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Rep. Jim Clyburn stops short of calling VP Kamala Harris ‘future’ of Democratic party

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) voiced some uncertainty on Sunday when asked if Vice President Kamala Harris is the future was the future of the Democratic Party.

“I see her as a part of that future. Absolutely,” Clyburn, 83, told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“She could very well be [the future]. I think she is running a very good campaign,” he added.

Clyburn, 83, who was credited with throwing a lifeline to then-candidate Joe Biden’s fledgling 2020 presidential campaign, still lavished praise on Harris.

“I look to her as a successor to this president, but I also know the history of that as well. It’s not a given you don’t automatically move up,” he said.

The longtime South Carolina congressman has served various House Democrat leadership positions since the early 2000s.

He was previously the House Majority Whip from 2019 to early 2023 when Republicans took over. Now, he serves as the House Assistant Democratic Leader.

WATCH: Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) stops short of calling Vice President Harris the future of the Democratic Party.@RepJamesClyburn: “She could very well be … It’s not a given. You don’t automatically move up. She’ll have to compete.”

Harris has been embarking on a monthlong college tour of sorts earlier this month, crisscrossing the country, seeking to gin up the youth vote with a message of freedom.

States on the itinerary include Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

She has a net -17.7 point unfavorable rating, while Biden’s sits at -15.3 points, according to the latest RealClearPolitics polling aggregate.

Clyburn emerged as a key figure in the 2020 Democrat primary.

Following a string of losses in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, that left his campaign on life-support, Biden managed to mount a comeback with South Carolina, which many political analysts attributed, in part, to Clyburn’s endorsement.

Clyburn emerged as a key figure in the 2020 Democrat primary.

The president has since pushed the Democrat National Committee to make South Carolina the leadoff state in presidential primary contests.

Clyburn, on Sunday, also downplayed concerns among some Democrats that Biden is at risk of hemorrhaging support among black Americans in the 2024 election.

During a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday night, Biden flubbed LL Cool J’s name and then referred to him as “boy,” before course-correcting.

“They will not stay at home. We understand what’s at stake here,” Clyburn replied when pressed about Biden’s support among black Americans.

“I was in that hall last night. I’ve been around here all week and African-Americans from all over country,” he continued, “and if you think he’s lost 17% of support among African-Americans, you just have another thing coming.

“He is not in any trouble with African Americans in this country. I guarantee you that.”

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