Democrats In No Mood to Help Trump

New York Times: “And while his electoral success in states represented by Democrats in Congress had been thought to put such lawmakers in a vise between their party and their president, Mr. Trump demonstrated no ability to pick off centrist Democrats in his first significant legislative push. Democrats — red-state moderates and blue-state liberals alike — formed an unbroken front of opposition to the repeal-and-replace campaign.”

“For Democrats, the task of remaining unified was made easier when Republicans decided to go it alone and hastily draft a bill that turned out to be deeply unpopular. But the health care skirmish was also more broadly instructive for a party still finding its footing now that it has lost both the White House and Congress: Being the ‘party of no,’ it turns out, can pay dividends.”

Brazile Regrets Sending Questions to Clinton

Former DNC chair Donna Brazile acknowledged sending town hall topics to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, writing in Time magazine that it a “mistake I will forever regret.”

Said Brazile: “My job was to make all our Democratic candidates look good, and I worked closely with both campaigns to make that happen. But sending those emails was a mistake I will forever regret.”

Perez Begins Overhaul of DNC

NBC News: “To guide his transition process, Perez on Wednesday tapped a wide range of Democrats for a transition advisory committee that will work over the next month or so to provide advice and recommendations. The 30 members of the committee were selected to represent and highlight the party’s broad coalition, from former Alaska Sen. Mark Begich to Black Lives Matters activist Deray McKesson to former South Carolina Gov. and DNC Chair Don Fowler to undocumented immigrant activist Astrid Silva.”

“And in a nod to Bernie Sanders allies, the committee includes freshman Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who won an election last year in Washington state with the backing of the Vermont senator.”

Democrats Get Their Own CPAC

Politico: “Instead of CPAC, it’ll be the Ideas Conference… And it’ll be the Center for American Progress’s biggest move yet to establish itself as both the nexus of the Democratic Party’s future — and a player trying to shape what that future will be.”

“They’re roughly modeling the event on CPAC, the American Conservative Union’s annual gathering that’s become a prime stop for Republican leaders, and which notably gave Donald Trump his first major political platform as he was entering the fray.”

Democrats Demand More Leadership Changes

Politico: “Quietly — and pointedly refusing to attach their names to the musings — they talk about starting to look past the all over-70-years-old leadership team of Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Jim Clyburn in the House of Representatives. Some hope, wistfully, the three will step aside before the 2018 midterms to help send a message and generate new ideas. And as much as they like the idea of Chuck Schumer’s expanded Senate leadership team, they can’t help noticing how few of the body’s younger rising stars are included. They’re tired of Capitol Hill denizens staking their claim as the only leaders in the party, particularly as Trump’s political upheaval continues to echo throughout their ranks.”

Trump and Perez Trade Barbs

“Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who has just been named Chairman of the DNC. I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!”

— President Donald Trump, on Twitter.

“Call me Tom. And don’t get too happy. Keith Ellison and I, and Democrats united across the country, will be your worst nightmare.”

— Newly-elected DNC Chairman Tom Perez, on Twitter.

Perez Wins Bid to Become DNC Chairman

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez has defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee in a blow to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the progressive wing of the party, The Hill reports.

“Perez won with 235 votes on the second ballot, with 218 votes needed to reach a majority. He fell just shy in the first ballot, totaling 213.5 votes.”

Politico: “The election closes a tumultuous chapter for the party committee, which was rocked last summer by a Russian hack and publication of internal emails.”

Democratic Groups Do Their Own Autopsy

“Unable to get closure on the party’s stunning losses in November, nearly 20 Democratic interest groups, operatives, and state committees have commissioned their own private 2016 election autopsy reports,” Politico reports.

“The projects, which aim to diagnose the party’s ills and pave a path forward, are designed in part to fill the void left by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which has yet to offer any formal explanation for its defeat. Instead, leaders of her campaign effort have let the candidate’s complaints to donors about Russia and FBI Director Jim Comey’s intervention stand alone, leaving a public silence about the details of her defeat that has spawned tangible frustration among party operatives.”