No disrespect to the other candidates for DNC chair, but while watching the Democratic Leadership Debate on CNN Keith Ellison stood out from the pack.
There was no candidate at the Leadership Debate who spoke like the grassroots of the Democratic Party like Ellison. Rep. Ellison argued for the justification of the impeachment of Trump to protect the presidency and the Constitution. Ellison mixed it up with Dana Bash on his views on the Second Amendment.
Most of the candidates on the stage in Atlanta had no chance of winning. Peter Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, IN played the role of Democratic outsider candidate, and after experiencing a brief bump looks like he has no chance of winning.
Former Obama Secretary of Labor Tom Perez struggled to defend his previous support of TPP.
If there was one structural problem with the debate, it was that CNN focused too much on policy. The position of party chair is about organization and messaging. The DNC chair won’t make policy. There was much angst about “rural America,” but the reality is that rural America left the Democrats decades ago, and the election of one party chair is not going to change that.
Rep. Ellison had the most forceful arguments and clearest message. The position of DNC chair is also a media job, and Keith Ellison was the most effective candidate on the stage at delivering the message.
Labor Secretary Perez made some great arguments based on substance, but he also was reminiscent of the some of the problems that plagued Democrats in 2016. It is tough to see Tom Perez wowing anybody while pushing back against the Trump agenda on cable news or the Sunday shows.
If Democrats are looking for a voice that represents where rank and file Democrats are at, that voice belongs to Rep. Keith Ellison. No matter which candidate wins, Ellison or Perez, the Democratic Party will go in a different direction.
Both Perez and Ellison will work to build the Democratic Party, but if the question is which candidate would be the best messenger for the party, judging from Democratic Leadership Debate, the choice should be Keith Ellison.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association