The Democrats’ search for a savior — a party chairman — is tilting toward Minneapolis U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, but it’s not hard to miss the clear dissatisfaction with the choices party leaders have been given, Politico indicates in a survey of them today.
“I’m hoping that there’s another candidate that’s going to emerge. I’m not really happy with the candidates that are out there,” Illinois committeeman Daniel Hynes tells Politico. “I don’t know who that person is, I just think it’s someone who’s detached from Washington, somebody who’s full-time, somebody who’s from the moderate side of the party, and somebody who’s going to steer the party back towards our ability to appeal to middle-class working Americans.”
Many Democrats are still holding Ellison’s support for Bernie Sanders against him, feeling that Sanders “mortally wounded” Clinton’s campaign.
“Ellison is not the front-runner, Ellison has no chance at all,” said Tennessee committeeman William Owens, giving voice to that view. “I’m a Hillary person. Bill Clinton said, ‘I’ll be with you till the last dog dies,’ and I’m the last dog.
I will not vote for Keith Ellison, I will not vote for a Bernie person. I think they cost Hillary the election and now they’re going to live with Donald Trump. Donald Trump asks, ‘what do you have to lose?’ Nothing, except life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports Labor Secretary Tom Perez is about to jump into the fray.
He’ll announce tomorrow, the paper says, describing it as a likely battle between the old guard and newer progressives. In other words: A Clinton vs. Sanders battle.
Perez’s decision is seen as an effort by the exiting Obama-era leadership to keep control of the party in trusted hands. For Sanders supporters, for whom Hillary Clinton’s loss provided bitter vindication, that’s a strike against Perez. From inside the Obama administration, Perez had supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a non-starter for many progressives.
“A Perez candidacy will undoubtedly create another Clinton-vs.-Sanders debate and divide the party,” said Jane Fleming Kleeb, a climate change activist and Ellison backer who chairs the Nebraska Democrats. “Tom Perez is another suit, and we don’t need another suit running the party. We need someone from middle America who knows how to organize and respects the grass roots.”