December 13, 2016

DNC Race Turns Into An Obama-Sanders Proxy Battle

One of the strongest criticisms Hillary Clinton’s campaign leveled against Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during their primary was that Sanders was insufficiently loyal to President Obama. It should be no surprise then that once Sanders supporter Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) got into the DNC race, the political activity at the White House went into overdrive to try and find a candidate to take him on:

“In a sign of the discord gripping the party, President Obama’s loyalists, uneasy with the progressive Mr. Ellison, have begun casting about for an alternative, according to multiple Democratic officials close to the president.”

Now it appears that the President Obama has got a candidate to get behind, with the entry of his Labor Secretary Tom Perez into the race:

“He has been wooed by prominent Democrats for weeks to seek the party post, a lobbying campaign that included entreaties from high-level allies of Mr. Obama. Mr. Perez, who has been on the phone with a number of Democratic governors and other party leaders, is expected to meet with the president himself to discuss the position this week.”

Perez’s candidacy effectively turns the DNC race into the largest battleground yet in the emerging Democratic civil war. Throughout the 2016 Democratic primary Sanders made it clear that he was not completely satisfied with Obama as President. This Perez-Ellison contest turns the race into a proxy battle between the Obama wing of the party and the Sanders/Warren wing for the control of the Democratic Party.