In less than 24 hours, we should have a new DNC Chair – this is exciting, especially for DNC members who have felt underutilized (if not outright ignored) over the past 8 years.
I support Tom Perez, but I would be happy to serve under Keith Ellison as well. Both are great speakers, good organizers, and people who can reach out to various Democratic constituencies to build the party. Personally, I think Tom is better at all that and I appreciate his commitment to voter expansion, but either would be a bright new chapter for the DNC.
But lets keep this in perspective. The DNC Chair election isn’t a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party or the most important vote of the millennium. Its a not even a vote for the Opposition Party Leader (as it would be in the UK). It’s a national party chair position. It has zero votes in Congress. It doesn’t make publuc policy, and it particularly doesn’t make foreign policy. The DNC is not the all powerful entity some fear.
The DNC Chair can be a progressive voice, but mostly his role is leading the effort to rebuild the national party organization, support candidates, strengthen state parties, fight for voter expansion, and raise and direct funds to build the party.
There is no status quo or business as usual or establishment, for that matter. The DNC has 20% of the staff it had last year and will have all new leadership. We are building a new organization. I love Barack Obama, but he did not value the DNC, and focused efforts instead on OFA. That chapter is over, and a new one is beginning.
And even though we will have a salaried full time chair, that chair is still one person. The new Chair should be given a chance to lead, provided with support, and, by all means, given direction.
So let’s leave the old baggage behind and get going on a new journey – we are travelling through perilous lands and facing real threats.