The deputy chair of the Democrat National Committee placed the blame for the historic losses suffered by Democrats in recent elections at the feet of former President Barack Obama.
Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison said Obama’s lack of leadership contributed to the party losing over a thousand seats at national, state and local levels.
“Look I’m a great fan of President Obama. I totally voted for many of the things he supported — Dodd-Frank, Affordable Care Act, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — I could keep going,” he said at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, The Hill reported.
“Wonderful achievements. But Barack Obama could have been a better party leader, and I think the fact that he wasn’t put his legacy in jeopardy,” Ellison continued.
He said that the former president was “great at getting himself elected” but didn’t work enough with leaders of his party to secure his legacy by helping get Democrats elected.
“Your legacy is not a building that he’s going to construct in Chicago housing his presidential papers,” Ellison said. “His legacy is the work he’s done, which I believe is tremendous. But given we lost a lot of statehouse seats, governorships, secretary of states, his true legacy is in danger, and I think he can’t say that he wasn’t part of those losses. Who else, right?”
“He should have been far more out there in 2010, which was a year when we were going to be doing redistricting. He should’ve been campaigning like he was on the ballot and should have been very visible,” the DNC deputy chair said.
“He’s great at getting himself elected but should’ve worked much more closely with Congress, and I think in 2014 we had record low voter turnout … and I think that too really was a time when he needed to be visible and present and very engaged,” Ellison added. “He needed to raise money for state legislative races.”
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