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How Obama's DNC May Undermine His Legacy

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Pete Tucker       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   8 comments

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Obama & Wasserman Schultz
Obama & Wasserman Schultz
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When President Obama named the chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2011, he didn't foresee that his selection could lead to the undoing of his signature achievements.

For Obama, the DNC wasn't a top priority.

And his choice for chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, seemed solid. She was a rising star within the party, and a proven fundraiser.

But shortly after being named DNC chair, the Florida congresswoman showed she wasn't ready for prime time. Her public gaffes and tireless self-promotion rubbed fellow Democrats the wrong way (as did incidents like trying to get the DNC to pay for her wardrobe).

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While many wanted her gone, Wasserman Schultz was determined to stay at all costs.

Obama, looking to avoid a fight, kept her on, a decision that may haunt him for years to come.

Wasserman Schultz's mismanagement of the DNC weakened the Democrats and aided Donald Trump's improbable bid for the White House. Now much of Obama's legacy -- from Obamacare to the Iran Deal to the Paris climate accord -- is likely to be undermined by his successor.

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In 2008, as Obama and Hillary Clinton battled for the Democratic nomination, Wasserman-Schultz was on the front-lines as Clinton's campaign co-chair.

Late into the primary, as many were urging the party to coalesce around Obama, Wasserman Schultz continued her hard-charging campaigning for Clinton till the bitter end. (She and fellow Clinton diehard Ed Rendell became known as the "last of the Mohicans.")


After getting off to a rocky start at the DNC and angering fellow Democrats, Wasserman Schultz feared Obama would replace her following the 2012 election.

With her friend Clinton likely to run again in 2016, Wasserman Schultz wasn't about to give up the DNC chair.

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She began lining up allies who were prepared to accuse Obama of sexism and anti-Semitism if he removed her.

"The president just didn't want the headache of Debbie bad-mouthing him," a former Obama adviser told Politico. "It was a huge pain in the ass."

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Pete Tucker is an independent DC reporter.

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