Chris Van Hollen hasn’t even been sworn in as a senator yet, but if Politico is to be believed, his new colleagues are already looking to hand him an extraordinarily important job. The bad news is that it might well be the most thankless job on Capitol Hill – running the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2018, when Democrats will be defending 25 seats in the Senate, many in red states.
But a big unknown is who will chair the party’s campaign arm, with Democrats zeroing in on Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), just elected to the Senate last week, as a likely steward of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Other senators have resisted taking the job, and Van Hollen would immediately face the monumentally difficult task of defending 25 seats in the coming midterm election. But the Maryland Democrat has experience running the House campaign arm and has many connections to donors, which could make him an ideal person to run the DSCC.
“It’s a hero’s job,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said of the campaign committee, though he predicted that the party would “defy expectations” with a strong showing in 2018. “I’m not going in there advocating for” any one Democrat to step up, he said.
Let’s see what happens.