AP EXPLAINS: What exactly does a party chair do?

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2016 7:05 PM
AP EXPLAINS: What exactly does a party chair do?

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — What exactly does a party chair do? Work the talk shows. Organize the party faithful. Raise lots of cash. And whatever else: Don't become a liability yourself.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is out as leader of the Democratic Party after running afoul of that last rule.

The job of a national party chair — for the Democrats or Republicans — is demanding and unrelenting. Wasserman Schultz and Republican Reince Priebus, elected by officials in their respective parties, have presided over their parties in tumultuous political times in recent years.

But just when she should have been celebrating at her party's convention, Wasserman Schultz found herself at the center of an uproar over leaked party emails that suggested Democratic officials had favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the presidential primaries, when the party apparatus should have been neutral. Wasserman Schultz stepped down amid cries for her resignation from Sanders and his supporters.

Party vice chairwoman Donna Brazile has taken over the top job on an interim basis.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, trying to play down the internal turmoil, said Monday "it doesn't really matter" who's the party chair.