Those poor Democrats in D.C.
It’s been a tough month for them. They lost the White House, they’re not in control of Congress, and now they’re being labeled “bigots” by liberal colleagues. What is usually directed at Republicans is now being hurled at Democrats by their own.
Senate Democrats are facing growing pressure to break the white male stranglehold on senior staff positions in their ranks — a push that’s uniting consultants and lobbyists inside the Beltway with Black Lives Matter and other minority leaders who are accusing the party of “soft bigotry.”
Frustrations over the lack of diversity among the ranks of top Senate Democratic aides began seeping into public view after Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss deprived the party’s donors and lobbyists of a critical opening to build on the Obama administration’s minority-hiring efforts. Now, activists are shaming Senate Democrats, noting that the chamber’s only African-American chief of staff works for Republican Sen. Tim Scott.
Unfortunately for them, Hillary Clinton’s stunning defeat has left a hole in their diversity quotas. She would have made the Democrats in D.C. look good by enlisting a diverse force to help her transition to the White House. Now that a Trump transition is reality, Democrats as a whole, and especially those in the Senate, are left feeling a big naked. They don’t appear as diverse as they like to present.
Shocking, I know.
Now with Harry Reid’s exit, the diversity endeavor of Senate Democrats is heading toward an uncertain future.
The Senate’s retiring minority leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.), spearheaded the creation of a Democratic diversity initiative 10 years ago that has generated a bank of hundreds of resumes of ethnically diverse candidates. Reid’s aide Maria Meier, who has been in charge of the diversity effort since 2011, is leaving by the end of the year.
They could hire candidates based on ability, experience, and education, and be happy with whatever the race/gender ratio turns out to be, but that might be too Republican. They are jealous of Tim Scott’s office, though. In fact, Senator Scott had some advice for struggling Senate Democrats.
Scott, the only African-American GOP senator, said he was not aware of a bipartisan effort to diversify staff, but added that his office makes it a priority.
“If you can’t find a talented qualified person that diversifies your office, give me a call, I can help you find those people,” Scott said.
Regardless of what the makeup of Senate staffers looks like, we can expect the Senate Democrats to feel uncomfortable as they not only lick their wounds from election losses, but come to grips with their own “bigotry”.