Will the head of the Democrat party please stand up? Bueller? Anyone?
That was a trick question since there is no apparent leader and won’t be until early next year when they elect a new DNC chair. Of course no one planned for this DNC election since everyone expected Hillary to win and as the new leader, she would’ve have chosen someone herself to head up the DNC.
Will the new leader be decided today after the House Minority election? Is Chuck Schumer already the leader given that he’s now the highest ranking Democrat? It doesn’t seem like it he’s playing that part. Democrats are scratching their sploading heads and wondering who they are as a Party and who will lead them.
Without an Obama or Clinton as the presumptive head of the Party, the Dems are experiencing a power vacuum that they haven’t contemplated for decades, even as they pointed and laughed at the Republican Party since we couldn’t get a hold of the keys to the White House for eight long years. But our problems were nothing compared to what they are facing today as a hallowed out party wandering in the wilderness.
They have come to a fork in the road and as Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”. Translated to me as, all their various factions will take a different road and the fight for power will be bloody. More than just a flesh wound.
The interesting question to me is (and I’m only interested to know the competition and hope they remained fractured for eons but mostly because it’s entertaining):
Will the DNC chair be the new de-facto leader, or will it be Schumer or Pelosi or her replacement? Normally the DNC chair isn’t the ideological leader and doesn’t get much attention until it’s election season. Just ask Debbie W. Shultz.
Ponder this. Bill Clinton became the leader of the Democrat party when he was first elected in 1992 and lasted for nearly a quarter of a century! Even Obama knew who was the real boss and appointed him to be his leader in order to win re-election.
So the eight year interlude by Obama was just a blip in the succession that was meant to be with the
crown leadership rightly returned to the Clintons. Just like old times. I cringe to think that it could’ve been another 4-8 more years of the reign of terror the Clintons had she won. Luckily the nostalgia has worn off.
So who will be in the fightin’ ring competing for the title? For the House Minority Leader, I really hope Pelosi wins and think she will. Probably because her members are scared of her plus she’s been passing out leadership titles like candy.
But, if you’ve seen interviews with her competitor Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), well lets just say he would be a big asset to them from a messaging standpoint. He’s a fresh face, articulate and is also capable of facial expressions but he won’t be the human ATM like Pelosi. I predict Pelosi will knock out Ryan but he won’t go down easily and may get at least 35-40% of the vote.
Onto the main event which will be exponentially more entertaining. The fight for the DNC chair is where the real battle takes place. For the first time ever (that I know of anyway), the importance of being the head of the DNC has just been elevated to new heights, perhaps to the leader of the whole new Democrat Party! Forget Committee head. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity so expect the fighting to be vicious.
The contenders are numerous yet the fissions in the party run deep. This bout is for the soul of the party. It’s shaping up to be another fight between Sanders and Clinton but by proxy this go-round and the final bell hasn’t rung.
In one corner we have the alt-left progressive Sanders wing represented by Keith Ellison who has a radical record of associates and opinions. He’s been backed by Sanders, Warren, Schumer and MoveOn.org. This wing is still fuming over the election and the DNC itself for acting deplorably and will be out for revenge for plotting against Sanders. Ellison is the hands down favorite and I’d place my bet on him.
In another corner with have a return of the old-school liberal represented by Howard Dean. He was the DNC chair from 2005-2009 and successfully added to the Dem ranks in 2006 when they won the majority in both Chambers and we got Pelosi and Reid and again in 2008. He was critical of Sanders during the primary and backed Clinton. I hope they don’t elect Dean and luckily the odds of him winning again are low.
In the next corner is a new entrant and a colorful character shall we say, represented by Raymond Buckley. He’s the current chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party and DNC vice chair, both for eight years, and would be the country’s first openly gay chair of a major national party.
In 2007, as Buckley was running for chair of the state Democratic Party, video surfaced on YouTube showing him making sexually explicit comments and unzipping his pants on camera. “Would you like me to f*&# you hard?” he says into the camera. (The video link is above.)
Around the same time, Buckley’s former housemate, state Rep. Steve Vaillancourt accused Buckley of possessing child pornography, prompting a months-long investigation into the matter (by the then-attorney general Kelly Ayotte where she found no evidence).
He promised “radical reform” and might be the sleeper candidate no one saw coming except DNC insiders:
(Post election)…and the DNC got together for what attendees have described as a cathartic meeting.
“So at that meeting it was like, OK we’ve got some things going on here. So when the officers were all introduced, the person who got the biggest applause was Raymond Buckley. He got a standing ovation. And I was sitting there. And I was like. Wow.”
Of course Democrats will have to decide if his past is worse than Ellison’s and I know better than to bet on that outcome. The goods news for them is that the MSM won’t weigh in and try to tip the scales. I don’t know enough about him to predict his odds but wouldn’t count him out just yet.
According to Politico, other potential contenders include:
… South Carolina Chairman Jaime Harrison, and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra are said to be open to bids of their own, fielding calls from other DNC members about their interest. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said on Friday morning that he is considering a run. DNC vice chair R.T. Rybak, the former mayor of Minneapolis who nearly got the role under Barack Obama, and retiring New York Rep. Steve Israel — a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair — are also in the mix.
So for the next two months, the contenders will put up their dukes and battle for the title if they’re able to get up from their election shock knockout. There will be finger-pointing for who’s to blame for losing the election and name-calling and kicking and screaming…ok, wishful thinking on the last two. This is an epic battle that will decide if Democrats are a far-left or a left-of-center party. The alt-left progessives versus the old-school semi-pragmatics.
Get your popcorn ready! I predict the winner and the face of the party will be a radical regressive-type person that will continue their quest to oblivion, probably Ellison. Predictions please.