In a note to staff on her first official workday as acting
chair of the FCC, Mignon Clyburn said she saw herself as running the middle leg
of a relay race, eventually handing off to the president's nominee, Tom
"My job is to build on forward momentum, give the next
teammate a running start, an improved position, and no matter what, my goal is
not to drop the baton," she said.
She said she planned to model her tenure -- expected to be
several months -- on her former colleague and also acting chair, Mike Copps.
"He approached this job with seriousness, humility, and led this agency
through the completion of the DTV transition -- a major accomplishment."
Clyburn said the two things that set the FCC apart were its
people, which she called "world-class talent," and its mission to
accelerate "the communications revolution that's transforming our economy,
and the way we live."
She said her twin goals would be continuity and progress.
Clyburn will serve until Wheeler can be confirmed by the
Senate to succeed chairman Julius Genachowski. That almost certainly won't
happen until a Republican has been similarly named and vetted for the seat
vacated by Robert McDowell. Both McDowell and Genachowski exited May 17. Some
are predicting that could take until early fall. Copps served about six
months in the acting post.
The Senate Commerce Committee could hold a
nomination hearing on Wheeler as early as the week after next -- the Senate is
off next week for the Memorial Day break. But Wheeler is unlikely to get a
full-senate vote until there is a Republican paired with him.