The majority leader has the right to be called upon first if several senators are seeking recognition by the presiding officer, which enables him to offer motions or amendments before any other senator. Although party floor leadership posts carry great responsibility, they provide few specific powers. Instead, floor leaders have largely had to depend on their individual skill, intelligence, and personality. Majority leaders seek to balance the needs of senators of both parties to express their views fully on a bill with the pressures to move the bill as quickly as possible toward enactment. These conflicting demands have required majority leaders to develop skills in compromise, accommodation, and diplomacy. Lyndon Johnson, who held the post in the 1950s, once said that the greatest power of the majority leader was "the power of persuasion."
The majority leader usually works closely with the minority leader so that, as Senator Bob Dole explained, "we never surprise each other on the floor." The party leaders meet frequently with the president and with the leaders of the House of Representatives. The majority leader also greets foreign dignitaries visiting the Capitol.
The power of the Senate Majority turns largely on the talents of the Majority Leader who must be a person with great ideas and extremely political savvy.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton fits the bill perfectly. Her ideas and policy positions have won a clear mandate from the voters of America. She has demonstrated repeatedly an ability to work across the aisle to attain major legislative accomplishments; but she has also demonstrated that she will not simply cave to expediency (e.g. her vote on the FISA bill, her ongoing fight to ensure reproductive rights for all). As for meeting with foreign dignitaries, Senator Clinton is known and respected around the world. If her peers elect her as majority leader, this will send the message to all those abroad that she is just as respected here at home.
To become the Senate Majority Leader in 2009, Senator Clinton must win election to that position by being voted into it by her fellow Democratic Senators, a vote that occurs in early January.
To that end, we call upon all Democratic Senators to endorse our effort, particularly by signing the letter featured at the top of this page. Instructions for signing appear on the letter in the side bar.
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