Chairing the Democratic National Committee can't be all that Debbie Wasserman Schultz had hoped it would. She's weathered slights and rebukes by the barrel and gets virtually no credit for any electoral gains Democrats have made during her time at the top of the party.
And this week was particularly indicative of her tumultuous time as DNC chair — and why the 2016 election can't come soon enough for her.
It all began last weekend when supporters of Bernie Sanders and backers of Hillary Clinton faced off at the Nevada state party convention. At issue was the disqualification of 50-plus Sanders delegates by
state party chair Roberta Lange the convention credentials committee, which was evenly split between Clinton and Sanders supporters. The Sanders people were not happy — and they got aggressive.
Wasserman Schultz went on CNN to blast Sanders for not directly condemning the actions of some of his supporters. "Unfortunately, the senator's response was anything but acceptable," she told Wolf Blitzer. "It certainly did not condemn his supporters for acting violently . . . and instead added more fuel to the fire."
Suddenly, Wasserman Schultz was the story. Liberals — especially those aligned with Sanders — had long believed that the Florida congresswoman (and the broader DNC apparatus she helms) had been working stealthily to elect Clinton even while maintaining neutrality in public.
"I don’t think she was fair," liberal commentator Van Jones said of Wasserman Schultz. "I think she actually made it worse now."
"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski said Wasserman Schultz should resign, alleging a long-standing favoritism for Clinton.
"This has been very poorly handled from the start,” Brzezinski said. “It has been unfair, and they haven’t taken him seriously, and it starts, quite frankly, with the person that we just heard speaking [Wasserman Schultz]. It just does. . . . She should step down. She should step down.”
Wasserman Schultz's week got worse. On Thursday, Clinton sat for an interview with CNN in which she made quite clear that she'd had enough of Sanders in this primary race, offering a not-so-subtle signal to the Vermont senator that it was time to go.
"Senator Sanders has to do his part,” Clinton said. “That’s why the lesson of 2008, which was a hard-fought primary, as you remember, is so pertinent here. Because I did my part.”
Negotiating that detente is fraught with political peril — particularly given just how nasty the race got this past week. The responsibility to find that brokered peace falls — at least in part — to Wasserman Schultz. Which means she may well have a few more rough weeks in front of her.