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DNC Leadership Candidates Imply Obama Weakened Party

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By    |   Thursday, 22 Dec 2016 02:42 PM

The leading candidates to chair the Democratic National Committee are moving away from President Barack Obama as the party tries to rebuild, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison, two candidates for DNC chairman, rarely mention Obama or his policies. They, along with South Carolina chairman Jaime Harrison and New Hampshire's Ray Buckley, are campaigning on moving the party's focus on local races rather than large-scale elections.

According to The Huffington Post, Perez is Obama's preferred candidate. The president reportedly came close to outright endorsing him in mid-December. Obama and Ellison have sparred over several issues, including social security, deportation, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"This needs to be the very last cycle in which the presidential candidate takes over the DNC," Harrison said earlier this month, to an audience made up mostly by state party chairs, in a candidates forum, according to the Journal. "The DNC is not just about winning the presidency. Amen?"

If the party holds the White House, the chair of the DNC is usually selected by the president followed by a cursory election. The chairs Obama selected lowered funding for state parties.

"There has been too much focus by the DNC on the top of the ticket and too little organizing in between presidential races," said Philip Bartlett, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, according to the Journal.

"The work of state parties in off-years and midterms are critical to building long-term infrastructure and maintaining grass roots strength," Bartlett added. "I think that has been undervalued by DNC leadership and both state parties and the down ballot candidates they support have paid a heavy price."

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The leading candidates to chair the Democratic National Committee are moving away from President Barack Obama as the party tries to rebuild, The Wall Street Journal reports.
dnc, democrats, obama
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2016-42-22
Thursday, 22 Dec 2016 02:42 PM
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