ONTD Political

Keith Ellison: Obama deserves blame for Democratic losses

10:29 pm - 04/20/2017

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said former President Obama is partially to blame for the Democrats’ poor showing at the polls in 2016.

Ellison, now the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, blamed Obama for ignoring party politics while he was in office, which he said had put the president’s legacy at risk.

“Look I’m a great fan of President Obama. I totally voted for many of the things he supported — Dodd Frank, Affordable Care Act, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — I could keep going,” Ellison said at an event Wednesday at the University of Minnesota.

“Wonderful achievements. But Barack Obama could have been a better party leader, and I think the fact that he wasn’t put his legacy in jeopardy,” he said.

Ellison added that Obama was “great at getting himself elected” but said he should have worked closer with party leaders to ensure the Democrats were in power to protect his accomplishments.

“Your legacy is not a building that he’s going to construct in Chicago housing his presidential papers,” Ellison continued. “His legacy is the work he’s done, which I believe is tremendous. But given we lost a lot of statehouse seats, governorships, secretary of states, his true legacy is in danger, and I think he can’t say that he wasn’t part of those losses. Who else, right?”

Ellison’s criticism comes as the DNC begins the process of rebuilding the national party under the leadership of new Chairman Tom Perez after a disastrous 2016 election cycle.

Democrats are still reeling from Hillary Clinton’s loss to President Trump. The party had also hoped to reclaim a majority in the Senate and make inroads into the GOP majority in the House.

Republicans have gained hundreds of seats at state legislatures nationwide since Obama was elected in 2008. Republicans control the governor’s mansions and both chambers of the legislature in 24 states.

“He should have been far more out there in 2010, which was a year when we were going to be doing redistricting. He should’ve been campaigning like he was on the ballot and should have been very visible,” Ellison said.

“He’s great at getting himself elected but should’ve worked much more closely with Congress, and I think in 2014 we had record low voter turnout ... and I think that too really was a time when he needed to be visible and present and very engaged ... he needed to raise money for state legislative races.”

Many liberals believe Obama allowed the DNC to fall into a state of disrepair under his chosen leader, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Wasserman Schultz stepped down during the Democratic National Convention after WikiLeaks published internal DNC emails that showed staffers favoring Clinton over progressive favorite Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont.

Ellison backed Sanders during the primary, and Sanders returned the favor when Ellison ran to be the next DNC chair.

Perez, a former Labor secretary under Obama who was backed by key figures from that administration, defeated Ellison to become the next chairman. In a show of unity, Perez made Ellison his deputy chairman.

Perez and Sanders are currently on a unity tour aimed at energizing liberals in opposition to Trump and to healing lingering party divisions from the primary.

blackjedii 21st-Apr-2017 11:22 am (UTC)
Yeah I mean it wasn't like there was a head of the DNC or statewide parties or Clinton making her own machine in some capacity pretty much since she lost or a whole bunch of Democratic governors or PACs or

let's blame Obama.

or maybe Russia.

that works too

y'all all get an F for effort
executivehpfan 21st-Apr-2017 01:57 pm (UTC)
Keep passing that buck
meadowphoenix 21st-Apr-2017 02:28 pm (UTC)
All this Monday morning quaterbacking from people who hadn't deigned to say anything before. Unh, uhn, uhn.
backincharge 23rd-Apr-2017 10:35 am (UTC)
Except people were talking about it before the 2016 election.
meadowphoenix 23rd-Apr-2017 05:14 pm (UTC)
lmao, boo, if you can't accompany your comment with an article/or the knowledge of an article of Ellison complaining about Obama's disinterest before the election, then you understand this comment is either useless (and frankly uselessly defensive) or it betrays a deep misunderstanding of monday morning quaterbacking,I hope.
moonbladem 21st-Apr-2017 03:48 pm (UTC)
"He’s great at getting himself elected but should’ve worked much more closely with Congress, and I think in 2014 we had record low voter turnout."

Ummm... excuse me? The GOP-controlled House absolutely refused to work with him, Turtle O'Connell vowed he'd be a one-term President and they actually took pride in bring obstructionist. Not to mention, during his entire two terms as President, they worked as little as possible, even shut down the freaking government! Obama should have worked closely with Congress? He tried! Many times! They simply threw it back in his face!

And the low voter turnout? Blame the Democratic voters for that, not him. I can only speak for myself, but I do vote every chance I get, even during mid-terms, but Democrats are notorious for not voting during mid-terms, unlike Repugs. Which is how that vile Ted Cruz managed to become Senator.

"Perez and Sanders are currently on a unity tour aimed at energizing liberals in opposition to Trump and healing lingering party divisions from the primary."

So this is how Ellison plans to heal the lingering party divisions from the primary? Attacking Obama and blaming him? I would expect the Repugs to blame Obama for everything... which they did and still do, but not Democrats.

Why not blame the DNC? Haven't they been ignoring all these special elections going on right now, thinking the Democratic candidates didn't stand a chance? Not contributing a dime to their campaigns or support? Sure they're supporting Ossof now, but there are quite a few where with a little support, those Democratic candidates could have had a chance to win those seats. Why not blame the DNC, Ellison? Stop using Obama as a scapegoat!
moonshaz 21st-Apr-2017 06:34 pm (UTC)

I agree with every word. I also strongly believe that putting the blame for Trump's win on ANY ONE thing is misguided and counterproductive. And trying to make Obama the scapegoat is possibly rhe most counterproductive tactic I've seen yet.

backincharge 23rd-Apr-2017 10:36 am (UTC)
lol, he has been blaming the DNC. That's why he ran for crying out loud.
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