WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama wants Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to stay on as his party’s chairwoman, a Democratic official said Monday.
Wasserman Schultz has overseen the Democratic National Committee since early 2011. Party officials credit her in part with helping the president carry her home state of Florida, as well as leading the party to an expanded majority in the Senate and more seats in the House.
Obama is asking DNC members to back Wasserman Schultz when they meet in January, just after the president’s inauguration, said the official, who requested anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
A mother of three and a breast cancer survivor, Wasserman Schultz, 46, has represented a reliably Democratic Fort Lauderdale-area district since 2005. Along the way she has earned a reputation as a workhorse and as an outspoken liberal happy to duke it out on television with her Republican counterparts.
Throughout the presidential election, Wasserman Shultz was a particularly prominent spokeswoman for Obama in Florida, the critical swing state where the president eked out a close win in the November election. As a Jew and a strong advocate for Israel, she also provided a bulwark for Obama against Republican efforts to paint him as anti-Israel.
Wasserman Schultz also buoyed her reputation as a fundraiser during the 2012 election cycle, with Democrats noting that she was particularly adept at bringing into the fold donors to Bill and Hillary Clinton who had been wary of supporting Obama. She supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
The president’s support for Wasserman Schultz staying on was first reported by Politico.