Benched: DWS MIA in Democrats' PR Blitz
Have you noticed that we've seen a lot less of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently? Since getting caught misrepresenting her own statements caught on tape in early September, she seems to have been relegated to the back bench.
Wednesday night was the first presidential debate, and Democrats had their various surrogates on hand to talk to the media. Rep. Wasserman-Schultz gave interviews to Univision, 7 News Colorado, and what appears to be a pre-debate interview with an ABC affiliate. She'll appear on Bloomberg TV this Sunday and she has a new profile in Vogue of all places, but these are not the sort of prime communications assignments she has had in the past.
Currently, Rep. Wasserman-Schultz is on a DNC bus tour making stops in places like Parma, Ohio and Dubuque, Iowa along with Sandra Fluke. These are swing states, so the GOTV efforts there are important. Still, the assignment also has the effect of relegating Debbie to small gatherings of like-minded Democrats and appearances on local news affiliates.
Rep. Wasserman-Schultz's semi-retreat from the public eye seems to have begun in early September when a scandal erupted over some comments she attributed to the Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. She claimed, in front of a group of Jewish voters, that the ambassador had said Republicans were "dangerous" for Israel.
After the comments were published by Philip Klein at the Examiner, Rep. Wasserman-Schultz claimed she had never made them. At this point, Klein published his audio recording of the statement, which clearly proved she had said exactly what he claimed. If that weren't bad enough, Oren denied "categorically" that he had ever said such a thing.
Within a couple days of the controversy, Politico piled on with a story suggesting that Wasserman-Schultz's future within the Democratic Party appeared hazy:
People close to Wasserman Schultz say she isn’t likely to serve a second term at the DNC. On top of that, her supporters have written her off as a candidate for statewide
races in Florida. They also say she would be ill-fitted to serve in
Obama’s administration. In short, her options are few.
For now, her only option seems to be riding the bus in a last-ditch attempt to avoid being thrown under it.