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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 10th June 2016 > HONK IF YOU HATE DEBBIE!


Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz could probably use a hug


“WHY DON’T people like Debbie?” is a question that perplexes and vexes Team DWS, as Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s inner circle calls itself. Part of it comes with the job: Chairing the Democratic National Committee is one of the most thankless jobs in politics. Part of it is her differences with the party’s progressive wing. And part of it is the perception that she has been using her powers as DNC chair to make Hillary Clinton’s life easier— and Bernie Sanders’s harder—in the Democratic presidential primaries.

But even for all that, Wasserman Schultz, who represents Florida’s 23rd congressional district in the House of Representatives, seems to get wailed on extra hard. Once a year, give or take, somebody publishes a story mocking her vanity, her naked ambition and her political flat-footedness. These stories rely heavily on anonymous quotes—some from Republicans but most from Democrats. One by Politico in 2014 cited “three dozen current and former DNC staffers, committee officers, elected officials, state party leaders and top Democratic operatives in Washington and across the country,” none of whom had anything nice to say about her. They said that, on three occasions, she tried to get the DNC to pick up the tab for her clothes, that she used party fundraisers to hit up donors for herself and that her obsequious attempts to get President Barack Obama to pose with her for pictures (among other minor annoyances) had irked the White House to the point that it was looking to replace her. Other reports focus on how far beneath the president’s notice she is. One anonymous “former Obama official” told The Huffintgon Post that the only reason the president hadn’t booted her was because, “literally, no one cares enough to get her out of there.”

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