Dec 1, 2022
Hakeem Jeffries elected to lead House Democrats’ next generation Transcript
Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries made history in Washington. He’s now the most powerful Democrat in the House after being elected to be the next minority leader. Read the transcript here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries made history in Washington today. He is now the most powerful Democrat in the house after being elected to be the next minority leader. CBS2’s Dick Brennan here in studio with more. Dick.
Dick Brennan (00:12):
Well, Christine. This is truly an extraordinary accession to power. Jeffrey succeeds Nancy Pelosi to party leader and becomes the first black man to lead a congressional party, and today he saluted the first black woman elected to Congress a generation ago.
Hakeem Jeffries (00:27):
I stand on the shoulders of people like Shirley Chisholm and so many others as we work to advance the ball for everyday Americans and get stuff done.
Dick Brennan (00:38):
For Hakeem Jeffries, it was an extraordinary rise to power from Brooklyn, USA to Washington, DC.
Hakeem Jeffries (00:44):
I was born at Brooklyn Hospital, raised in Crown Heights by my two parents who were public employees, a case worker and a social worker in a middle class, working class neighborhood in the midst of the crack cocaine epidemic.
Dick Brennan (01:01):
Jeffries is 52, 30 years younger than the outgoing house speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Basil Smikle (01:05):
This is at a remarkable moment in history because of the fact that you have this young African American leading the Democrats nationally in the house. It’s an extraordinary amount of power.
Dick Brennan (01:18):
A long time staffer says Jeffries will be a formidable opponent for Republicans.
Michael Hardaway (01:22):
He has a mind like a computer. He’s absolutely brilliant, and so he remembers every single detail of everything.
Dick Brennan (01:29):
And talk about Brooklyn in the House, Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, was delighted that a fellow native has joined him.
Chuck Schumer (01:35):
Growing up in Brooklyn, that crucible of Brooklyn, that strengthens your tests, strengthens your metal and tests your metal.
Dick Brennan (01:42):
Jeffries will have to manage a sometimes fractured Democratic caucus.
Basil Smikle (01:46):
He is going to have to walk a very thin line and have a balancing act that weighs a lot of different interests. But you know what, that’s the job of the leader.
Dick Brennan (01:55):
A leader with a style all his own, and a pension for weaving in the legacy of hip hop.
Hakeem Jeffries (02:00):
That is why we are here, Mr. Sekulow. And if you don’t know, now you know. One of my constituents said, “Aren’t you the congressman that shouted out Biggie Smalls on the house floor two years ago?” I said, “Yeah, that was me.” “You’re the number five Democrat in the House of Representatives. How did that happen?” And the only way that I could respond by quoting the Biggie Smalls lyric, which is, “You never thought that hip hop would take it this far?”
Dick Brennan (02:27):
Representative Katherine Clark in Massachusetts was elected Whip and representative Pete Aguilar of California as the Chairman of the Party Caucus. So for the first time, the Democratic power leadership contains no white men. Christine.
Dick, thank you.