To read Politico’s article on the DNC, you’d think they’re in a world of hurt. That’s the only logical conclusion to be reached after reading “The Democratic National Committee is reeling, facing a turnaround that’s proving a much bigger lift than anyone expected as it struggles to raise enough money to cover its basic promises. Many donors are refusing to write checks. And on-the-ground operatives worry they won’t have the resources to build the infrastructure they need to compete effectively in next year’s midterms and in the run-up to 2020.”
It’s tough to read quotes that attempt to paint over the DNC’s difficulties. According to the article, “Donors, small and large, are so over the party,’ said Nebraska party chair Jane Kleeb, summing up the problem facing DNC chairman Tom Perez and his counterparts in the states. Kleeb, who is working on grassroots fundraising efforts for the committee, said she believes the money will come eventually.” That sounds like spin to me. What has Kleeb seen that makes her think that donor enthusiasm will increase? Or is that statement wishful thinking? It’s most likely wishful thinking.
Much of the immediate anxiety centers on the State Party Innovation Fund, a planned $10.5 million competitive grant program that DNC leadership has made available to interested state parties over the next year. The money is meant to pay for organizing, ground operations and other mechanics seen as essential to countering Republican National Committee investments that helped elect Donald Trump and a slew of other Republican candidates in 2016, leapfrogging Democrats in the process.
Desperation is setting in. This video highlights the outlandish statements Perez is becoming famous for:
In Las Vegas, Minnesota party chairman Ken Martin, the president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, went out of his way while speaking to a gathering of state party executive directors to assure them the grant program was on schedule, since the money will be doled out over the course of a year and so doesn’t have to be raised yet, said one Democrat in the room.
All the wishful thinking in the world won’t solve the DNC’s problems. While it’s a stretch to think the DNC is listening to its death knell, it isn’t a stretch to think that they’re in trouble.