Rep. Jackson: Hoyer, Clyburn should abandon whip battle, lead Dem campaign efforts

Reps. Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn should eschew their campaign to be House minority whip and co-lead the House Democrats' campaign committee instead, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) suggested Monday. 

Jackson said the unusual proposal would allow Democrats to better shape their message to voters on jobs and the economy heading into the 2012 election cycle with President Obama on the top of the ballot while allowing the party to avoid a divisive leadership battle.

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"Maybe Mr. Hoyer and his moderate-to-conservative coalition and Mr. Clyburn with his progressive coalition should be co-chairs of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and let someone else handle the task of convincing members of the caucus to 'vote no' on the Republican agenda that most of us are already against," Jackson said in a statement. "Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Clyburn both tout their experience in fundraising and supporting Democratic candidates — we need their joint experience at the DCCC."

Jackson's ideal scenario is unlikely to happen but it points to worry among some House Democrats that the campaign between Hoyer (D-Md.) and Clyburn (D-S.C.) could deepen divisions within the caucus.

So far, both candidates have refrained from attacking one another, but have also made their case to their colleagues and the public. 

Clyburn — the current majority whip — has cast himself as the underdog while Hoyer — the current majority leader — has appeared to take the lead for the House Democrats' No. 2 spot in the next Congress. 

Hoyer's office declined to comment.

Jackson is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, which is whipping support for Clyburn.

The position of DCCC chairman was left open when Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) announced he would not seek a third-term as the committee's leader.