As the country elected a president who has promised ‘a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,’ the first Muslim elected to Congress is quickly emerging the frontrunner to lead the Democratic Party.
Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota is considering making a run for chair of the Democratic National Committee according to a source familiar with the matter. And even before a formal announcement, Ellison already has the backing of some of the most influential members of Congress, including the leaders of the left wing of the party, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders, the former presidential candidate.
He is also being endorsed by the incoming Democratic Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, and the outgoing Minority Leader, Harry Reid, who is retiring after this term. “My friend Keith Ellison is a terrific leader and a strong progressive who knows how to get things done,” Read said in a statement. “Now is the time for new thinking and a fresh start at the DNC. Now is the time for Keith.”
The Democratic Party is not only reeling from a historically stunning presidential loss, but also its inability to capitalize on a very favorable senatorial election dynamic in order to win back the Senate majority, a task which was almost a foregone conclusion earlier in the election season.
While there are still votes that are being counted in the national election, it is becoming painfully clear that among the reasons for Democrats’ presidential loss is a failure to turn out their votes despite having a far superior ground game, particularly in this election where the Republican nominee had no ground game at all. So far, Democrats are some 4 million votes behind what Barack Obama received in 2012 and 2008, and it cannot be explained by fewer black voters showing up to the polls.
The complete failure of the Democratic Party has caused many in the party to say that it cannot continue to be lead by someone who has a day job — meaning a member of Congress. It needs a full time manager who can be fully devoted to revamping the party.
Others who have thrown in their hats — which presumably would be working full time for the DNC if elected — are former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.