Perhaps Debbie Wasserman Schultz thought that her own Florida delegation might give her a warm welcome this morning as she prepares to chair the Democratic national convention. Instead, she got a “brutal” reception, in what appears to be a preview of this afternoon’s start:
Man this is brutal: DWS being booed this morning at the Florida Delegation Breakfast ahead of the DNC: https://t.co/nhdCpyMrZO
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 25, 2016
“All right, everybody, settle down.” Yeah, that’ll do it.
At least as of now, Wasserman Schultz still plans to handle the gavel at the Democratic national convention, despite her resignation under fire in the DNC’s new email scandal. If so, then delegates for Bernie Sanders may have a specific greeting planned for her. Robert Costa hears that they have a plan to humiliate the outgoing DNC chair by taking a page from last week’s floor demonstration against Ted Cruz at the Republican national convention:
I'm told by a top Democrat that boos for DWS are expected to be heavy and coordinated… progressive delegates are hoping for a moment
— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 25, 2016
Remind me again: why is Debbie Wasserman Schultz appearing at all in Philadelphia? It’s her DNC that just got exposed as an arm of the Hillary Clinton campaign, after all. Team Sanders and its supporters have bitterly complained for the last several months that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz specifically have torpedoed any chance at fair competition in the Democratic primaries, and now indisputable evidence has emerged to show they’re right.
Put it another way: what do Democrats expect to happen when 1,879 Sanders delegates — 39.4% of all attendees on the floor — see their bête noire on the stage leading the convention? It will be like waving a red flag in front of an already outraged bull. It’s political malpractice, made all the more incomprehensible for its utter lack of necessity.
Joe Scarborough agrees on the malpractice point, while Chuck Todd calls it “insanity”:
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) July 25, 2016
“I think it’s political malpractice on the Clinton camp to let her open the proceedings and close out,” Scarborough said on “Morning Joe.”
“But also, why would Debbie Wasserman Schultz want to help Donald Trump? Because that’s all she’s doing is helping Donald Trump by getting in the way of Hillary Clinton.”
John Heilemann tells the Morning Joe crew that it’s all about DWS’ connections to money, but … that doesn’t sound terribly convincing. First off, the Clintons already have connections to all the money in the party that’s not overtly Sanders-oriented, and DWS clearly isn’t going to help there. Second, as the Washington Post’s obit on Debbie Downer’s tenure at DNC notes, she wasn’t all that good at fundraising anyway:
Wasserman Schultz’s emphasis on her own political future — and the need to make sure she was front and center when it came to media attention and interviews — rubbed lots and lots of people the wrong way. “She ignored infrastructure, instead focusing on why she wasn’t getting more media hits,” noted a longtime Democratic strategist familiar with the inner workings of the party committee. “Fundraising was anemic.”
Right now, the DNC has raised $128.3 million in the 2016 cycle, according to the latest numbers at Open Secrets, and has $9.24 million cash-on-hand with slightly more debt at $9.26 million. The RNC and Reince Priebus has raised $180.7 million, has $21.1 million cash-on-hand, and only $7.7 million in debt. She’s been outclassed in fundraising in this cycle, and it’s entirely unclear why Wasserman Schultz would be so indispensable in a fundraising role to Team Hillary or the DNC at this point — so much so that it would outweigh alienating 40% of the party with this middle finger explicitly aimed at them.
One has to expect that sanity will prevail and that Wasserman Schultz will shortly find a compelling reason to spend time with her family this week — starting immediately. If not, we may have a very clear data point on how Democrats plan to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in this cycle.
Update: Chris Cillizza gets this one exactly right, and offers another look at the booing from Andrea Mitchell:
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) July 25, 2016
Man, that was even worse than the first clip, and Cillizza calls it “disastrous”:
REMINDER: This a is a Florida delegation breakfast. These are the people who should be most supportive of Wasserman Schultz!
It’s hard to overstate how bad this is for Wasserman Schultz. Cable was carrying the moment live and quickly went to analysis of it. The audio and images are striking. You will see them roughly one million times today. …
After what happened this morning in Philadelphia, Wasserman Schultz has to be concerned about her political prospects in her home state. She may have a revolt on her hands — and revolts are very, very hard to stop. Just ask the Republican party.
Who cares about Wasserman Schultz’ political prospects? What about the Democratic nominee who practically fell all over herself in embracing DWS yesterday? Talk about terrible campaign strategy … perhaps even “disastrous.”