Race for DNC chair is round 2 of Sanders vs. Clinton

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.”

  • jon

    //“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,”

    Sounds more like a re-hash of Clinton vs. Trump :/

    • Yeah. Though I’m getting tired of this refrain from voters. It’s not as if they were innocent bystanders to the campaign.

      • rallysocks

        Very tired of it. And then to add, “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.”

        Well, I’m hoping to retire tomorrow…don’t know how that’s going to happen. Will it be a lottery ticket? Or the death of a rich relative whom I previously didn’t know about? Someone outside the family that’s randomly generous and has all the money I’ll ever need? Well, whatever…

        Yeah, great plan.

  • Mike Worcester

    Vox has an interesting take on this race also. The author believes that: “While Perez was a Clinton supporter and Ellison backed Sanders, both of
    them have long been understood to have solidly progressive credentials.
    Both are well-respected throughout the party, and both will likely say
    generally similar things about where Democrats should go (a better
    economic message, more organizing, and more focus on the states).”

    I get the sense from the article that the candidates for chair themselves are not trying to re-fight the 2015-16 primary, but that those around them seem to want to.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/12/14/13870482/dnc-chair-election-tom-perez-keith-ellison

    • MikeB

      Perez has the Obama stamp of approval, he can go farther than Ellison as to a wider outreach.

  • Rob

    I wish the Dems would spend more of their time erecting a massive wall of opposition to the incoming kakistocracy, instead of engaging in activities and comments that have the effect of normalizing it.

    • Mike Worcester

      I wish they would stop having their internal slap-fights (in public no less), and concentrate on what it takes to be an opposition party. Somewhere out there is a spine with their name on it….

      • Rob

        Yup. I call it “Obamaitis” – magically thinking that you can find common ground with people who are bound and determined to thwart you whenever and wherever posible.

  • Gary F

    Bernie “mortally wounded” Hillary’s campaign? Kinda the other way around.

    • rallysocks

      I had the exact same thought.

  • Anna

    In fighting is what led to the current election debacle.

    While I know very little about Perez, I like Keith Ellison although there are those who consider him too far left to pull the Democrats out of the political dungeon they find themselves in.

    It was noted early in the primary campaigns that Bernie Sanders could have held his own against Trump and likely would have beaten him.

    But that’s yesterday and this is today. All of it is water under the bridge.

    I campaigned for Howard Dean during the primary season in Iowa in 2003. I think he would have made for a happy medium but he’s pulled his hat out of the political boxing ring.

    Howard Dean started the grass roots campaign with Dean for America and would have given the other Democratic candidates, including Al Gore a run for their money if the media hadn’t pulled an exuberant reaction to his supporters out of context saddling him with an “unsuitable temperament.”

    Americans are fickle like sports fans. They can be your best friend when they are winning and getting what they want. Let the situation change in the slightest and they are crying foul.

    Gee…sounds like a president-elect I’ve heard about lately.

  • Rahm

    It is time for the gringos to let go their control over the Dum party.

    It is now the party of the non whites, and either the gringos gracefully go to the backseat or they will soon be pushed to the back seat.