In a move that confused many and outraged some, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced that Debbie Wasserman Schultz would be joining her campaign. The news came via a statement on Hillary Clinton’s official website just hours after Wasserman Schultz announced that she was stepping down from her position as Democratic National Committee chairwoman.
“I want to thank my longtime friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her leadership of the Democratic National Committee over the past five years. I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year’s historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week’s events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership. There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie–which is why I am glad that she has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states. I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her re-election bid–because as President, I will need fighters like Debbie in Congress who are ready on day one to get to work for the American people.”
The rapid appointment of Wasserman Schultz to Hillary Clinton’s campaign is particularly shocking in light of the reason she resigned from the DNC. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Wasserman Schultz resigned under heavy pressure from high-level Democrats after WikiLeaks released a series of emails that allegedly prove the Wasserman Schultz-led DNC attempted to undermine the candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders. Reportedly, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are among the top Democrats who turned against Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the days before her resignation.
Unfortunately, the moment that could have served as an olive branch to disgruntled and disillusioned Sanders supporters turned sour with the announcement that Wasserman Schultz would join Clinton’s campaign. Sanders supporters wasted no time in taking to social media to voice their outrage. The cheers that broke out during a pro-Sanders rally in Philadelphia on the news of Wasserman Schultz’s resignation quickly turned to anger.
In retrospect, it probably shouldn’t be that surprising that Hillary Clinton stepped in to make what appears to be an effort to save Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s political career. Wasserman Schultz served as co-chair during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, which she ultimately lost to President Barack Obama. It shouldn’t be surprising the Wasserman Schultz continued to support Hillary Clinton during her second campaign. It makes sense that having given her time and effort in the hopes of putting Hillary Clinton in the White House once, Debbie Wasserman Schultz would want to do it again. But as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Wasserman Schultz was meant to take on a different role. As chairwoman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz should have served as a facilitator rather than an influencer, and her perceived failure to do so may have alienated supporters of Bernie Sanders for the last time.
Meanwhile, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton’s decision to back one another to the end may have done what they should have feared most — it may have dug a massive hole from which the Democratic Party can not recover.
According to CNN, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said that Hillary Clinton should follow Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s example and drop out of the presidential race. Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, many outraged Bernie Sanders supporters agree with Manafort. Despite Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton and his campaign manager Jeff Weaver’s insistence that Wasserman Schultz’s exit means that Sanders supporters have been heard, many Sanders supporters don’t seem to be in the mood to forgive and forget, and some don’t seem prepared to accept anything less than a major upset in Philadelphia next week. The loss of the Sanders supporters could make the path to the White House impossible for Hillary Clinton to travel.
[Photo by Jim Mone/AP Images]