Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has announced that she will resign as a result of the fallout from the mass leak of DNC emails. Wasserman Schultz was first removed as a speaker for the convention, but was then replaced as the permanent chair of the convention. Representative Marcia Fudge, whose district partially covers Cleveland, has been named the permanent chair of the convention, a change confirmed by Fudge’s office to NPR.
“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish these goals (electing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention. As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans.”
Parentheses ours. In addition, this would seem to conflict with the earlier reporting that Wasserman Schultz would be sidelined from the convention.
Wasserman Schultz then announced she would resign upon the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention. DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile, who was previously Al Gore’s campaign manager and currently works as a prominent commentator for CNN and ABC News, will take over as interim chair. Brazile was previously interim chair in the period of time between Chairs Tim Kaine, who is now Clinton’s running mate, and Wasserman Schultz.
CNN has suspended Brazile’s commentator contract in order for her to take over the reins of the DNC, “With news of Donna Brazile stepping in as interim chair for the Democratic National Committee, CNN and Brazile have mutually agreed to temporarily suspend her contract as a contributor for the network effective immediately.”
“As a valued voice and commentator, CNN will revisit the contract once Brazile concludes her role.”
Brazile will make her scheduled appearances this week on CNN’s coverage, albeit unpaid. Brazile appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 in an interview deemed “exclusive” and said her first priority is finding out how the emails were leaked as she said more will be released.
In a statement, Clinton said, “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.”
Clinton also announced that Wasserman Schultz will join her campaign as an honorary chair and surrogate. “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.”
In a statement, President Obama thanked Wasserman Schultz for her work, “For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful. Her leadership of the DNC has meant that we had someone who brought Democrats together not just for my re-election campaign, but for accomplishing the shared goals we have had for our country. Her critical role in supporting our economic recovery, our fights for social and civil justice and providing health care for all Americans will be a hallmark of her tenure as Party Chair.”
Obama was the President who appointed Wasserman Schultz to be DNC Chairwoman. The two have apparently grown distant over the years however.
Senator Bernie Sanders said in a statement, “Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people. The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.” Sanders had called for Wasserman Schultz’s resignation earlier, but backed off as part of a compromise with the Clinton campaign.