The House of Representatives may have a record number of women legislators next year, but they're mainly to be found in the ranks of out-of-power Democrats.
It is an unfortunate side effect of the paucity of Republican women who successfully contend for Congress that GOP wave elections tend to stall the overall advancement of women into the ranks of the House and Senate, while Democratic wave years lift their numbers.
And so it was in 2012. It wasn't quite a wave year for Democrats, but it was a surprisingly good one for them, considering the economic backdrop -- which meant it was a predictably good election for new women in the House and Senate. Thanks to the influx of Democratic women, along with a smattering of Republicans, the U.S. Congress in 2013 will have a record number of women senators and representatives.
But against this backdrop of increasing diversity, the leaders of the major House committees are going to continue to look like attendees of a private social club circa 1963 -- and also the leaders of the House committees in 1963. When the House Republican Steering Committee announced its recommendations for leaders of the major committees Tuesday, every listed figure was a white man.