Why He Matters
A moderate Democrat, Larson eased into the office of House Democratic Caucus chair after Rahm Emanuel left the House to become chief of staff for President Barack Obama. Larson had won a three-way race for House Democratic Caucus vice chairman, the lowest-ranking post in the House Democratic leadership, in February 2006 after then-Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was appointed Senator. His position as vice-chair made him a natural choice to move up in the leadership, and he won easily.
Larson has been a harsh critic of the Iraq war from the beginning, and he proposed legislation in 2007 to rescind the president's authority to wage war there. He has worked to expand health-care and prescription-drug coverage throughout his time in the House, and has been a longtime advocate of alternative-energy sources, which are already being used in his home state of Connecticut.