The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is growing. The increasingly powerful group is by its own admission “flexing its muscle like never before” and explaining its “new clout” by way of “a significant gain in African American members, nine total” in the House of Representatives. That means the CBC will “account for 22 percent of all Democratic votes.” Those astonishing numbers translate like this: 52 CBC members among the 235 House Democrats.
Of those 52 members only one CBC member has endorsed a Democratic candidate for president at this early stage. But the single instance is a very significant endorsement for Kamala Harris from fellow Californian Rep. Barbara Lee — a former CBC leader.
Lee came out early saying, “I am so proud to endorse [Harris’] candidacy as she continues this fight for equality, fairness, and dignity for all Americans.”
Lee, who chaired the CBC during the 111th Congress, said of Harris: “She will increase working Americans’ incomes, expand health insurance to more Americans, and restore dignity and responsibility to the Oval Office.”
Rep. Lee’s doubling down on “dignity” is no accident. Democrats will run on dignity in two ways headed into 2020 — their rhetoric will unwaveringly involve restoring dignity to working class and middle class Americans left behind by current policy and, at once, restoring dignity to the POTUS position, where the Dem candidates will uniformly say it has been lacking. Lee is also a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.