Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will become one of five vice chairs of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC will make it official at its meeting this weekend in Chicago.
“Mayor Rybak was the first mayor of a large U.S. city to endorse President Obama’s presidential campaign in early 2007,” DNC CHair Debbie Wasserman Schultz wrote in her nomination letter to the DNC. “He is a strong voice for mayors within the party, an an incredible surrogate for the president and Democrats.”
Rybak called the appointment a “tremendous honor” and said he viewed his chief role as vice chair to campaign heavily for President Obama’s re-election.
“I was basically asked to do a lot of things officially this time that I did unofficially in the last race,” Rybak said
Rybak said he put every “ounce of his energy” into getting Obama elected in 2008. He said he expects to be making many campaign appearances on Obama’s behalf and expects to appear on cable TV News pushing Obama’s policies.
“I’m going to spend less time sitting on the couch watching TV and more time maybe going on TV and talking about the fact that we have a great man in the White House and he needs four more years,” Rybak said.
Rybak said his new role will not impact his duties as mayor.
In terms of Obama’s low approval ratings, Rybak said there are several Republicans who have decided they will do nothing to help Obama. He acknowledged that many Democrats, including himself, have been frustrated that the president hasn’t been more aggressive in criticizing Republicans. But Rybak said Obama is working to heal a partisan country.
“We have a leader who in tough times have put his own political standing to try to heal a divided country,” he said.
Rybak said he’s also scheduled to speak with Obama this afternoon to discuss Obama’s Thursday night speech on the economy. Rybak said Obama’s policies prevented deeper economic problems for the country. He said the president’s true test will be to convince a skeptical public that is frustrated with the nation’s economic problems.
Here’s the letter from Wasserman Schultz: