Davis at D-trip?
The insider D.C. publication Rollcall mentioned Alabama's own Artur Davis in a recent article. Davis is being mentioned to take over the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when the current chair steps down. The DCCC is the political arm of the House Democratic Conference; it is responsible for helping recruit, fund, and strategize for congressional races. Though the chair of the DCCC is appointed by the Democratic leader (currently Nancy Pelosi) it is often thought of as one of the handful of top leadership positions and a stepping stone to higher positions, (whip, leader, speaker?).
The DCCC is currently headed by Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) who is getting rave reviews. It is possible that Emanuel could step down after the 2006 elections or serve another two year term beginning in 2007. But whenever the DCCC chair is next vacant, Artur Davis is one of the names mentioned to fill it.
From the article:
Like Emanuel, Reps. [Artur]Davis, [Chris]Van Hollen and [Kendrick]Meek are in their second terms and viewed widely as rising Caucus stars with solid political know-how. Van Hollen is spearheading Democratic candidate recruitment this cycle, while Davis is a regional recruitment chairman and Meek is a committee vice chairman.Davis has had a meteoric rise since his 2002 election and this is further evidence that he is seen as leadership material by Democrats in Washington as well as Alabama. It is much too early to know whether Davis is likely to be the DCCC chair in the near future. But the very fact that his name is mentioned by his colleagues shows the depth of respect and faith his colleagues have in him.
Davis said he's "given no thought" to chairing the DCCC or taking up another leadership slot, adding that he believes Emanuel "is the best chair we've had."
"I don't spend a lot of time thinking about leadership goals," Davis said. "Clearly there are a lot of people here who have been here a lot longer than I have. I'm focused on being a good, committed Member."
Of course if Davis was DCCC chair, he could possibly help recruit and fund Democratic candidates taking on Alabama Republicans. Joe Turnham, for one, can tell you that Alabama Democrats aren't always first on the priorities list for the national Dems. But with Davis in the leadership, more help might be forthcoming for a strong challenger to someone like Mike Rogers.
Of course on the flip side, if Davis establishes himself as a leader in the House Democratic Conference, a run for governor or senate would probably go by the wayside. Now I have my doubts about whether Davis could win statewide, but he is certainly one of the stronger Alabama Democrats. The further Davis moves up the leadership ladder, the less likely that he'll run statewide.
Davis, at 38 years old, is much younger than most of his colleagues. He has plenty of time to pursue his political goals. But there does seem to be a crossroads facing Davis in the not so distant future. Davis looks certain to continue his ascent into the Democratic leadership (whether or not he ever heads the DCCC) if he is so inclined. But if he is indeed interested in a senate bid (or even running for governor), he'll have to forgo all that just to take a shot at a possible promotion.
Whatever his decision, Artur Davis is not only one of the hottest Democratic prospects in the state, but also the entire country.