Presidential races

Sanders: Replace DNC leadership

Bernie Sanders called for the removal of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as part of a “fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party” in an impromptu news conference Tuesday afternoon.

{mosads}He ignored repeated questions from reporters as to whether he’d drop out of the presidential race after he met with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Tuesday evening.

When asked whether he could see himself nominating Clinton on the floor of the party’s national convention, like Clinton did for then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, Sanders chuckled and repeated his assertion that “we are going to fight as hard as we can” to change the party. 

“I do believe that we have to replace the current Democratic National Committee leadership,” he said outside his campaign headquarters in Washington. 

“We need a person at the leadership of the DNC who is vigorously supporting and out working to bring people into the political process.” 

The bulk of the press conference served as a preview of the major party rules changes he’ll push for at the convention in late July. But that fight could frustrate the party’s attempts to unify around Clinton, despite Sanders’s assertion that he’ll do whatever he can to stop presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump from winning the White House.

“We need major, major changes in the Democratic Party in converting it to a party of the people — welcoming working people and welcoming young people,” Sanders said. 
“And we need an electoral process which is worthy of the Democrats.”
He called for same-day voter registration, an increase in staffing at precincts, a guarantee of open primaries and an end to the party’s use of superdelegates. 
The first two electoral reforms would likely be easy sells — the party has no direct control over either, so its platform planks would only serve as a statement in support of those policies. But the other two will be more difficult, as they cede power from both the party establishment and its voters.
Ousting Wasserman Schultz would be a tough fight as well, especially considering both President Obama and Clinton’s campaign have spoken out in support of her. 
“We also need, obviously, to get rid of superdelegates. The fact that we had, in this case, 400 superdelegates pledged to a candidate some eight months before the first ballot was cast was, in my mind, absurd,” Sanders said. 
As with Obama, Clinton clinched the nomination with the help of superdelegates — party officials who decide for themselves which candidate to support.
Sanders’s contention that 400 superdelegates had lined up for Clinton eight months before the first ballot was cast was challenged by The Washington Post, which said the first mention in the media it could find of more than 400 superdelegates privately saying they were supporting Clinton appeared last August, four months after Sanders entered the race. The Associated Press did a survey in November and found 359 superdelegates supported the former secretary of State.
It’s far from the first time his campaign has locked horns with Wasserman Schultz, whom his campaign has accused of tipping the scales in favor of Clinton. He’s endorsed her primary opponent and said he’d replace her if he won the presidential nomination. 
Tags Barack Obama Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

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