Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz the New 'Speaker In Waiting'?

If Obama snares Rep. Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, someone will move up in the House leadership.

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With Barack Obama offering the chief of staff gig to Rahm Emanuel, who, as House Democratic Caucus chairman, ranks fourth in the party's House hierarchy, there's already speculation about who will move up the chamber's chain of command. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was prodded last night by reporters about whether she might end up as part of the Democratic House leadership. She quickly demurred. "I'm not planning to be 'speaker in waiting,' I'm going to roll up my sleeves," she said. Why that term? It was used for Emanuel because he was known to want the top House job and the three leaders above him—Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 68, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 69, and Democratic Whip James Clyburn, 68—are much older than Emanuel, 48. Wasserman Schultz is 42. While initially a Hillary Clinton backer, Wasserman Schultz became known in this election cycle for her colorful TV appearances on behalf of Obama. Last night, right after the race was called, she told Whispers that she'd be "going to Disney World" to celebrate Obama's victory if she were back home in Florida. She was also relieved that 2008 didn't see a repeat of the 2000 Florida voting debacle. "You know, it went really well in Florida," Wasserman Schultz said. "The lines were just incredibly long, so we're going to have to make the process more efficient." How long exactly? The congresswoman said she waited six hours on Sunday to vote early. "It was crazy, but I got to know my neighbors," she told us.

—Nikki Schwab