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Obama's Role in Party's Future Unclear

Image: Obama's Role in Party's Future Unclear

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Tuesday, 15 Nov 2016 11:39 AM Current | Bio | Archive

After the fallout from the elections, many were left wondering what Barack Obama's role would be in the Democratic Party.

President Obama sounded like the leader of the Democratic Party Monday with words of encouragement to fellow Democrats at a news conference: “In the months ahead, my hope is that we're convening Democrats at every level from the DNC to local ward and town committees to assess where we've fallen short and how we can build for elections not just in presidential years, but every year.”

But despite the encouragement, experts on political parties and the presidency agree that Obama will not play much of a role in either upcoming race for Democratic national chairman or the future of his party.

“Former presidents, Republican or Democratic, just don’t get involved in the nitty gritty of the party,” former Democratic National Chairman Don Fowler told me. “I see a role for President Obama in academia or with a foundation, but not in the party.”

Fowler, who served as head of the DNC under President Bill Clinton from 1995-97, did concede that Clinton “was probably the closest to an exception for the tradition of former presidents and their party. He did do a lot of things in politics, but they were primarily to help Hillary.”

Presidential historian David Pietrusza agreed, pointing out that “the only ex-president I can think of becoming involved in a national chairmanship race would be Teddy Roosevelt in the 1918 race that replaced William R. Willcox as RNC chairman with Will Hays of Indiana. [Iowa Republican National Committeeman] John T. Adams was the favorite but he got sidetracked after some ‘pro-German’ comments of his were discovered.”

In the last four years, Democrats have lost control of the US Senate and presidency as well as more than 1,000 state legislative seats. Republicans now control both state legislative chambers in a record 32 states.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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After the fallout from the elections, many were left wondering what Barack Obama's role would be in the Democratic Party.
obama, democratic party, election
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2016-39-15
Tuesday, 15 Nov 2016 11:39 AM
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