Uh Oh: Democrats Are Getting Tired Of Tom Perez's Ineffectual Tenure As DNC Chair

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 12, 2017 5:45 PM
Uh Oh: Democrats Are Getting Tired Of Tom Perez's Ineffectual Tenure As DNC Chair

So, what do the Democratic Party and the New York Giants have in common: they’re two teams that are in total disarray. The Giants could have one of the worst seasons ever in their 92-year history; they’re 0-5 (they’ll be 0-6 probably by Sunday). In the political arena, the Democrats have a similar record in special elections this year, losing congressional races in Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Montana. The party lacks a cohesive agenda, a message that resonates with voters past the urban areas, and has a dismal fundraising operation. Democrats have been scaled back to the cities and the coasts. On top of the three things mentioned concerning reconstruction, they need to rebuild the virtually dead state party apparatuses; something the more left wing members of the Democratic Party might feel is a waste of time. Moreover, candidate recruitment in this area means stepping to the right on the issues. The Bernie Sanders wing will not take kindly to that. Think of the heartburn that occurred when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee more or less said that a pro-life Democrat wouldn’t see the money faucet be turned off because of that position. Even Sanders caught some heat for backing Heath Mello in the Omaha mayoral race; Mello backed a pro-life ultrasound bill when he was in the legislature.

With the pace of the revival in a state of torpor, with no money flowing and intraparty squabbles, fellow Democrats have begun to point the finger at Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez. Even those who think the criticism is either misdirected or overblown admit that money remains a problem with the DNC (via The Hill) [emphasis mine]:

In July, the DNC raised just $3.8 million, its worst fundraising month since 2007. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee raised $10.2 million the same month. The DNC also added $154,000 to its debt, bringing its total debt load to $3.4 million.

A lot of us feel like there’s nothing exciting, nothing invigorating coming from that building and particularly from Tom Perez,” said one top Democratic bundler, who complained that the DNC chairman didn’t even coordinate the first meeting for fundraisers until several weeks ago.

“I’ve never heard from him. Not once,” the bundler said. “If you want to show strength, you personally reach out to all the big fundraisers.”

Critics also bring up Perez’s decision to return to his alma mater of Brown University to teach as a senior fellow.

“Being DNC chair is a full time job,” one strategist said. “There isn’t time for side gigs.”

[…]

Michael Tyler, the DNC national press secretary, pushed back on the sentiment that the party is struggling under Perez.

[…]

DNC officials also offered a more personal defense of Perez, who they say has worked relentlessly for the party since his election.

“Tom has been on the road nearly seven days a week to campaign for candidates up and down the ballot and raise money for the party from Obama donors, Clinton donors and others who are getting involved for the first time because they understand what’s at stake,” one DNC official said.

[…]

Still, the figures have been brutal.

During the first half of the year, the DNC raised $38.1 million, while the RNC brought in $75.4 million. And while the RNC had nearly $45 million in the bank, the DNC had less than $7.5 million.

Maybe the criticism about Perez is a bit premature, I don’t know; I’m not a Democrat. But the numbers don’t lie. The fundraising is in the toilet, and donors don’t feel there’s been a true revamp. It’s hard to fight Trump when you don’t have a leader, a message, or money. Being anti-Trump is not enough—and that goes to any political opposition. Romney was the anti-Obama and lost. Kerry was the anti-Bush and lost.