CQ reports that there may be some changes afoot in the chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:
Depending on how the Senate’s chairmanship shuffle unfolds, John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), might give up the intelligence gavel to take the helm at the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. If that happens, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), is likely to chair the intelligence panel, Senate aides say.
Rockefeller never truly wanted the gavel in the first place. I did a profile of him in 2003, and I learned that he felt in over his head on all the intelligence-related controversies about Iraq, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. As the years went on, he found more of his footing. But he’s remained something of a squish, acquiescing to a baseless GOP charge that Joe Wilson only took his fateful trip to Africa because his wife at the CIA wanted a fanciful junket for her husband; believing that Dick Cheney never pressured the agency to cook its WMD and terrorism analysis to support the Iraq invasion; or supporting the gutting of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act this year.
It’s no wonder that progressives call him Jello Jay. And if he ends up moving aside for Feinstein, an imperfect but more reliable voice for oversight and civil liberties, it would seem like Rockefeller and progressives would consider that win-win.