To be clear, I don’t think Donna Brazile is calling her predecessor Debbie Wasserman Schultz fat. I think the use of “fat and happy” here is metaphorical. In any case, Brazile is saying that Wasserman Schultz was more interested in the perks that came with her position than she was in dealing with the DNC’s problems, including millions of dollars of debt. From Fox News:
In her book “Hacks,” released Tuesday, Brazile recalled how she was briefed upon taking over for Schultz on the many perks meant to keep the chair “fat and happy” – including a “big Tahoe SUV” with a driver, a “body woman” and more.
“Debbie had a chief of staff and a body woman. She also had media consultants and a fund-raising consultant. I was free to hire my own consultants, two or three if I liked, and bring in a new communications team. All of that would go on the DNC payroll,” she wrote.
Brazile was briefed on all these benefits by the liaison with Clinton’s campaign. Brazile wrote that she told him she’d sell the SUV and drive herself, and would not hire consultants…
“This was the way to keep the chair fat and happy: Give her a huge staff and lots of perks and don’t ask her to do anything,” she wrote.
A “body woman” is Washington-speak for a personal assistant/valet. It’s a person whose entire job is handling travel details, food, etc. for the candidate or in this case the DNC chair. At the time Brazile took over and was offered all of these perks, the DNC was $2 million in debt.
As for not asking Wasserman-Schultz to do anything, this ties back to Brazile’s big accusation about the Clinton’s takeover of the DNC. The Daily Caller offers this quote from Brazile’s book:
No one was to breathe or move unless Brooklyn told them it was OK. I think Debbie understood the rules of the game. She would not cause any trouble… Debbie went along with all this because she liked the power and perks of being a chair but not the responsibilities.
Wasserman-Schulz was a figurehead. She had a nice office overlooking DC, a chauffeur, body woman, etc. but any significant decision about the DNC were being made by Clinton and her people somewhere else. As Brazile portrays it, Wasserman-Schultz was someone willing to go along for the ride.
By the way, it’s worth recalling that as recently as May, Hillary was complaining about the DNC saying it did nothing for her campaign:
“So I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,” she said during a question and answer session at Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
“I mean, it was bankrupt. It was on the verge of insolvency. Its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong,” she recalled. “I had to inject money into it.”
That’s a pretty striking complaint now that we know Hillary was in charge of decisions at the DNC well before she became the nominee. If the party was a mess, wasn’t that at least partly her fault?