Congressman James E. Clyburn

Proudly Serving the 6th District of South Carolina


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April 04, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn (SC-06) released the newest edition of the Clyburn Chronicles podcast featuring Steve Benjamin, former mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, current Senior Advisor to the President, and Director of the Office of Public Engagement in the Biden Administration.

Benjamin began by explaining the importance of the Office of Public Engagement, which he describes as “the front door to the White House.”

“My grandmother would say, ‘You know, God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason: You listen twice as much as you talk.’ It's one thing to go and tell people the great things that are happening under the Administration's leadership,” said Benjamin. “It’s more valuable to actually be able to listen and to get constructive input, constructive criticism from people, about, okay, this is what's happening on the ground where real people are working every single day to live up to their God given potential.”

The pair also underscored the importance of reconnecting communities that have been divided by previous generations of American infrastructure — a core component of Benjamin’s work in the Biden Administration.

“When you reconnect these communities, you give people an opportunity to interact with each other. You give businesses a chance to grow and flourish, and you improve the lives of children, being able to really go to school in their communities rather than getting bussed out of communities,” said Congressman Clyburn.

The two closed by connecting over the phenomenon of Republicans voting against signature pieces of the President’s agenda but taking credit for the recent influx of investments in their communities.

Congressman Clyburn explained that rather than attend a campaign fundraiser in New York, he went and “talked about rural water down in Berkeley County. A tremendous $24 million addition we're making to that water system down there. So, I decided I'll stay here, and go to that groundbreaking, so nobody else will get the credit.”

Benjamin laughed, saying “Because, you know they'll vote no, and they'll show up at the groundbreaking or the ribbon cutting and everything else. You've got to go make sure you go.”

You can listen to the full episode here.