Taking a gratuitous shot at Republicans at the end of his Wednesday MSNBC show, The Daily Rundown, NBC political director Chuck Todd insisted on making this declaration: "By the way, though, all of the committee chairs in the House Republican conference....All white men....Picture of the party's potential problems." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd, who is himself a white man, was reacting to Democratic strategist Karen Finney making a "shameless plug" for the number of women elected to Congress, who she hoped would bring "a little bit of sanity to the process." As Todd hit the House GOP, Finney chimed in: "White men....Very representative."
Even The Huffington Post gave House Republicans fairer treatment on the issue:
A House Republican leadership aide declined to comment on the lack of diversity in the party's committee leadership. The aide noted, though, that GOP leaders just put four women in party leadership. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) is the new House Republican Conference Chair, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) is conference vice chair, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) is conference secretary, and Rep.-elect Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) will represent freshman members in party leadership.
To be fair, House committee chairs are typically chosen based on their seniority on the committee, and most committees don't have Republican women or minorities at senior levels. In addition, there just aren't that many House Republican women and minorities to go around. In the 113th Congress, which kicks off in January, House Republicans will have 20 women in their camp, compared to 61 House Democratic women.
Here is a transcript of the brief November 28 exchange:
CHUCK TODD: Karen.
KAREN FINNEY: Record number of women in Congress, got to give them a shameless plug. I hope it brings a little bit of sanity to the process.
TODD: By the way, though, all of the committee chairs in the House Republican conference-
FINNEY: White men.
TODD: All white men.
FINNEY: Very representative.
TODD: Picture of the party's potential problems.