Myth Busted: Hillary Clinton Didn’t Reward Debbie Wasserman Schultz

When Hillary Clinton gave Debbie Wasserman Schultz an honorary position in her 50-state program yesterday upon the news of the DNC Chair’s resignation, many quickly jumped to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton was rewarding Wasserman Schultz with “quid pro quo” for “rigging the election”.

A few things:

1) An honorary position is usually not paid. Per the definition of “honorary”: “Holding an office or title given as an honor, without payment.”

2) Quid pro quo definition: “a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.”

3) While emails show Wasserman Schultz had a favorite, they do not show actual resources being used to help that favorite. What she did was unfair and not very smart, but she did not ultimately direct resources toward Clinton and away from Sanders.

What Clinton did with her announcement was what a good politician does: She was diplomatic and utilized Wasserman Schultz’s talents, while doing the equivalent of putting Wasserman Schultz in the corner. This position is not powerful. It is a huge step down from being the chair of the DNC. It’s more of a gentle landing place from the fall, while acknowledging the Chairwoman’s strengths.

It doesn’t pay to make enemies in your own party (see Ted Cruz and Donald Trump for proof of that) and any politician worth their salt knows how to utilize talent for the best outcome and they know not to burn bridges.

Whatever else she did, Wasserman Schultz has been a loyal team player for the Democratic Party. She has passionately advanced causes close to progressives’ hearts. It’s not as if she actually misused resources or plagiarized a speech.

Vox explained on the 23rd:

The emails seem to confirm Bernie supporters’ general impression that many DNC officials liked Hillary Clinton more than Sanders. What the emails don’t seem to prove, at least so far, is that they used DNC resources to help Clinton or hurt Sanders.

It is fair to condemn what Wasserman Schultz did, and she has resigned, proving that the party did indeed condemn it. But what she did, based on emails covered so far, suggested that she personally had a favorite; not that she misused party resources to help one candidate. This is an important distinction.

Bernie Sanders and his supporters have every reason to be unhappy with what the emails revealed. But they do not suggest the primary was rigged. In fact, they suggest the opposite because in the end, some of the egregious things thrown around were not done.