We almost have to feel bad for Colorado Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette. She seems to have hit the glass ceiling in her own party. Rumor has it that DeGette, the self-proclaimed “dean” of the Colorado delegation, had plans to run for Minority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she currently serves as the Chief Assistant of the Assistant of the Assistant Minority Whip (or something like that) with nine other Democratic
henchmen vote counters. Her plans were put on ice; however, when Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi froze leadership positions within the Democratic hierarchy late last week.
It just seems that Degette can’t catch a break. First, in 2008, it was pretty apparent that DeGette was salivating over the possibility of taking over Salazar’s abandoned Senate seat. She was the first (and possibly only?) candidate to fill out a questionnaire about her personal finances and information, according to the Post. But naysayers at the time found her statewide appeal to be lacking:
“[Winning a statewide race is] not something most Democrats believe could be accomplished by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver, who, along with former state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, is the woman most often mentioned as a possible contender for the Senate seat. DeGette’s political profile is more liberal than the party’s successful recent statewide candidates and her image too associated with Denver, they say.”
She fought back with identity politics in the Post, which noted that “the longest-serving member of Colorado’s congressional delegation considers herself a natural pick, but she has fought speculation from politicos that she’s too liberal for statewide office.” DeGette herself contributed the following:
“In a way, this is the perfect time for us to have a woman. It’s kind of ridiculous that after all these years, we’ve never had a woman (as governor or U.S. senator). I don’t think the press or the chattering class seriously consider any of the women candidates.”
After serving the Democratic Party so faithfully, carrying their water, defending their flawed policies and players… that was the thanks she got? We’d be annoyed too.
Then, during the 2010 election, she prepped for a run for leadership, as highlighted by Politico:
“Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette’s been calling around to collect colleagues’ phone numbers, prompting speculation that she’s readying herself to run for a leadership spot in the 112th Congress. Her camp says its’ simply routine maintenance of DeGette’s contacts — a process that occurs every election year…. Still, it’s no secret that DeGette, who has been a prominent player on stem cell research and abortion rights, has long harbored the ambition to become one of her party’s elected leaders.”
And… she ended up with the exact same position she currently holds. This hasn’t been a good run for Colorado’s Democrats, with Rep. Jared Polis denied a leadership post last week. Hang in there, kids, someday the Democratic Party will walk the walk on equality for you two.