In picking Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to head up the national Democratic party as he runs for re-election, President Barack Obama is getting a fierce competitor and an unabashed liberal who is certain to energize the party’s base.
Obama asked the 44-year-old Broward Democrat on Tuesday to chair the Democratic National Committee, which is central to his efforts to win another term.
The selection of the young, rising female star is a recognition of Wasserman Schultz’s political skills — and Florida’s clout in the presidential election. By 2012, the state will have 29 electoral college votes, making it the nation’s biggest swing state.
Wasserman Schultz, a prolific fundraiser and passionate campaigner, had been one of the top contenders to head the DNC with current chair and Obama ally Tim Kaine stepping down to run for an open Senate seat in Virginia.
There are two ways for a president to run for reelection - - appeal to the middle, and ask to be rewarded for a job well down (think Reagan in '84 or Clinton in '96) or make a hyper partisan appeal to your political base (think Bush in '04 running on "God, gays and guns").
By picking Wasserman Schultz, Obama showed that he intends to go hyper partisan.
You can now expect an 18 month campaign on themes such as "budget cuts kill children and old people".
Don't expect serious policy discussions.
P.S. - It started already:
It’s a sound bite that hasn’t gotten much play in media circles, except on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” but incoming Democratic National Committee chairman Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had some disparaging words for Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s new budget proposal.
Following the roll-out of Ryan’s FY2012 budget resolution, “The Path to Prosperity,” Wasserman Schultz called it a “death trap for seniors.”
Yup, the party which criticised the use of the phrase "death panels" to describe Obamacare picked a chair who describes budget cuts as a "death trap".