Tom Perez, the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has reportedly asked for the resignation of all current DNC staffers in an effort to remake the organization after a disastrous election year.
“What we’re trying to do is culture change,” he told NBC News. “We’re repairing a plane at 20,000 feet. You can’t land the plane, shut it down, and close it until further notice.”
But Perez is taking steps to rid the DNC of the old guard, knowing that the party’s liberal base is demanding accountability after Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss to Donald Trump.
Immediately after Perez’s selection as party chairman in late February, an adviser to outgoing DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile, Leah Daughtry, asked every employee to submit a letter of resignation dated April 15, according to multiple sources familiar with the party’s internal workings.
A committee advising Perez on his transition is now interviewing staff and others as part of a top-to-bottom review process to decide not only who will stay and who will go, but how the party should be structured in the future.
Perez is the third person to lead the DNC within the time span of a year. Former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced out around the time of the convention when Bernie Sanders supporters grew outraged over the favoritism shown towards Hillary. Replacement chair Donna Brazile had to step aside when leaked emails showed she had improperly colluded with Hillary, providing her with CNN questions before a televised debate in the primaries.
Now, the DNC is getting ready to launch a nationwide search for candidates who can fill the important staff positions, and Perez is going to try revamping the party’s political strategy going into the 2018 elections.
The Democrats are going to look at this mechanically, spreading their wings into areas they haven’t had much of a presence in and attempting to pull back the white working class voters who went for Trump in 2016. But before they can do any of that, they’re going to have to decide what kind of party they are going to be. Because it’s not just about communication of a message; it’s about whether or not that message appeals to American voters anymore.