Infighting: Democrats Fuming over Midterm Strategy

As the midterm elections, that will decide the fate of the majorities in the House and Senate, along with how successful the president’s legislative agenda will be in the following years, quickly approach, there appears to be growing discontent with the various strategies coming from the Democrat National Committee (DNC), its affiliates, and the White House.

A report from the Hill indicated that the discontent among all the organizations had left some party members confused over their “big-picture” plan for the 2022 midterms that are now only months away. Multiple sources with knowledge of the party’s committee told the Hill they are “befuddled and upset that the strategic vision seems to be slipping away amid reports of personality disputes, administration overreach, communication mishaps and wasted resources.”

A “plugged-in DNC source” told the Hill that “While the White House still hasn’t figured out how to build their outside infrastructure, they’re quickly trying to shift blame for the position to people outside the White House.” The “plugged-in” source added: “It’s really disappointing because we’re 10 months before the election … We’ve got time.”

There was a series of stories from the Hill, NBC News, and Breitbart News in recent weeks. One report from NBC News cited “more than two dozen sources,” saying there was a growing argument inside the DNC and Chairman Jaime Harrison was thinking about leaving his post. A second from the Hill indicated that none of the committees could agree on a strategy for the midterms. The third story from Breitbart News outlined that Democrat candidates in tough elections nationwide appear to have been avoiding being seen with or speaking about President Joe Biden.

Harrison said in a statement to the Hill in response to the story:

The DNC, along with our partners in the White House, are a cohesive team that is firing on all cylinders in order to put Democrats in the best possible position to win. Anything suggesting otherwise is flatly untrue. Each and every day, I am proud to be a part of this team and the critical work we are doing.

However, after the NBC report, Harrison also set off a series of tweets voicing his opinion over the “unnamed” sources. But, while the tweets won him support, it further expanded the difference in views revolving around a feud between the DNC and the White House.

In a statement, a longtime Democrat strategist and former DNC advisor, Adam Parkhomenko, went after the White House for restricting Harrison. “The White House needs to let Jaime be Jaime.” He went on:

He understands exactly what the DNC needs to do to be successful from a standpoint of supporting President Biden’s agenda, organizing, fundraising and supporting the 57 state parties, Dictating his day-to-day is a disservice to the work he has agreed to do and what we need to do to win this year.

The Hill added that the communication chain between the White House, the DNC, and the question of who is calling shots has caused confusion to some:

According to those party figures and operatives, even more crippling than some unflattering news coverage is the fact that a few key Biden allies like Jen O’Malley Dillion, the president’s deputy chief of staff, are calling most of the shots from the West Wing, while Executive Director Sam Cornale and Mary Beth Cahill, a senior DNC adviser, are in charge at the committee end.

But, a source familiar told the Hill that Harrison and O’Malley Dillion have “a solid working relationship and are in frequent close contact.” When asked for comment, a Biden adviser told the Hill:

President Biden and Democrats are united — we’re focused on lowering costs for the American people while talking to the American people about our accomplishments — we created more jobs than in any one year in the history of the country and passed a historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

While Democrats are reportedly “annoyed with the way things are unfolding during the early Biden years, say that while things have been unpleasant, it’s not entirely uncommon for some bumps in the road to occur while the party is in power.”

A DNC delegate told the Hill that “This is what happens when the Democrats control the White House… “It’s not right. I don’t agree with it at all.”

The Hill added:

Multiple sources privately acknowledged that, for all the public cheerleading of winning up and down the ticket, being in charge of the White House and Congress at times creates more issues for the DNC than they otherwise would have to deal with. When Democrats are not in control, they essentially serve as attack dogs against the Republican Party, a position that allows them to dish out opposition research and negative ads to flood into voters’ inboxes.

Instead, they are now tasked with boosting an administration that has natural highs and lows. And Biden has had many. In just over a year in office, his approval rating has sunk in several battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, a metric top DNC officers are keeping a close eye on as Election Day approaches.

A delegate told the Hill that “The White House focuses the DNC’s efforts on winning and then keeping the White House… [It] should have far broader and deeper goals than that.” When Tom Perez was the committee’s chairman, he did not have a White House to answer to, as former President Donald Trump was in office. As a result, Perez was given more room to be in the opposition. 

“Jaime thought his chairmanship would be like Tom’s,” said the DNC delegate. “If Jaime had the freedom that Tom did, I know he would be a much more positively impactful chair than Tom was. But that’s not the reality now.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.

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