I don't support Jim Clyburn for Democratic Whip because he's my friend and we've served together a long time. Or because he's African-American. His seniority and race are meaningless to me. I support him because he will not apologize for being a progressive.
It's still unclear if the House will have the needed votes to pass health care reform -- if the votes aren't there, it could seriously undermine the chances for any element of the progressive agenda from passing.