NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns as Chair of the Democratic National Committee

Embat­tled Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee Chair Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz has announced that she will resign from her post once the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion has con­clud­ed, the par­ty said in a state­ment today.

Wasser­man Schultz, who also serves in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, has been under fire for some time from par­ty lead­ers and activists unhap­py with her man­age­ment of the par­ty.

Bernie Sanders has been call­ing for her res­ig­na­tion for weeks, and many of his sup­port­ers have been call­ing for her ouster for even longer than that.

It is worth not­ing that Wasser­man Schultz was not cho­sen as DNC Chair in a com­pet­i­tive elec­tion by the mem­bers of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee.

Rather, she was picked by Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s advi­sors, who mis­tak­en­ly thought she’d make a good suc­ces­sor to Tim Kaine when he stepped down to run for Unit­ed States Sen­ate in Vir­ginia. Kaine is now Clin­ton’s run­ning mate.

(The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has a non­sen­si­cal tra­di­tion of allow­ing the White House to select the par­ty chair when the pres­i­den­cy is held by a Demo­c­rat — a prac­tice that I, in my capac­i­ty as a Demo­c­ra­t­ic activist, am deter­mined to abol­ish.)

From the begin­ning, Wasser­man Schultz was an inef­fec­tive chair who could not get things done well, or at all. Her tenure has been marked by a series of elec­toral loss­es, fias­cos, and set­backs for the par­ty.

Under Wasser­man Schultz, Democ­rats suf­fered mas­sive loss­es in the 2014 midterms, missed out on earned media due to a poor­ly thought-out pres­i­den­tial debate sched­ule, had data stolen in a breach of the DNC’s com­put­er sys­tems, and need­less­ly engaged in mul­ti­ple pub­lic feuds with the Sanders cam­paign (includ­ing over Vote­Builder access last Decem­ber).

The par­ty’s media out­reach under Wasser­man Schultz was also incred­i­bly weak.

Many Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty lead­ers believe Wasser­man Schultz should have resigned or been forced out months ago, par­tic­u­lar­ly when it became appar­ent she had lost the con­fi­dence and trust of her own vice chairs.

But inex­plic­a­bly, she has remained in charge. Until now.

This week­end, Wasser­man Schultz called Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, report­ed­ly to offer her res­ig­na­tion. But it is not his to accept.

Wasser­man Schultz is sup­posed to be the leader of a par­ty that lives up to his name. The par­ty grass­roots has already been demand­ing Wasser­man Schultz’s res­ig­na­tion for a long time. I don’t know a sin­gle Demo­c­ra­t­ic activist who approves of her job per­for­mance. It is appro­pri­ate that she is final­ly lis­ten­ing.

POSTSCRIPT: Hillary Clin­ton, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, and Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden have all pre­dictably issued state­ments thank­ing Wasser­man Schultz for her ser­vice.

Clin­ton’s:

I want to thank my long­time friend Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz for her lead­er­ship of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee over the past five years. I am grate­ful to Deb­bie for get­ting the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty to this year’s his­toric con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia, and I know that this week’s events will be a suc­cess thanks to her hard work and lead­er­ship.

There’s sim­ply no one bet­ter at tak­ing the fight to the Repub­li­cans than Deb­bie — which is why I am glad that she has agreed to serve as hon­orary chair of my cam­paign’s 50-state pro­gram to gain ground and elect Democ­rats in every part of the coun­try, and will con­tin­ue to serve as a sur­ro­gate for my cam­paign nation­al­ly, in Flori­da, and in oth­er key states. I look for­ward to cam­paign­ing with Deb­bie in Flori­da and help­ing her in her re-elec­tion bid–because as Pres­i­dent, I will need fight­ers like Deb­bie in Con­gress who are ready on day one to get to work for the Amer­i­can peo­ple.

Oba­ma’s:

For the last eight years, Chair­woman Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz has had my back. This after­noon, I called her to let her know that I am grate­ful. Her lead­er­ship of the DNC has meant that we had some­one who brought Democ­rats togeth­er not just for my re-elec­tion cam­paign, but for accom­plish­ing the shared goals we have had for our coun­try.  Her crit­i­cal role in sup­port­ing our eco­nom­ic recov­ery, our fights for social and civ­il jus­tice and pro­vid­ing health care for all Amer­i­cans will be a hall­mark of her tenure as Par­ty Chair.

Her fundrais­ing and orga­niz­ing skills were matched only by her pas­sion, her com­mit­ment and her warmth.

And no one works hard­er for her con­stituents in Con­gress than Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz. Michelle and I are grate­ful for her efforts, we know she will con­tin­ue to serve our coun­try as a mem­ber of Con­gress from Flori­da and she will always be our dear friend.

Biden’s:

Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz has had the President’s and my back over the last eight years—and we’re incred­i­bly grate­ful.

She’s been part of our efforts to build an econ­o­my from the mid­dle-out, to deliv­er qual­i­ty, afford­able health care to mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, and to pro­tect equal rights for every­one.

Gov­ern­ing is seri­ous busi­ness. The coun­try deserves — and needs — seri­ous lead­ers like Deb­bie.

A fight­er for women’s health and rights. A fierce advo­cate for seniors and work­ing fam­i­lies. A Con­gress­woman who knows her first job is serv­ing her constituents—and her first oblig­a­tion is always to her beau­ti­ful family—Steve, Jake, Rebec­ca, and Shel­by. Deb­bie is an incred­i­ble pub­lic ser­vant, and she will always be my friend.

Bernie Sanders had a very dif­fer­ent take:

Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz has made the right deci­sion for the future of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. While she deserves thanks for her years of ser­vice, the par­ty now needs new lead­er­ship that will open the doors of the par­ty and wel­come in work­ing peo­ple and young peo­ple. The par­ty lead­er­ship must also always remain impar­tial in the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nat­ing process, some­thing which did not occur in the 2016 race.

Tim Cano­va, Wasser­man Schultz’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic pri­ma­ry chal­lenger in Flori­da’s 23rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, who is seek­ing to replace Schultz in Con­gress, said:

Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz has resigned from the DNC and now it’s time for her to step up and debate me or drop out of our House race. Her inter­ests lie not with her con­stituents, but rather in the inter­ests of cor­rupt spe­cial inter­ests groups and her­self.

It’s time for a change in South Flori­da.

Wasser­man Schultz will per­form her final duties as Chair this week at the Con­ven­tion, and then Don­na Brazile will become the inter­im Chair.

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One Comment

  1. I thought that Mrs. Wasser­man Schultz should have been replaced after the 2014 sen­ate deba­cle and had spo­ken with our state’s DNC reps about how to replace her.

    # by Mike Barer :: July 24th, 2016 at 8:50 PM