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The incoming majority


House Democrats have dodged a bullet now that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chair of the party's highly successful House campaign committee, has decided to seek the fourth-ranking position of Democratic caucus chair instead of challenging Jim Clyburn for the whip post.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines how soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi helped propel Democrats to power by getting involved in more than 60 House races this cycle and making strategic decisions to unify the party "-- like recruiting conservative Democratic candidates, refusing to compromise on Social Security, threatening to punish House Democrats who don't vote with the party, and aggressively going after President Bush on Iraq."  

Bloomberg notes that incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will have a tougher time than Pelosi in getting the Democratic agenda through his chamber because of "the Senate's Byzantine rules in a chamber where almost a dozen lawmakers are weighing 2008 presidential bids...  While Pelosi can promise to act on a half-dozen initiatives within 100 hours in the House, it might take Reid months to muscle similar measures to the Senate floor." 

The Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal both preview the variety of hearings expected to be convened by Democratic committee chairs in both chambers.