swalwell’s newest position can only help him for re-election in 2014 against the old establishment that’s widely supported Stark. Some Democratic insiders have said it wouldn’t be surprising to witness supporters of Stark coalesce around State Sen. Ellen Corbett, who has been continuously reminding constituents of her run for Swalwell’s seat in 2014, rather than Swalwell. It may be too soon to know though.