Associated Press


That's really the only way to describe Politico's piece on DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

(I hereby nominate her for Worst Week in Washington.) (Editor's note: Three words -- Joseph. Robinette. Biden.)

Based on interviews with DNC staffers -- both former and current -- the piece described Wasserman Schultz as something of a modern-day Tracy Flick: over-eager, disloyal and not shy about promoting her ambitions. It would be fair to say that she sounds like, well, a lot like other politicians. And this would be accurate. But the wholesale bashing of Wasserman Schultz at every level of the party -- White House, Congress, donors, aides in her own shop -- is especially rough, even given the reality of Beltway politics.

She comes across as a woman without a party, holding a job that could be a stepping stone, but now seems more like a trap door. (As Philip Bump notes, it might be a stepping stone no matter how it ends.) This is a public firing, Washington-style.

A few of the harsher passages:

One example that sources point to as particularly troubling: Wasserman Schultz repeatedly trying to get the DNC to cover the costs of her wardrobe.

Many expect a nascent Clinton campaign will engineer her ouster. Hurt feelings go back to spring 2008, when while serving as a co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Wasserman Schultz secretly reached out to the Obama campaign to pledge her support once the primary was over, sources say.

For even the occasional Obama briefing by the heads of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, she is not invited.

“We say the big ‘D’ is for Democratic,” one member joked to others at the House Democratic retreat on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in February, according to one of the members. “For her, the big ‘D’ is always for Debbie.”

Instead, the DNC chairwoman stakes out the president of the United States at the end of photo lines at events and fundraisers. “You need another picture, Debbie?” Obama tends to say, according to people who’ve been there for the encounters.

Since 1848, the DNC has only had three women at the helm, and part of the reason (maybe the biggest reason), Wasserman Schultz landed the role and kept it is gender. Her selling point, according to people familiar with the initial deliberations, was that she was good with donor and had deep ties to Clinton supporters (read: white women) who Obama needed to keep on board in 2012. It also helped -- a lot -- that she is Jewish and from Florida, a big important state with lots of money for the fundraising.

Wasserman Schultz embraced the "war on women" lingo early on, and as DNC chair she helped to elevate it nationally. And though DNC insiders weren't ever sold on her TV skills, she was good on the stump, pumping up grassroots activists and helping them feel connected to the campaign.

But it's that same red-meat-throwing ability that led her to go off-script, likening Republican policies to Jim Crow and more recently comparing the Tea Party and Scott Walker to wife-beaters, who "are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back." (She later apologized; the Democrat trying to beat Walker, Mary Burke, said via "sources" that Wasserman Schultz would not be welcome again in the state.) So, the woman perhaps most responsible for putting the phrase "war on women" into the political bloodstream is also now responsible for taking the rhetoric too far.

Here's the reality: No matter the outcome for Democrats in November, Wasserman Schultz will likely be shown the door, with another woman to replace her.  But, the list of possible replacements is a not-so-long list of two: Stephanie Schriock, who heads the Democratic women's group EMILY's List, and Stephanie Rawlings Blake, the mayor of Baltimore.

The world of politics still has a recruiting problem when it comes to women, and Wasserman Schultz is perhaps both a beneficiary and victim of that reality.