Rep. Joe Wilson Explores Bid for House Foreign Affairs Committee

“Rep. Joe Wilson, best remembered outside Washington as the guy who shouted “You lie” at President Barack Obama, is exploring a bid to be the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

It would be a chance for the South Carolina Republican to push a legislative agenda he’s been cultivating for years as a foreign policy wonk and prolific world traveler.

Some members on the House Republican Steering Committee — a mix of leadership and rank-and-file lawmakers who recommend committee chairmanships — are urging Wilson to pursue the Foreign Affairs gavel after current Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., retires.

“He is within a handful of members of the House of Representatives that the Pentagon will know and people throughout the world will know,” said Graham, whose portfolio also includes foreign policy and military affairs. “This would be a good match of the man and the moment.”

Democrats also aren’t balking at the concept of the fifth most senior committee member climbing up the ranks.

Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a senior committee Democrat who only became acquainted with Wilson after the 2009 incident, called Wilson “a gentleman” and “a very civil and considerate colleague.”

In political circles, Wilson is not known as a bomb thrower, but as courtly, enthusiastic, eccentric and above all likable. He’s famous for giving out campaign keychains, showing off fading family photos covered in protective plastic and inviting members to meet with any foreign dignitary he happens to be hosting at any given time.”

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