All of the signs I see lead me to believe that the political revolution is succeeding in its effort to transform the Democratic Party. This Wednesday night, Our Revolution will be live streaming an event with Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison. Ellison is the leading candidate to replace Donna Brazile as chair of the DNC. The location of the event and one of its participants lead me to believe that Our Revolution has already won over a significant chunk of Hillary Clinton’s base of support.
The headquarters of the American Federation of Teachers is where the event will take place. Randi Weingarten, the union’s president, is participating in the event, which is focusing on Congressman Ellison’s vision for where he would lead the Democratic Party.
Weingarten and the teachers union endorsed Hillary Clinton early. Weingarten was one of the fiercest supporters of Secretary Clinton and has a lot of sway with Clinton supporters around the country. Her support of Keith Ellison, Bernie’s choice to be chair, signals to me that at least organized labor has joined the political revolution.
If you remember shortly after Trump’s victory there was a rally in Upper Senate Park organized by Our Revolution. The rally, which featured speeches by Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Keith Ellison and Nina Turner, also included many labor leaders who supported Clinton. The chair of the board of Our Revolution is Larry Cohen, former president of Communication Workers of America. It looks to me like Cohen has succeeded in bringing labor on board.
Another thing to remember is Cohen is co-chairing a critical commission charged with reforming the nominating process. The “Unity” Commission will have seven members appointed by Sanders in addition to Cohen. The Clinton Campaign will appoint nine members. The next party chair will appoint an additional three members. Keith Ellison is the heavy favorite at this point to win the chairmanship. Ellison, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was the first elected official to endorse Bernie Sanders. A 10-9 majority would be enough to guarantee substantial changes in the nominating process. There are signs, however, that many in the Clinton camp are open to significant changes.
Of course, the commission can only suggest changes that the DNC will have to approve in the end. There is reason for optimism as we watch the way party leaders are pushing Bernie out front. Reforming the nominating process will be the number one priority for Sanders and Ellison at the DNC.
Usually, the party’s presidential nominee selects the new chair of the party. There are exceptions: sometimes a candidate with a significant number of delegates negotiates the naming of the next party leader as a condition for releasing their delegates. In 1988 Jesse Jackson did that, resulting in the chairmanship of Ron Brown.
There is no indication that happened this time, but the silence of Hillary Clinton in the process of electing a new chair leads me to believe that Bernie Sanders is now the de facto leader of the party.
I may be wrong, but the handwriting on the wall is indicating that Bernie played his cards right and is now poised to transform the Democratic Party. Age is the only thing that may stop Sanders from being the frontrunner for president in 2020.
(From Reader Supported News)
Click here to watch live streaming of the Wednesday night event with Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison.