“President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Jaime Harrison at his pick to lead the Democratic National Committee, part of an effort to bolster the committee ahead of what are already expected to be challenging midterm elections for the party,” the New York Times reports.
“The relationship between President-elect Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spans more than three decades. They now must draw on those ties to steer a divided Democratic coalition amid a pandemic and an economy recovering from a deep slump,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The president-elect and speaker have both reached the highest levels in U.S. party politics by forging coalitions among disparate members of their party, including moderates and progressives, according to their allies and advisers. The pair’s history of legislating together has created what colleagues describe as mutual trust.”
“Mr. Biden and Mrs. Pelosi, who both hope to start by passing additional measures to address the coronavirus pandemic, must unite party members who have bickered over issues such as expanding government health insurance, how much to spend to combat climate change and criminal-justice policy.”
“What you have, I think, is a Democratic party driven by a cultural belief system that they’re now trying to drive through the school system so they can brainwash the entire next generation if they can get away with it.”
— Newt Gingrich, in an interview with The Guardian.
The Democratic National Committee will pick its new chair during its virtual Winter Meeting on Jan. 21, NBC News has learned, one day after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
Current DNC Chairman Tom Perez has said he will not serve another four-year term.
“The national Democratic Party ‘aggressively interjected itself’ into the 2020 Iowa caucuses, slowing down and complicating the development of a reporting app that crashed on caucus night and delayed the tallying of results, an audit of the process found,” the Des Moines Register reports.
“The Iowa Democratic Party commissioned the audit shortly after the Feb. 3 caucuses, hiring a pair of Democratic lawyers to examine the technical and procedural failures that prevented it from announcing a caucus winner for days after the high-profile contest ended.”
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Joshua Green: “Many Democrats have spent the weeks since the election bickering about who’s to blame for a result that ousted President Trump but also saw the party fall short in its efforts to gain strength in Congress and statehouses.”
“The debate has obscured one area of unquestionable Democratic success: In the four years since Trump’s election, progressives have built an organizing and fundraising behemoth, which just delivered a record 80 million votes for President-elect Joe Biden. Democrats’ fortunes in the Biden era and beyond will hinge on whether they can maintain and grow this juggernaut.”
The Hill: “Democrats say they’re in need of serious course corrections to stay competitive in future elections, warning the party may no longer be able to rely on anger at President Trump to drive voters to the polls.”
Jaime Harrison, who lost his bid to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) after raising record-breaking amounts of money, told CNN that he is open to working with the Biden administration in any capacity, including chairing the Democratic National Committee.
Said Harrison: “Whatever they believe that I can do and be helpful on in terms of building back better, I’m on. I’m all in. So, if it’s the DNC, call my number and I will be there.”
Playbook; “Joe Biden is 78 and expected by many to serve only one term. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has all but said this is her last term. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is up for reelection in 2022.”
“When you’re on your way out, it typically means you have less power. But if everyone’s on their way out…”
“It wasn’t just one bad cycle. For Democrats in Florida, Election Day 2020 was a tipping point in a long, painful buildup to irrelevancy. After suffering crushing losses from the top of the ballot down, the state party now is mired in a civil war that could have profound consequences for future elections,” Politico reports.
“Even as Joe Biden heads to the White House, state Democrats know that President Donald Trump did more than just win in Florida. He tripled his 2016 margin and all but stripped Florida of its once-vaunted status as a swing state.”
“The nationalizing of elections means whenever any elected Democrat goes out and says something that’s unpopular, unless the rest of the party very forcefully pushes back every Democrat will face an electoral penalty.”
— Democratic operative David Shor, quoted by New York Magazine.
“Interviews with nearly three dozen lawmakers, aides and consultants reveal a growing acknowledgment that the party’s campaign arm made several key strategic errors: it underestimated Donald Trump’s popularity, relied too much on polls and failed to heed the warnings of its most vulnerable members,” Politico reports.
“A dozen races remain uncalled, and Democrats caution they won’t have all the answers for months. But many in the party are warning that the biggest priority for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee must be overhauling its message. They say it needs to craft a proactive campaign that counters GOP attacks on everything from Medicare for All to fracking — if they have any hopes of keeping their majority in 2022.”
Tim Alberta: Elissa Slotkin braces for a Democratic Civil War.
Politico: “Tensions inside the Democratic party are boiling over and spilling out into public view. The latest shots came from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who responded to a report that fellow New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries asked other top Dems on a private leadership call: ‘Do we want to govern or do we want to be internet celebrities?'”
Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter: “Pretty astounding that some Dems don’t believe it’s possible to govern, be politically popular, and command formidable bully pulpits at the same time, but it actually explains a lot about how we got here. We don’t have to choose between these things! We can do better and win!”
“Jaime Harrison, the South Carolina Democrat who shattered fundraising records and became a national star in his unsuccessful bid to defeat Republican Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, is interested in becoming the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee — and says that a powerful ally thinks he could do the job,” the Washington Post reports.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Politico that no one in the party could work harder than Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer but he’s still not been effective.
Said Manchin: “I’ve watched the last three elections: 2016, ‘18 and ‘20. We truly should have been in the majority and it didn’t happen. Whatever our message is, it hasn’t worked. And I would hope that our leadership from the top to bottom understands that. It has not worked. And if we’re going down that path again, we’re in trouble.”
“An angry dispute erupted among House Democrats on Thursday, with centrist members blasting their liberal colleagues during a private conference call for pushing far-left views that cost the party seats in Tuesday’s election that they had worked hard to win two years ago,” the Washington Post reports.
“The bitter exchange, which lasted more than three hours as members sniped back and forth over tactics and ideology, reflected the extent to which the 2020 campaign exposed simmering tensions in the party even as its presidential nominee, Joe Biden, stands on the brink of achieving their biggest goal of the year — ousting President Trump.”
Audio: “Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) criticized her party’s strategy during a Democratic caucus call.”
Playbook: “To imagine the amount of soul searching and explaining the party will have to do after Tuesday is absolutely dizzying. The infighting will be bloody — as it should be. We fielded text after text from Hill Democrats Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning with existential questions about their leadership and the direction of their party.”