From NBC's Mark Murray
The biggest political story of 2008, of course, will be the wide-open presidential race. However, a lesser -- yet equally important -- story will be whether Democrats can hold onto their majorities in Congress. The man who will be in charge of keeping control of the House is Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) of Maryland, whom incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi today tapped to succeed Rahm Emanuel as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Van Hollen was elected to Congress in 2002, when he beat incumbent Rep. Connie Morella (R). In the 2008 battle for the House -- Democrats will be holding onto a 233-202 advantage -- Van Hollen will square off against Rep. Tom Cole (R) of Oklahoma, who was elected chair of the GOP House campaign committee last month.