It is expected that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will step down in 2017 following the election, after taking over the RNC in 2011. According to The Hill, maneuvering for his job has already begun long before he has been handed an office box and told to pack up his things while a security guard keeps a wary eye on him.
During his tenure, Reince first watched Mitt Romney lose to an incumbent Barack Obama which was, quite frankly, an uphill battle. Reince then then stood by, gawking helplessly as a Godzilla-like Donald Trump stomped and trampled his way through the primaries to become the bloated orange face of the party.
Depending upon on how the election pans out, Reince will either disappear into the dustbin of “remember that guy with the weird name?” or — should Trump somehow pull it out — will be hailed as a savior for deploying “rope-a-dope” strategy by covering up and letting the Democrats punch themselves senseless in the face.
Because Democrats are pretty good at that when they get a big lead.
But what about Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz?
Like Preibus, she also took over in 2011, only she he was hand-selected by Obama. After five years in the big chair, she’s the longest serving DNC head dating back to Robert Strauss from 1972-77 during the Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford years.
Despite being a loyal foot soldier for the Democratic Party, Wasserman Shultz has been …. problematic for Democrats despite being very good at her main job — which is shaking down contributors for money.
Wasserman Shultz has been somewhat hamstrung by all of the president’s men who blocked some of her initiatives while letting her take the fall when things went south — like the midterms.
That comes with the job, as political adviser Hillary Rosen pointed out when she said, “They kicked the shit out of Howard Dean. They kicked the shit out of Terry McAuliffe. It’s part of being the DNC chair.”
Adding to Wasserman’s troubles is the fact that she has never been considered likeable, coming in last among Obama surrogates in a popularity poll commissioned by the president’s keepers.
Since that time she has become a punching bag for Democrats for her TV appearances which never seem to end well, to the belief that she is too beholden to Hillary Clinton (this is a “Bernie Thing” primarily). Then there was her decision to water-down a bill to regulate payday lenders — who are the child molesters of the bank and Wall Street criminal class.
It should be noted that Wasserman Shultz has been rewarded well for her work in the service of money-vampires who prey on the poor.
All of this, combined with her overlong tenure, makes Wasserman Shultz’s departure from the DNC after the election –because one does not change horses in the middle of the stream, I am told — a hell of a good idea.
As I’ve said before, a figurative peace offering of Wasserman Schultz’s head on a plate to the Berniecrats, particularly when an exit strategy is already in place, might put out the Bern before Philadelphia.
DNC chairpersons have what sounds like complex jobs, but like CEO’s of most every large entity, they don’t actually get under the hood and tinker away. They just point the way and wield the whip.
In an atmosphere of intense scrutiny by our 24-hour feed-the-beast cable culture and 140-character “Tweet-storms” it is helpful to have someone who can be the face of the party without many of the restraints the president or House and Senate party leaders are under.
This becomes increasingly particularly important under President Hillary who is, let’s be fair, not her husband when it comes to messaging.
- Looped into the DC culture/power structure
- Ability to bring in the big bucks
- Stays on message
- Be whip-smart and able to think quickly when cornered
- The ability to charm the pants off of even the most adversarial journalists or opponents.
Since Bill Clinton will undoubtedly already be tied up doing First Husband stuff, here are are some suggestions that are less “white man in a grey suit” and more “I’d totally watch them on Meet the Press despite Chuck Todd” friendly.
In no particular order, outside of the last should be the first considered….
Commentator Van Jones
Jones, who has recently been highly critical of Wasserman Schultz, has experience in both activism and the White House working as Obama’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs. He’s media savvy and has a reputation as being innovative. He’s a graduate of Yale Law School, and has experience with non-profits and fundraising. His recent attacks on Wasserman Schultz also sends a message to the progressive wing that they also have someone on their side. This would be his chance to put his mouth where the money is.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
I’m personally not a fan of Congressional officeholders holding the position because it can lead to conflicts of interest (see: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie) but Gillibrand is a Hillary loyalist which would make her exceedingly palatable to the White House. Money? She’s a New York Senator so that’s probably in her wheelhouse. She’s very quick on her feet and charming as hell when speaking. As a rising star in the Democratic party (Democrats have “rising stars.” Republicans have “rock stars” .. like Marco Rubio) getting her in front of the cameras would be a win-win for the future of the party.
Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez
Perez is a wildcard. Although he is not that well known, he’s rumored to be on Hillary’s short list. Why? Because he’s nothing short of brilliant and has a terrific progressive background in labor and civil rights. Fundraising might not be his strong point, but he is an effective and witty deliverer of party messaging that doesn’t sound canned.
Don’t take my word for it, watch him with Bill Maher in April of this year:
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm
Granholm is both the former Attorney General and former Governor of Michigan who seamlessly moved from politics to broadcasting. As governor she was an effective spokesperson during the auto bailout and has deep connections to both the Obama White House and to Clinton. On camera she is … feisty.
Watch her here on CNN:
And finally…. this guy:
Vice President Joe Biden
I’m not joking. Do I even have to say anything?
Joe Biden for DNC head. Make it happen.