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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz may not have any plans to go anywhere but Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether she should step down as Democratic National Committee chairwoman.
Concerned about her ability to unite the party to square off against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, Democrats are seeing the DNC chair as too divisive, The Hill reported.
“There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on,” said one pro-Clinton Democratic senator, who added that the chairwoman was the topic of discussion in a chamber floor huddle last week and about a dozen private conversations.
“I don’t see how she can continue to the election. How can she open the convention? Sanders supporters would go nuts,” the lawmaker, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Hill.
Wasserman Schultz has been criticized by supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders of giving favorable treatment to rival Hillary Clinton, with things heating up at the chaotic Nevada Democratic convention earlier this month. Sanders has since endorsed Wasserman Schultz’s primary opponent in Florida’s congressional race and said he will oust the DNC chair if he becomes president.
A deal with Wasserman Schultz and the Clinton and Sanders campaigns to limit the chairwoman’s role in the convention’s platform committee may not save her job, however, according to the Hill.
“There’s a strong sentiment that the current situation is untenable and can only be fixed by her leaving. There’s too much water under the bridge for her to be a neutral arbiter,” a senior Senate Democratic aide told the Hill.
Not all Democrats feel the same, however, praising the job Wasserman Schultz has done so far and opposing any efforts to replace her. “That’s not going to happen. I certainly wouldn’t let it happen,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who was one of several senators who called to speak on the record with the Hill.
“DNC Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz enjoys the support of members of the House Democratic Caucus for her leadership in unifying the party and winning in November,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said in an email to the Hill.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the only senator to endorse Sanders, did not see the chairwoman’s actions as unifying, however.
“It’s very important for her to adopt a role of pouring oil on troubled waters. She did the opposite last week when she poured gasoline on the events that occurred in Nevada,” he said.
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