WASHINGTON -- Fresh off a historic midterm election drubbing, the man in charge of getting Democrats into the House of Representatives confirmed what has long been expected: he will not be seeking a third term at the post.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen told the Bill Press Show on Friday morning that he will be stepping down from the committee, something he said he would do even prior to the elections.
"When it comes to the DCCC chairmanship, I believe in term limits," Van Hollen said. "This will be the end. Two cycles is really probably the maximum that most people have done. A lot of people have only done it one time."
The Maryland Democrat had, perhaps, the toughest job in politics over the last two years. And his attempts to stem the anti-incumbent tide -- in a year in which angst over the economy seemed to be driving everyone's vote -- proved too large to handle. But while Van Hollen is ready to exit stage left, he predicted that many of the candidates who had just been booted from office are not. A good chunk of those who lost in 2010, he said, would look to regain their seats in 2012.
"A number of the Democratic candidates who lost this time in what was clearly a wave will take a look as to whether or not it makes sense for them to run again because, again, this was a larger message about the state of the economy. It was not an endorsement of the Republican candidates," said Van Hollen. "And Republican candidates who interpret it that way do so at their own peril. So I think you will have a lot of these Democratic candidates who take another look at reconnecting with the voters and talking about their plans for moving the country forward."
One other person who Van Hollen suggested might stick around despite the election results is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"I think the choice is hers," he said, of prospects that she'd retain her leadership post. "She has an enormous reservoir of good will... The fact is, she has been a successful leader so the decision is hers."
The relevant portion of the Van Hollen interview starts at the 7:10 mark.