U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz hasn’t spent the last 18 months as the head of the Democratic National Committee just for the good of the party. It appears she plans to use the experience, and the Rolodex, for her own ambitions – and not everyone is happy about it.
The congresswoman will use the DNC’s donor network to expand her political operation, so she can “double” the money she gives to Democrats in the House, Senate and state capitals around the country, according to Politico.
While House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been the top House Democratic fundraiser, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is perceived as the heir apparent when she steps aside. But Wasserman Schultz’s political team explicitly said her goal this cycle is to match Hoyer’s contributions to candidates — $2.5 million —positioning her to be a player.
“I don’t really do anything halfway,” Wasserman Schultz told Politico in an interview at DNC headquarters. “We thought with the higher profile I have at the DNC, and the donor relationships I’ve been able to build — and thankfully, a lot of people who want to help me be successful, because we share the same goals. We kind of put the leadership PAC on steroids. That’s the best way to describe it.”
Wasserman Schultz did not give specifics about her plans, and wouldn’t rule out running for governor, senator or a congressional leadership post.
“So far, the people of the 23rd Congressional District still continue to want me to represent them, and I don’t have any immediate plans to run for statewide office,” she told Politico. “But I can’t tell you I would never run for statewide office.”
One senior Democratic source said the White House was “absolutely outraged” by Wasserman Schultz’s comments in Politico, according to BuzzFeed.
“This is unbelievable. So much for supporting the president or electing Democrats,” a top Democratic political adviser told BuzzFeed. “She was honest that this is about her.”
A DNC official defended Wasserman Schultz, referring to her travel schedule and plans to stump for Democratic candidates like Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, as proof she is still focused on the national scene.
“The Chair’s working tirelessly, crisscrossing the country working for the president,” the official told Politico.