November 18, 2016

Senate Democrats Greet Chris Van Hollen’s Election To Senate With Vicious Hazing Prank

Chris Van Hollen’s boxes haven’t even been unpacked yet in the Senate, and already his new colleagues are hazing him. This afternoon Roll Call broke the story that Van Hollen would be taking the job no Senate Democrat wanted, DSCC Chairman:

“Democratic Senator-elect Chris Van Hollen will chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2018 cycle, incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Friday.”

The argument for Van Hollen’s chairmanship of the DSCC is that while in the House, he ran the DCCC. Yet a look at his disastrous tenure as chairman of the DCCC should have given new Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer pause.

When Van Hollen assumed the DCCC post in 2008, Democrats had a huge majority in the House. After Election Day in 2010, House Democrats were in the minority and had lost the most seats in a midterm since 1938:

“Van Hollen watched Tuesday night as his party was decimated at the ballot box, losing more seats than either party has lost in a midterm since 1938, and with them, the House majority.”

Van Hollen had such an awful Election Day in 2010, that in a bad week for Democrats, the Washington Post gave him “Worst Week in Washington.” In all, House Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010 under Van Hollen’s leadership.

Now, a look at the 2018 Senate map shows that Van Hollen appears to be setting himself up for the sequel to his painfully bad 2010 performance:

“As difficult as the 2016 Senate map has been for Republicans, who had to defend numerous blue- and purple-state seats and could lose their majority, Democrats’ 2018 map looks practically unnavigable. The party starts with five ruby-red seats to defend: Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia. Then, Democrats have a slew of Senate seats up in traditional swing states, including Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin.”

Earlier this week, when asked if he planned on taking the job, Van Hollen said that he was “really focused right now on orientation.” Unfortunately for the incoming Maryland Senator, it appears that his orientation hasn’t yet covered getting thrown under the bus by your fellow Senators.