The reason Democrats should be dispirited is this: No one dared to speak honestly and directly about the very specific challenges he or she will face as DNC chair in the wake of the slow-motion disaster that overtook the party while no one was watching.
By the time Barack Obama left office, not only did he have to cede the Oval to Trump, but he had presided over the national collapse of his party. During the Obama years, the Democrats lost a net 13 Senate seats, 63 House seats, nine governorships and more than 1,000 state and local elected positions.
Institutionally, Obama has left the national Democratic Party in worse shape than at any point in the past century. Hillary Clinton may have garnered 3 million more votes than Trump nationwide, but she did so while winning only 486 of the country’s 3,113 counties.
Will the people whose hands will be on the levers of the Democratic Party apparatus continue to comfort themselves with Hillary’s victory in the popular vote rather than focus on their mishandling of the Rust Belt states that won Trump the White House?