November 14th, 2012
09:09 AM ET

New U.S. House: Women and minorities to the left; white men to the right

By Halimah Abdullah, CNN

Washington (CNN) - When the incoming U.S. House freshmen of the 113th Congress take their class photo, the image will reflect two very different visions of the nation.

On the Democratic side: Women and minorities - a coalition that, along with young voters, largely helped re-elect President Barack Obama - collectively will for the first time in the nation's history outnumber white male Democrats.

On the Republican side: The majority of the House seats will be held by white men - a group which far outnumbers the now dwindled numbers of House GOP women and minorities after the losses of two minority members and about a half dozen women from that caucus.

"They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well the picture that you see before you is worth millions of votes, millions of aspirations and dreams of the American people for problem-solvers to come to Washington to get to the job done, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in welcoming the incoming freshman class to the Capitol for orientation.

"Today we officially welcome our Democratic freshmen to Washington. They are extraordinary leaders who will make our House Democratic caucus the first caucus in history, in the history of civilized government, to have a majority of women and minorities in the caucus."

It also symbolizes something else that is more troubling politically.

"It's basically a sign that both parties are distilling to their core, and they are living in parallel universes," said David Wasserman, House editor for the Cook Political Report.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Ethnicity • History • How we look • Politics • Race • Women
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Jorge

    You think this is new??? What about when most of the South turned from Dixiecrat to GOP in anger over the Civil Rights Act in 1964?? How about David Duke's run as Louisiana State Representative for the GOP, or Jesse Helms five-term run as U.S. senator for North Carolina on the bigot ticket?? So now minorities have to forget all about the past and say "yessuh" again????

    November 16, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Name*Gi Jon

    There are plenty of white male democrats cnn just trying to stir up animosity toward the gop

    November 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |