The new interim head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has a colorful history, which includes demanding former President George H.W. Bush confess to an extramarital affair and a belief that “white boys” shouldn’t be allowed to win.
Donna Brazile is set to take over the DNC from Debbie Wasserman Schultz as soon as the Democratic convention in Philadelphia wraps up. Brazile has worked as a political strategist and Democratic party operative for over thirty years, going all the way back to a job on Jesse Jackson’s 1984 effort in the Democratic presidential primary. (RELATED: DNC Interim Head Didn’t Disavow Communist Support)
In 1988, Brazile was working for Michael Dukakis’ presidential campaign when she made an ill-fated decision to believe an unsubstantiated rumor about George H.W. Bush having an extramarital affair.
“George Bush owes it to the American people to fess up,” Brazile said. “The American people have every right to know if Barbara Bush will share that bed with him in the White House.”
Brazile’s comments were widely denounced as offensive. The Dukakis campaign disavowed them a day later and Brazile resigned from the campaign.
But Brazile’s career was hardly finished, and she didn’t lose her penchant for bold remarks. More than a decade later, she was the campaign manager for Al Gore’s presidential campaign and told The Washington Post she was determined not to let “white boys” defeat her.
“[It’s not a] gender or race, it’s an attitude. A white-boy attitude is ‘I must exclude, denigrate and leave behind,” Brazile told the Post in 1999. “They don’t see it or think about it. It’s a culture.”
Brazile talked up her ability to be blunt and rude if necessary.
“I had to decide if I’d be a bitch or a whore. I chose bitch,” she told the Post. “I’d have to be strong, tough, abrasive. But I also knew I could be fair.”
Unsurprisingly, Brazile hasn’t emerged unscathed from the DNC email leak either. In one leaked email, Brazile says she “will cuss out the Sanders camp” if she talks to the press about them. The DNC is supposed to be neutral between the different primary campaigns within the Democratic party.
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