On Ellison at the DNC

November 12, 2016 6:10 p.m.

A TPM Reader who is a member of the Democratic National Committee chimes in on who leads next …

I am a DNC Member from [REDACTED] and I will be voting on the next DNC Chair. I am responding to your recent post suggesting that Keith Ellison is a “done deal” as the next DNC Chair. I believe that this is a much more difficult choice than what you suggest.

While I supported Hillary Clinton in the primary, I was unhappy with the contemporaneous leadership of the DNC and agreed with some of the complaints many Democrats had about how Bernie Sanders was treated. I also believed that neither Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Tim Kaine (who preceded DWS as DNC Chair) had enough time to dedicate to the DNC — they were Members of Congress, which is more than a full-time job.

In fact, when I ran for DNC, I earned the support of many Bernie supporters because I vowed to do what I can to ensure that our next DNC Chair did not have another full-time job. The DNC is too important to leave up to a part-timer, especially a sitting elected official who may have dozens of potential conflicts of interest.

I have spoken with a few other Clinton-supporting DNC Members around the country, and the general feeling is that the next Chair should not be a sitting elected official. Period. Full stop.

As background, some entire state DNC delegations, especially in the midwest, lost to Bernie supporters in the last DNC election. Virtually all of these new DNC Members were elected to support Bernie and other progressives at the DNC and, among other priorities, ensure that we had a new DNC Chair that was full-time.

Interestingly enough, it is the new Bernie-supporting DNC Members that may find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They are caught between supporting the Bernie-endorsed Keith Ellison and violating one of their major campaign pledges, or snubbing Bernie and voting for someone else for DNC Chair.

This puts my Bernie-supporting brothers and sisters in a very uncomfortable position, one that can only be resolved if Keith Ellison were to resign from Congress. I do not envy their situation.

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