DSCC — still the job no one wants

Senate Democrats are struggling to find a leader for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) even as Republicans lay the groundwork to win back the upper chamber in 2014.

Party leaders say they are unconcerned that Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetActress Marcia Gay Harden urges Congress to boost Alzheimer's funding Overnight Finance: Trump wants Russia back in G-7 | Senators, allies push back | House approves first fiscal 2019 spending bills | Dems want insider trading probe over job tweet Dems want insider trading probe after Trump jobs report tweet MORE (D-Colo.), who was offered the position by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary MORE (D-Nev.) earlier this month, has not yet made his decision, insisting that it was too early to think about 2014.

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Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayIBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training Members of Congress demand new federal gender pay audit Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Health chief grilled on Trump drug pricing plan, ObamaCare case MORE (Wash.), who successfully led the DSCC in the 2012 cycle, said she was “not at all” concerned that Bennet hadn’t made his decision, but offered no explanation as to why he’s taken three weeks to decide.

“We haven’t even finished this year,” she said.

And Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan Selling government assets would be a responsible move in infrastructure deal Ignore the naysayers trying to disrupt US diplomacy with North Korea MORE (N.Y.), the third-ranking Senate Democrat and a former DSCC chairman, insisted, “We have a chairman!” — Murray.

Bennet’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Democrats were in a similar position two years ago, when several senators — including Bennet — passed on the job out of concern it would be too difficult of a challenge. The party was expected to lose seats to the Republicans in the 2012 cycle.

But Murray took the position and picked up two seats for the party, in addition to increasing her stature among her colleagues.

Much like last cycle, the new committee chairman will play a significant role in fundraising and recruiting candidates to run in 2014. And whoever it is faces a difficult battle in protecting the Senate Democratic majority.

Republicans, meanwhile, elected Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranFormer USA Gymnastics CEO pleads Fifth at hearing GOP, Trump at odds on pardon power Lawmakers request meeting with Amtrak CEO over funding for route MORE (R-Kan.) to head the National Republican Senatorial Committee and already have a strong recruit for one possible pickup: Rep. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoSenate DHS bill includes .6 billion for ‘fencing’ on border Trump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril Trump presses for wall funding in DHS spending bill MORE announced a bid for West Virginia’s Senate seat.

Out of the four congressional campaign committees, the DSCC remains the only one without a leader.

Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharAmerica has reason to remember its consumer protection tradition when it comes to privacy Hillicon Valley: Judge approves AT&T-Time Warner deal in blow to DOJ | Dems renew push to secure state voting systems | Seattle reverses course on tax after Amazon backlash | Trump, senators headed for cyber clash | More Tesla layoffs Judge approves AT&T-Time Warner merger opposed by Trump MORE (Minn.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandActress Marcia Gay Harden urges Congress to boost Alzheimer's funding Gillibrand on Trump family separation policy: ‘It is an evil, dark thing’ Senate passes 6B defense bill MORE (N.Y.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLive coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report GAO to look into Trump's reduction of carbon social costs Overnight Energy: Pruitt used security detail to run errands | Dems want probe into Pruitt's Chick-fil-A dealings | Yellowstone superintendent says he was forced out MORE (R.I.) have also been floated as options for the position, but a spokeswoman for Gillibrand said the senator isn’t interested. Klobuchar’s and Whitehouse’s offices did not respond to a request for comment.

Murray has been widely praised for her role in raising millions to help the DSCC defend vulnerable incumbents, and for successfully recruiting strong candidates to run in difficult races in red-leaning states like Wisconsin and Indiana — two seats that the Democrats won.

The new chairman’s task looks similarly daunting, with 20 Democratic incumbents up for reelection and at least four — Sens. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Overnight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term MORE (D-W.Va.), Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit MORE (D-S.D.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinDem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Trump should require federal contractors to follow the law MORE (D-Iowa) — looking ripe for retirement.

Another 13 Republicans are up for reelection in 2014, and Democrats are sure to play offense in those races, but doing so will require strong recruits.

But a former Senate Democratic aide familiar with Reid’s thinking dismissed questions surrounding Bennet’s timeline, noting that Murray took her time in deciding to head the committee in November 2010.

“It’s far too early to start worrying about that,” the aide said.

The aide said that a decision needs to be made by the end of the year, but in the meantime, Reid can handle many of the traditional responsibilities of a DSCC chairman, including convincing vulnerable Senate incumbents to run again in 2014.

“The [DSCC] can run largely on autopilot while the senator decides what to do,” the aide said.