What is going on at the Democratic National Committee? It’s millions of dollars in debt. They barely have any cash on hand. And now they’re doing 180-degree turns on endorsements. At the same time, while the two chairs have stated positions that National Democratic organizations should stay clear of endorsing candidates in primaries, they seem to be at odds when they do flip-flop and back a candidate.
In March, DNC chair Tom Perez said on C-SPAN that he’s not interested in “anointing” candidates. He also said that when the DNC looks as if they’re trying to tilt the scale of a primary contest, “public confidence” is lost. Hence, why he thinks the DNC should stay out of endorsing candidates. He called out the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for making a mess of things in Texas.
This brings us back to New York’s gubernatorial primary, where incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo is running against former "Sex and The City" star Cynthia Nixon. On May 23, deputy DNC chair Keith Ellison (D-MN) said that national Democrats should stay out of the primaries though he gave Nixon a rosy review of her speech to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in D.C. last April.
And now, prior to the Memorial Day weekend, at the NY State Democratic Convention, Perez decided to endorse Andrew Cuomo. Oh, yes—the far left is not happy (via CNN):
DNC Chairman Tom Perez just endorsed Gov. Cuomo for a third term here at the #NYDems2018 convention.— Ryan Brooks (@ByRyanBrooks) May 24, 2018
In an unexpected turn that rankled the party's left flank, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez on Thursday endorsed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's re-election bid.
His announcement, at the party's state convention on Long Island, comes in the midst of a feisty primary campaign between Cuomo and actress Cynthia Nixon.
"You've been delivering results that have made people's lives better," Perez said in his speech. "That's why Andrew Cuomo and (New York Lt. Gov.) Kathy Hochul are charter members of the accomplishments wing of the Democratic Party, and that's why I'm proud to endorse them."
"Perez coming in at this time only further drives a wedge in the Democratic Party," said Jonathan Westin, the executive director of New York Communities for Change, a progressive activist group supporting Nixon. "What we're seeing play out, in a microcosm here in New York, is that the party elites are out of touch with where the base of the party is at."
While Cuomo is leading Nixon by a healthy 22-point lead, there’s a long time until New York voters head to the polls on September 13. And there are reports that her candidacy is gaining ground. I don’t know. I still think Cuomo has this sewn up. Then again, if it was going to be an easy win, why did Perez decided to drop this atom bomb? Maybe it’s an acceptable headache. After all, whoever wins the nomination is probably going to win the gubernatorial election, but still—why cause drama? Either way, it’s a rather explicit sign that everything is anything but unified at the DNC.