October 20, 2017

Obama’s Campaign Appearances Highlight Democratic Party’s Leadership Problem

Obama’s Campaign Appearances Highlight Democratic Party’s Leadership Problem

Last night, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam appeared with former President Barack Obama. With Virginia’s gubernatorial race very close, it’s no surprise that Northam would want such a high-profile surrogate to come to the Commonwealth. Yet, as The Hill points out, Northam’s need to rely on President Obama points to a larger problem in the Democratic Party:

“The rapturous reception Obama received was no big surprise. He remains enormously popular with the Democratic grassroots. But the sense of wistfulness the former president invokes among the party faithful is sharpened because, aside from him, the Democrats have no obvious leader.”

The Democratic Party has had a leadership problem since January 20th – a problem exemplified by their current roster of top officials as The Hill points out:

  • DNC Chairman Tom Perez: “subject of a growing chorus of criticism inside the party”
  • Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer: “offer little that Democrats have not seen and heard before”

While Senators like Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris might one day like to be the leader of the Party, right now their jockeying for the spotlight only highlights the chaos enveloping the Democratic Party:

“But that could be a chaotic battle. Tensions still fester between the 2016 camps of Clinton and Sanders, erupting with startling frequency and ferocity on social media. And some argue that the divide between progressives and the center-left is not the only cross-current the party will have to deal with.”

The Democratic Party might wish they could count on him, but to paraphrase Rick Pitino, Barack Obama isn’t walking through that door in 2020.