While the South Carolina Congressional spotlight shone on the swearing-in of four GOP freshman congressmen this week, the lone Democrat left standing in the South Carolina Congressional Delegation, Sixth District Congressman James Clyburn, was soaking in the fact that his party is now in the minority in the U.S. Appearing on MSNBC Thursday, Clyburn talks about adjusting to change.
We’ll have our trials and tribulations. It’ll take some getting used to–looking up at the board and seeing all the red…That is going to be a problem for us. We are going to recognize that as a challenge for each and every one of us to stay focused on what the American people want us to focus on.
Clyburn moves from Majority Whip to the newly created position of Assistant Minority Leader, which makes him the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House.
Clyburn says he is always open to working with representatives on the other side of the aisle, especially his Republican counterparts from South Carolina. That would include freshman First District Congressman Tim Scott who wandered over to the Democratic side during the voting for Speaker of the House.
I kept looking for him on the other side, and all of a sudden something happened, I guess when he voted, and I noticed that he was on my side, and I went back and chatted with him. He’s a good guy, and I look forward to working with him. And I think it’s all about South Carolina, and we are going to be working together to make our state. We’ve got real problems in South Carolina. Unemployment is much higher than the national average. We have a big issue with our port. We’ve got to work together to get things done.
Clyburn and Scott represent adjoining districts that share parts of the South Carolina coast.
Clyburn says he knows that the battles with the Republican majority will be heated at times, but he is confident that he and fellow Democrats will be able to find common ground on many issues with John Boehner as Speaker of the House.
I’ve played a few rounds of golf with him. We’ve talked a lot just the two of us. I know a little bit about the kind of background and upbringing that he has had, though mine was more in a parsonage than where his was, but I know a little bit about that kind of background.
Boehner grew up in a family of 12 that considered themselves Kennedy Democrats. He was working in his family’s bar in Ohio by the time he was eight years old. Clyburn is the son of a minister.