The Debbie Disaster

DNC Chair faces rebuke over platform mess, repeated falsehoods


Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is scheduled to take the stage at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, in between Mary J. Blige and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and amid widespread criticism of her job performance.

It has been a tough week for Wasserman Schultz. She told an audience in North Carolina that Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, had told her Republican policies were "dangerous" for Israel—a claim that the ambassador called an untruth in a sharply worded statement. Then she said the reporter who broke the story, Washington Examiner columnist Philip Klein, had "deliberately" misquoted her—a claim proven false by Klein’s audio recording of her remarks. Wasserman Schultz told Washington Free Beacon senior writer Adam Kredo that she had no intention of apologizing to Klein for impugning his character.

Wasserman Schultz was also involved in the negotiations that led initially to the words "God" and "Jerusalem" being removed from the Democratic Party platform—a decision later reversed after presidential intercession and amid widespread boos and catcalls from Democratic Party delegates.

Wasserman Schultz is one of the Democratic Party’s least successful surrogates. Politico’s Glenn Thrush reported in a recent e-book that the White House is frequently at odds with Wasserman Schultz. Thrush also reported that internal polling shows audiences do not respond well at all to Wasserman Schultz’s numerous television appearances.

Earlier this year, DNC aide Dani Gilbert, the daughter of prominent Democratic fundraiser Mark Gilbert, came under fire when the Free Beacon published provocative photos of her that were captioned "Jewbags." Wasserman Schultz also canceled a scheduled appearance at the annual fundraising dinner for EMERGE USA, a Muslim activist group whose leader had a track record of defending radicalism; after the Free Beacon reported on the event, a spokesman for Wasserman Schultz said that there had been a "miscommunication" and the DNC chairwoman had never intended to attend the fundraiser.

In 2011, Wasserman Schultz said in a television interview that the Republican Party wants "to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws." She later told Ben Smith that it was "the wrong analogy to use," but that she did not "regret calling attention" to Republican efforts to require identification when casting a vote. When interviewed by reporters for the Media Research Center last spring, Wasserman Schultz denied ever using the comparison—despite video evidence to the contrary.

When former President Bill Clinton addressed the DNC Wednesday night, C-SPAN video captured Wasserman Schultz mouthing to a companion, "He’s the best." It is unclear whether Clinton or President Obama feel likewise.

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