Democrats know the wipeout is coming. We see a lot of Democrats in the House retiring. 29 people have now announced they are heading for the exits. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee just added seven more Democrats to the “vulnerable” category list they have.
Meanwhile, Democrats are giving Joe Biden the cold shoulder, claiming “scheduling” issues when he comes to town so they don’t have to be seen with him. With his numbers in the basement, he’s political poison.
But now the report is that one of their big guns — DNC Chair Jaime Harrison — one of the people who is supposed to be leading the charge for Democrats in the midterms — may have had enough, that he’s “frustrated, isolated and trapped” in the job.
Reportedly, there are a lot of problems between him and the White House. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon is making key decisions and his influence is limited, “according to several people who have spoken to him.” Meanwhile, the White House is upset with him for not traveling to meet with donors or being at DNC headquarters, but rather staying in South Carolina. And no one has managed to figure out how to get Joe Biden’s numbers out of the basement. This description of tension came from “two dozen current and former DNC officials, White House officials, fundraisers, donors, and Democrats.” So it sounds very well-sourced. Two sources are even saying he’s been so frustrated he’s considered an escape route. He wants to run for Congress but he can’t do anything that’s going to step on Democratic toes.
“There’s blame to be shared,” said a person familiar with the dynamics who added that the White House has not been able to devise an effective political strategy or a clear message for Harrison to carry to help reverse Biden’s slide. “Has he demonstrated that he’s going to move heaven and earth to raise money and defend the administration? No. But it’s pretty impossible to defend what’s happening and not happening.”
Harrison is close to Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), a key supporter of Biden whose endorsement was critical to him getting into office. So this also sounds like a weasel way of trying to bash Harrison because they can’t do it publicly.
NBC does note that it’s ironic that the White House is criticizing Harrison for staying close to home during the pandemic, “The same Biden operation that was criticized in 2020 for not letting its chief principal travel enough is now criticizing the frequency of travel over another chief principal in the party.”
But safe to say, this is more dysfunction on parade in a very critical political relationship, particularly as we head into the midterms. Not exactly very encouraging for the Democrats.
Harrison is very angry today about the report and he let loose in an eight-tweet thread at whoever was behind the reports.
To unnamed sources … if you expect me to go away or roll into a ball and whimper… you picked the wrong one. The focus is upending the party of fraud, fear and fascism. You have the mission, now get with the program! pic.twitter.com/BkckCZPYaG
— Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair (@harrisonjaime) January 30, 2022
Um, you guys are the party of “fraud, fear, and fascism.” Just as an aside. But thanks for confirming the dysfunction and do continue attacking Democrats.
“So let’s stop the petty BS and let’s save our Democracy!” Harrison declared. He made a list of some of his accomplishments. “The DNC work isn’t always easy & covid has created its own challenges. Our offices have been closed since 2020, but despite barriers we are making a difference,” he claimed. “My grandpa used to say “if you aren’t man or woman enough to put your name on it & your reputation behind it, then it ain’t worth being said or done.” There is a lot of unnamed bullshit in politics, but no one can ever say that I don’t work my ass off for what I believe in.”
Virginia State Sen. Louise Lucas was a bit more direct, threatening the career of whoever was behind the leak.
I was Chair of the McAuliffe campaign and I saw the hard work @harrisonjaime put in.
To whatever junior White House staffer decided this was a good idea- you are walking on thin ice. Think about whether you want to have a career in Democratic politics before you try this again. https://t.co/TjqUySZjj6
— L. Louise Lucas (@SenLouiseLucas) January 30, 2022
But it sounds like it wasn’t just a junior staffer; it was a bunch of people. But even the threat from her shows you how at a loss the Democrats are at this point.