WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn appears to be in line for a plum speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia later this month.
The South Carolina lawmaker — the third-ranking House Democrat and most senior black lawmaker in Congress — told The Post and Courier on Thursday he’s been informed he’s on the schedule to deliver remarks July 28, which is the last night of the four-day convention.
That’s also the same night that Hillary Clinton is expected to officially become the first woman to accept the presidential nomination on a major party ticket.
“My staff has informed me that I am tentatively listed as a Thursday night speaker,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn’s speech could also occur during prime time, when millions of viewers around the country are tuning into the nationally televised pageantry.
This won’t be the first time Clyburn has delivered speeches on the DNC stage. He spoke at the 2008 and 2012 nominating conventions for Barack Obama, the first black president. A late-week Clyburn speaking role at this convention would be particularly notable, however, given the lawmaker’s decades-long relationship with Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Clyburn’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton during the South Carolina Democratic primary earlier this year was a pivotal moment in her campaign against rival Bernie Sanders, helping her win the Palmetto State handily by a true landslide. It came eight years after Bill Clinton famously scolded Clyburn for not endorsing his wife during the 2008 South Carolina primary against Obama.
Clyburn, first elected to Congress in 1992 and now 75 years old, doesn’t have immediate plans to retire. But as a long-term politician and a parent to three daughters, the significance of the past three conventions is not lost on him.
“I do believe,” Clyburn said, “that if I can check out of this business and spend more time on the golf course, I can reflect on being a father, electing the first African-American president of the United States and the first woman president of the United States,” he said.
Emma Dumain is The Post and Courier’s Washington correspondent.