Politico reports that Maryland's own Rep. Chris Van Hollen has been appointed as one of the 12 members of the new deficit "super committee." Van Hollen joins Representatives Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Dave Camp (R-MI), Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI), along with Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), John Kerry (D-MA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
Van Hollen and Clyburn had both served as Pelosi appointees on Vice President Joe Biden’s deficit working group earlier this year, and Becerra served on the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission....Hmm. If Van Hollen is a potential candidate for an elected leadership post, does that mean he is perhaps giving up on his pursuit of a United States Senate seat -- or would this merely strengthen his hand?
Clyburn and Becerra are among the most liberal members of the House Democratic Caucus — and Van Hollen’s not far behind — raising the prospect that Pelosi could take heat for naming a contingent that might be harder to persuade to sign off on a centrist compromise.
All three will have to balance any interest in making a deal against their own ambitions for power. Clyburn is the third-ranking House Democrat, Becerra is fifth, and Van Hollen is considered a potential future candidate for an elected leadership post.
However, like the committee members named before them, each of Pelosi’s picks is a veteran legislator. Van Hollen, first elected in 2002, is the most junior among them — and he played a central role in the debt-limit negotiations that averted a default and created the super committee.