Opinion: Obama’s FCC pick happens to be daughter of key House Democrat Clyburn


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Ah, the rewards of picking a winner.

Last year South Carolina Rep. James E. Clyburn was expected to stay neutral in the long, bitter Democratic presidential primary struggle between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

An influential endorsement from Clyburn, a civil rights hero and top member of the House Democratic leadership, would have been welcomed by former President Clinton, who worked closely with him in the 1990s and thought they were close friends.


But the down-South campaigning got a little rough and, as The Ticket noted here, Clyburn didn’t help his old ally. In fact, he started to quietly tilt toward Obama, whom he eventually endorsed after the primary. And Clyburn and the ex-president are not talking much anymore.

Last week, tucked inside a short announcement of White House nominations being sent to the Senate for confirmation was a little-noticed line: ‘Mignon L. Clyburn, of South Carolina, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission for a term of five years.’

Clyburn is the eldest daughter of James Clyburn and a member of South Carolina’s Public Service Commission. She’s also a former weekly newspaper publisher. Now, the nation’s first African American president has nominated someone who would become the nation’s first African American female member of the FCC.

But there’s probably no connection with last year’s maneuvering.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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