Predictably, Wasserman Schultz Ruined The First Day Of Hillary's Convention-- How Much Damage Will She Do?
The Trumpist catastrophe in Cleveland last week tee-ed up the perfect beginning for a united Democratic Party convention in Philly today. But the "United Together" theme some marketing consultant got paid so much to come up with, turned into "United Apart," complements of Debbie the Destroyer. And instead, the first images on national television were of Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz being boo-ed off the stage at a Florida delegates meeting. And people wondering about Clinton's leadership abilities... if she can't even get this toxic freak show off center stage, how is she going to run the country? What is Mook or Podesta worth if they can't hand #DebtTrapDebbie a plane ticket back to Weston and ask her not to show her face outside of her district for the next three and a half months? Instead, they put out a tone deaf press release that had Hillary saying "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." Terrible optics-- and terrible idea. Who in their right mind wants someone as toxic and representative of cheating, entitlement, lying and failure as a surrogate?
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a figure of disdain inside and outside the Democratic Party. Obama, who saddled the party with her (after Tim Kaine's unsuccessful stint at the DNC), should appoint her ambassador to Ruthenia or Manchukuo and let the Senate put an end to her public career. She;'s been on a path to hell for over a decade and only idiots refused to recognize that after she helped the Republican state senate in Florida gerrymander up the state to GOP advantage while she was able to draw herself a safe congressional district. Later, she confirmed what kind of a politicians she is when, as head of the DCCC's Red-to-Blue program, she publicly sabotaged 3 Democratic candidates in South Florida to help her Republican pals, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers. (She's still playing those old cards to this day.)
She's still refusing to get up in front of her own Broward and Miami-Dade county constituents and debate her primary foe, Tim Canova, using her role at the DNC as the excuse. Tim just turned her role at the DNC against her with an FEC complaint.
"Our lawyers are preparing a complaint against Wasserman Schultz that we will file with the FEC for her wrongful use of DNC resources in her campaign against me, based on the wikileaks disclosures."Over at Politico this morning, Glenn Thrush, Gabriel Debenedetti and Edwards-Isaac Dovere dug deeper into the behind the scenes efforts to get rid of Wasserman Schultz and how Obama aides had been urging him to dump her for almost a year. The Clintons claim they wanted her out as well. Now the Obama and Clinton people are pointing fingers at each other about whose fault it really is that this two-legged toxic dump remained head of the DNC for so long. When it finally came down yesterday, it made the Obama and Clinton teams look weak, pathetic and without agency. "The move had to happen on Sunday, said a senior Democrat: Sanders-supporting delegates-- without the buy-in of his campaign-- had been organizing an effort over the preceding day to have state delegations vote to demand her resignation at the Monday morning caucus breakfasts. Given the number of delegations in which Sanders supporters are the majority, the movement would likely have spread, overtaking any other news on the convention’s opening day."
John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman-- and a former top adviser to Barack Obama-- broached the idea of replacing Wasserman Schultz as early as last fall, only to be rebuffed by the president’s team, according to two people with direct knowledge of the conversation.This was Tim Canova's message to South Florida voters this morning: "There is no question now that our opponent, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, abused her position at the DNC to unduly influence the presidential primary and to assist in her re-election campaign, which is a clear violation of federal law. I am glad to hear that she will be stepping down as DNC Chair this week. She was terrible at the job, but she should also be resigning from Congress as well. In my view, she has embarrassed herself and the people of South Florida in this debacle. And if she refuses to resign from Congress, then we have a responsibility to ensure the end of her political career by winning this primary next month. Now that she's been relieved of her party position, Wasserman Schultz should have ample time to defend her record in public debate. She has spoken in the past about the importance of debates in a democracy, yet she has dodged debates against me. The people of South Florida deserve to hear from all the candidates, including their representative who is supposed to serve their interests. I hope we will be able to force Wasserman Schultz to match her own words with action by debating me in the days to come."
“It came down to the fact that the president didn’t want the hassle of getting rid of Debbie,” said a former top Obama adviser. “It’s been a huge problem for the Clintons, but the president just didn’t want the headache of Debbie bad-mouthing him. ... It was a huge pain in the ass.”
