So much for the trainwreck on the Right; now we get the trainwreck on the Left — and a little bit of karma, too. After deriding Republicans all last week for the open dissent and division during their national convention, Democrats will kick off their convention with the resignation of their party’s chair. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced that she would formally exit her role at the DNC at the end of the week, but since she’s already mainly persona non grata in Philadelphia, she’s effectively out immediately, except for a couple of gavel strikes:
Embattled Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she is resigning, following a leak of emails suggesting an insider attempt to hobble the campaign of Hillary Clinton’s rival in the White House primaries Bernie Sanders.
Wasserman Schultz will step down at the end of the Democratic National Convention, she said in a statement on the eve of the confab in Philadelphia that is set to anoint Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee.
That may not be the end of the DNC’s own e-mail scandal. Vice chair R.T. Rybak demanded that top officials involved in the e-mail exchange that plotted to undermine Bernie Sanders get cashiered as well:
Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a vice chairman at the DNC, told The Hill on Sunday that those involved in scheming to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign should either resign immediately or be fired.
“The DNC needs to make a clear statement that this was wrong and that any member of the staff involved in criticizing another candidate, especially using DNC offices and equipment, should be fired,” Rybak said. “If any officer played a role in helping another candidate when we’re supposed to be neutral, they should resign. It’s that simple. Make a clear statement. Clean up this mess so we can move on and work together.”
With Wasserman Schultz out, CEO Amy Dacey and CFO Brad Marshall had better start refreshing their resumés.
Fox News reports that Donna Brazile, also a vice chair, will succeed Wasserman Schultz as DNC chair, at least on an interim basis. What does Debbie Downer do now? AFP says she sees a role as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton ahead:
Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida, reiterated her intention to be a surrogate for Clinton in the presidential campaign, but said her five-year stint leading the Democratic National Committee was over.
Basically, that’s how she saw her role as DNC chair anyway. The question is whether she’s done enough damage to her standing with Democrats for Hillary to put her out into the field at all. Hillary needs Bernie Sanders and his supporters much more than Debbie Downer, and her presence on the campaign stage will only exacerbate the division within the Democrats over the next three-plus months. She may be Hillary’s secret weapon — so secret she’ll never be deployed.
Or, er … who knows? Team Hillary announced immediately that she’s accepted a position as honorary national co-chair of the campaign. Again, that seems like very little change to her previous status. As Caleb Howe says, that looks like “a middle finger to the Bernie Sanders voters” within the Democratic Party. Will they vote with their feet? Stay tuned this week in Philadelphia ….
And the karma? Well, here was the now-ousted DNC chair’s tweet to Reince Preibus just a few days ago:
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) July 18, 2016
I can confirm she was in Cleveland; I saw her working media row. Perhaps she should have stayed there, or asked Reince Priebus how to avoid getting sacked.
Update: Looks like Brazile is coming to the rescue, as CNN announced it has suspended her contributor status:
“With news of Donna Brazile stepping in as interim chair for the Democratic National Committee, CNN and Brazile have mutually agreed to temporarily suspend her contract as a contributor for the network effective immediately. As a valued voice and commentator, CNN will revisit the contract once Brazile concludes her role,” a CNN spokeswoman said in an email on Sunday.
Wikileaks has an exchange with Brazile on her DNC e-mail about the Sanders campaign, but it’s not anywhere near as bad as the Dacey-Marshall exchange:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 24, 2016
Let’s just say that the DNC chair as a position for longtime Clinton confidantes will still be secure.