Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been “marginalized” by the Obama campaign, according to Glenn Thrush in the e-book “Obama’s Last Stand: Playbook 2012”–driven in part by an aide’s controversial Facebook photos, and internal polling that shows Wasserman Schultz is the campaign’s least effective surrogate.
The campaign has had difficulties with Wasserman Schultz since her inception as chair, reports Thrush.
But Wasserman Schultz’s most public scrap with the Obama campaign came after a Free Beacon report on photographs posted on Facebook by one of her aides, according to Thrush:
From the start, Wasserman Schultz grated on Chicago. She insisted the DNC hire a handful of her top congressional aides. While she was a tough and effective cable warrior and a serious fundraiser, she tended to do better on MSNBC and struck too harsh a partisan tone when she crossed over to the Sunday shows, they thought.
By the spring, the simmering tensions briefly boiled into public view. GOP researchers discovered an old post from Wasserman Schultz’s liaison to the Jewish community, Danielle “Dani” Gilbert, in which she joking referred to herself as a “Jewbag.”
Obama’s aides demanded the chairwoman immediate fire Gilbert, people close to the situation told me. But Wasserman Schultz defended the twentysomething staffer, who turned out to be the daughter of a top Democratic donor and Florida power broker, Mark Gilbert. She won the skirmish but lost the war–eventually becoming marginalized. Her fate, to be fair, has been shared by many a party chief in an election year, but by spring some in Obama’s orbit were openly speculating about how much better things might have been under Strickland or Villaraigosa. No sooner had that speculation died down than Wasserman Schultz called Chicago to ask why her national TV appearances, especially on Sunday shows, had dropped off.
Thrush goes on to report that internal focus group paid for by the Obama campaign showed Wasserman Schultz ranked last of all Obama surrogates in effectiveness.
Robert Gibbs ranked first among the group, with deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter and campaign spokesperson Jen Psaki falling in at second and third.
The Free Beacon first reported on the Gilbert controversy in April.