Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has been selected to be the new Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Back in 2002, Van Hollen ran a spirited campaign challenging 16-year veteran (and "popular liberal Republican") Rep. Connie Morella. His victory four years ago was a happy exception to the otherwise dismal election year that was 2002.
OK, so Van Hollen took down a powerful GOPer in 2002. Yes, and he also has a reliably progressive voting record. Still, how can we expect him to run the DCCC.
Chris Bowers at MyDD took a look back, and he gives us some insight:
I have done some real quick background, and the most interesting bit I have found is that while, like Rahm, he came in 2002, he was significantly outspent in his contested Democratic primary by Mark Kennedy Shriver (Rahm used a big money advantage and the Chicago machine to narrowly defeat a grassroots candidate in his primary). That is a good sign for the way Van Hollen will act during primary campaigns. In the general, against a popular, "moderate" Republican incumbent, Van Hollen won by 4%...
Well, here's for hoping that the DCCC will start doing a better job working with the Netroots to take advantage of some great opportunities we have for 2008.