President Barack Obama is backing Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to stay on as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, according to a senior Democratic official.
The Florida lawmaker had been expected to stay on in her role atop the DNC. She attended more than 850 campaign events in 31 states in her 18-month tenure for the 2012 cycle.
The DNC will meet Jan. 22 to elect its leadership. In practice, any decision by the president is final; it would be unprecedented for the DNC membership to go against a Democrat president’s choice.
Wasserman Schultz has long been regarded as a top candidate for House Democratic leadership ranks. Before House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided to stay on last month, Wasserman Schultz was one of several members who were considering making a bid for a high-level leadership slot. But last week’s leadership elections left her and some other potential rivals — such as Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, on the outside looking in. Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina all retained their titles, and the only new face to leadership is Caucus Vice Chairman Joseph Crowley of New York.
Despite reports of clashes between her and Obama’s top political hands, David Axelrod, Obama’s top strategist, thanked Wasserman Schultz “for her tireless, effective leadership as party chair throughout this campaign!” on Nov. 5 on Twitter.
With Obama re-elected and Democrats facing a potentially tough 2014 midterm cycle, the DNC will likely need to shift how it allocates resources.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.