If former Labor Secretary Tom Perez is the "establishment," then the Democratic Party has shifted far leftward, NBC's Chuck Todd said on Sunday. Perez barely edged Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) in the DNC chair race on Saturday, to the chagrin of party progressives.
"If Tom Perez is considered establishment today, that tells you how much the party has moved to the left." -@chucktodd on DNC chair election— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 26, 2017
Headlines everywhere indicated that Perez's win was a loss for liberals. "Tom Perez elected to lead Democratic National Committee in a blow to liberal wing," The Washington Post wrote. "Democrats Elect Thomas Perez, Establishment Favorite, As Party Chairman" declared The New York Times, both noting that he was the preferred choice of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama loyalists.
While not as far to the left as Ellison, Perez is not exactly the definition of a moderate, either. He is actually more liberal than the average Democrats, according to FiveThirtyEight's analysis.
That's Todd's point. How far left has the party come that Perez, who vastly expanded the Labor Department in the Obama administration, is considered the "establishment?"
At least one person was pleased with the results: President Trump.
Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who has just been named Chairman of the DNC. I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017