Keith Ellison announced Wednesday that he would resign his seat in Congress if he wins the race for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. Politico reports Ellison released a statement which said, “In order to further their commitment and maximize my effectiveness, I have decided to resign as a member of Congress if I win the election for DNC chair.”
CBS Minnesota has more of Ellison’s statement:
“Since I threw my hat in the ring a few weeks ago for the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, I have had the privilege, pleasure, and benefit of listening to a great many party activists, including folks with long years of service and those brand new to the party. I have learned one thing: Democrats are ready for a massive comeback,” he said in a statement. “Whoever wins the DNC chair race faces a lot of work, travel, planning and resource raising. I will be ‘all-in’ to meet the challenge.”
Last month Ellison suggested he had enough energy to retain his seat in Congress and take on the DNC job. However, Democrats who are feeling disappointed with the work of previous chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz have decided they want a full-time commitment to the job.
When Howard Dean, seen as Ellison’s strongest challenger for the position, announced he was dropping out of the race last week he also said whoever took the job must be there full-time. Ellison, who spoke at the same gathering of Democrats a few hours later, told the crowd, “I’m in the process of deciding this issue of whether I can perform both roles.” However, he also downplayed the time commitment of his job as congressman saying, “All there is to do is to vote ‘no’.”
As with the Democrats’ choice of Nancy Pelosi to continue in her role as House Minority Leader, the elevation of Keith Ellison to DNC chair may be a blessing in disguise for the GOP. Alan Dershowitz made that case on Fox News this morning saying, “The Democrats lost this election not because they didn’t get the radical or left-wing voters but because they didn’t get the middle-American, the rust-belt, white working families.” He continued, “Now they’re appointing somebody who has for years associated himself with Farrakhan. Who hates America. Who hates white people. Who hates Jews.” “If I were a Republican strategist I would be jumping for joy. ‘My god, you’re going to pick Ellision to head the Democratic Party?!’,” Dershowitz said.