Evie previewed it this morning, and now the verdict is in on Waxman vs. Dingell. House Democrats voted 137-122 in favor of giving California Rep. Henry Waxman the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Michigan's John Dingell, the top Democrat on the powerful committee for the past 28 years, will hand over the reins when the 111th Congress convenes in January. Dingell's defeat is seen by some as a blow to the bailout hopes of the "Big Three" who have often counted on the 27-term (soon to be 28-term) Michigan Congressman to defend their interests. The move also strikes a blow to the seniority system in the House.
There's no doubt Waxman, who has been the top Democrat on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform since 1997, has what it takes to run a hearing room. Now we'll get to see if he plans to give Ford, GM, and Chrysler the Roger Clemens treatment.