Within minutes of the announcement that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was resigning her position as chair of the DNC, the meme started circulating: Wasserman Schultz wasn't fired, she got “promoted.”
The folks pushing this idea point to a statement from Hillary Clinton.
"I want to thank my longtime friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her leadership of the Democratic National Committee over the past five years," Clinton said a statement accepting the chairwoman's resignation.
Wasserman Schultz served as a co-chair of Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and Clinton said Sunday that the Floridian will serve as "honorary chair" of her campaign's 50-state program and continue to serve as a surrogate for her campaign nationally and in Florida.
And soon enough, the tweets were flowing.
“It was still part of the set up! She walked right into a job with Hillary!”
“She's was promoted within minutes.”
“She rigged the system, and now Killary is putting her in charge of her campaign!”
At the risk of saying something bone-headedly obvious:
Being an honorary chair of a campaign—a position that involves no responsibilities, no employees, no budget, and no duties—is not a promotion from being chair of the DNC.
Being an honorary chair does not mean that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is “in charge of” Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It doesn’t mean anything. That is, unless you think President Obama’s 2012 campaign was run by actress Eva Longoria; or former Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee; or high school guidance counselor Loretta Harper—all of whom were among 24 people who served as honorary co-chairs of Obama’s 2012 campaign.
Being an honorary chair is not a job. It’s a courtesy. It’s the associate producer of politics. It’s an empty title handed out to help ease Debbie Wasserman Schultz out of her chair and make it slightly more palatable for her to leave a job she’d done (badly) for five years without putting up a fuss.
It’s a face-saving sop.
But it’s not nothing. It’s a gesture extended to a old friend in a bad moment. It’s a moment of being empathetic and trying to both ease the pain for everyone caught up in bad situation while acting to preserve the peace.
If you don’t like that, you’re probably not going to like Hillary.
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As I’m writing this addition, Bernie Sanders is speaking about Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation and the changes being made to the nominating process. You know how much time he thought it was worth to hit Hillary about naming DWS to a empty title? None at all.
Instead, Bernie focused on the issues that have driven his campaign from the beginning.
What else did he say:
And immediately right now, we have got to defeat Donald Trump, and we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
Brothers and sisters, this is the real world that we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue. Trump has made bigotry and hatred the cornerstone of his campaign.
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