Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Friday that heading the Democratic National Committee is “more than a full-time job,” as big-name Democrats start to line up behind Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota to fill the position.
“I am very interested in the chairmanship of the DNC,” Mr. Dean said on MSNBC Friday.
“I think we need a full-time chair,” he said. “I like Keith Ellison a lot — he’s a very good guy. There’s one problem: you cannot do this job and sit in a political office at the same time.
“It’s not possible. We’ve seen what happens. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was not the only person to ever do that — it does not work,” he said, referring to the Florida congresswoman. “This is more than a full-time job.
“We have to rebuild from what has been a tragedy, not only for the Democratic party but perhaps for the country — we don’t know,” Mr. Dean said.
Mr. Dean, a 2004 presidential candidate, served as DNC chairman from 2005-2009, overseeing the party’s 2006 gains in Congress and President Obama’s 2008 election to the White House.
Sen. Bernard Sanders said he supports Mr. Ellison to be the next DNC chairman, and Politico reported Friday that Sen. Charles E. Schumer, in line to be Senate Minority Leader next year, is backing Mr. Ellison as well.
Donna Brazile is the interim chair of the DNC. Ms. Wasserman Schultz stepped down over the summer amid a series of embarrassing leaks of internal DNC emails in which staffers appeared to undermine Mr. Sanders’ bid for the party’s presidential nomination this year.
Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee this year, replaced Mr. Dean as DNC chairman in 2009 and stepped down in 2011 to launch a Senate bid.
Mr. Kaine served as both chairman of the party and as governor of Virginia for some time until he left his post as Virginia’s chief executive in early 2010.
• David Sherfinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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