The Obama team-- especially 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina-- long viewed Wasserman Schultz as a major campaign liability, questioning her fundraising prowess and her tendency to appoint personal aides to positions of authority, prioritizing loyalty over competence and effectiveness as a spokesperson for Democrats. At the time, senior campaign officials leaked details of an internal survey, conducted by pollster David Binder, showing Wasserman Schultz was the least-liked Obama surrogate; she later dismissed the report as National Enquirer dross.
After Obama’s 2012 victory, Messina and longtime political adviser Patrick Gaspard, who worked under Wasserman Schultz at the DNC, pressed the president to push her out, advising that he tap former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak as her replacement. Obama-- who cared little for the party machinations-- figured the move would be more trouble than it was worth and told his aides that he was OK having Wasserman Schultz serve as chairwoman until he left office. “It’s embarrassing that Obama left the problem for Hillary,” one former West Wing adviser told Politico.
...[T]he Clinton campaign was very much involved in the DNC chair’s defenestration. Earlier in the day Sunday, Sanders had again suggested that Wasserman Schultz should resign — and DNC officials announced she would be replaced as convention chair by Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, an influential member of the Congressional Black Caucus. By sundown-- after intense negotiations with senior Clinton campaign officials-- the committee tapped longtime Clinton aide, TV surrogate and party vice-chair Donna Brazile as interim chairwoman.
It was an embarrassing episode-- and a sign of discord that Republicans, fresh off their own fractious convention pounced on. “I know firsthand how hard it is being the chair of a national party, but when you rig a system and spread emails around with each other and senior staff in that matter, this outcome is inevitable,” said Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, during a news conference here on Sunday, barely suppressing his glee. “Obviously, the end has come and I don’t think there was any other outcome that was foreseeable. These events show what an uphill climb the Democrats were facing in unifying their party.”
But, to senior Democrats, it also represented a clean-up operation that brought Clinton and Sanders-- who has demanded her ouster for months-- into closer alignment a day before the Vermont senator was due to deliver his opening-night endorsement of an opponent he long accused of rigging the election with the help of the D.C.-based party establishment.
...“This was the right move. She doesn’t deserve every attack that’s been thrown at her, but her faults have become too big a distraction and she hasn’t deftly managed the internal politics involved in managing a national committee,” said a DNC staffer. “The DNC should be playing a consequential role in the general election and that hasn't been possible as long as she’s been in charge.”
All the while, state party chairs had been emailing each other in semi-panic, receiving no response from national committee staff as speculation about a move heated up throughout the weekend. The same held true for party fundraisers, even those at a DNC retreat in town on Sunday, who were blindsided by the party’s split-second reorganization.
Team Sanders got no warning either, but they were immediately cheered by the installation of Brazile. They had instructed Clinton aides in May-- the last time speculation swirled about Wasserman Schultz’s exit-- that he party vice-chair would be preferable, and they regarded her as better than Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's option at the time, as well.
Inside the White House, aides and lawyers have been poring through the Wikileaks dump all weekend. There’s a lot of flagging of potential problems, but also a lot of eyerolling and disbelief about what Wasserman Schultz and her staff were thinking, and that they were putting it in emails.
Still, Obama didn’t get involved at all as Wasserman Schultz was at the brink. Whenever the topic of replacing her came up, despite the fact that the president had lost patience with her years ago and generally avoided having to talk to her, he’d always felt that forcing her out wasn't worth the trouble it would bring.
As the election got underway, he felt the leadership questions should be left to Clinton. And this weekend, as conversations between her Brooklyn headquarters and Wasserman Schultz intensified, neither the president nor his staff was involved. Once the decision was made, Wasserman Schultz called White House political director David Simas to tell him, and Simas then told the president. Obama decided to call to thank her for her work. The conversation was full of platitudes, a source familiar with the discussion said. He didn't go out of his way to say he was sorry to see her go, and certainly didn’t twist her arm to get her to reconsider.
...“We all knew this was coming yesterday after the WikiLeaks news, it felt like it had to happen. It was just a question of the timing, to be honest,” said one state party chair. “A lot of us thought this was going to happen a month ago. That would've been a more opportune time to do it. ... You won’t find a lot of fans of hers among state chairs, but this is shitty timing.”
It was inevitable that she would ruin day one of the convention-- and Hillary, Obama and their inept cronies earned it. Now it's up to the Democratic voters in Florida's 23rd congressional district to get rid of her for good-- on August 30-- and replace her with good government reformer Tim Canova. You can help here, by tapping the thermometer and contributing what you can.