We learn in the last few hours that the Dems’ Senate leadership team is shaking out, and it’s a mixed bag under Chuck Schumer. A big group of 10 senators, that includes Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. My friend Chad Lupkes, a progressive Democratic leader from Washington State explains Sanders’ role:
For those people who don’t understand: Bernie got ranking member on Budget. He wanted that OR HELP Committee. (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions). I have a friend who talked to his staff when they were in Colorado. The Outreach means that he controls that very important lever also. It means he has direct access and oversight to all of their (SCCC) info on organizing and coordinated campaign efforts in the future. It’s a BFD, more so than it sounds, so be happy for him and us.
What turns out to be more complicated is who will step up to run Senate Dems campaign arm, the DSCC. The 2018 map shows that work will be an uphill climb, challenging to say the least. The party will have to defend 10 seats Trump won last week, 25 overall. And they’ll have to do it by excelling in something they don’t look very good at doing right now – connecting to white working class people, a sector whose slow drift away from the Democratic Party was accelerated by Trump in this campaign.
So who wants to run the DSCC? Apparently … nobody. So far, Dems have been unable to convince anybody to take on this responsibility.
And there’s another problem. The Party doesn’t have a deep bench of vibrant, strong young leaders – in the House especially, but also in the Senate. There are some obvious exceptions. Dems are hoping Chris Van Hollen will take DSCC, but he hasn’t jumped yet. He’ll be 58. Cory Booker, 47, has already turned the job down. Ditto Al Franken.
“It’s a hero’s job,” says Connecticut senator Chris Murphy. One that could take a politician on the ascendancy like Cory Booker, especially one whose name keeps coming up for 2020, and plunge him down the depths of loser city. Loser city, the pall that has already settled on the Democratic denizens of our nation’s capital.