A week after the Democratic Party suffered a bitter defeat in the midterm elections, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, is putting on her face mask, gown and rubber gloves and taking charge of the autopsy.
In a three-minute video addressed to mourning Democrats, Wasserman Schultz vowed to kick off an intense examination of just why Democrats do so poorly in midterm elections, and what changes the party can make in its efforts to see that it doesn't happen again.
"Our party has a problem," Wasserman Schultz said. "We know we're right on the issues. The American people believe in the causes we are fighting for, but the electoral success we have when our presidential nominee is able to make a case to the country as a whole doesn't translate in other elections."
"I'm not going to gloss over the facts," Wasserman Shultz said. "On Tuesday, the Republicans had a good night. We didn't. We worked hard for months, we even won a few tough races, but it wasn't enough."
Referring to the 2010 elections, when Democrats lost control of the House, and this year, when they lost control of the Senate, Wasserman Schultz said, "We've got to do better, so that's why we're going to kick off an effort at the DNC to do a top-to-bottom assessment of how we can do better."
Noting that the most pressing goal is "to elect a Democratic president of the United States in 2016," Wasserman Schultz added, "Within the next couple of weeks, I'm going to name a committee of key party stakeholders and experts who will spearhead an examination of what went wrong and how the Democratic Party can do a better job of connecting in midterm elections."
"We're going to look at where we fell short. We're going to identify our mistakes and we're going to talk to the smartest people in our party and the most dedicated Democrats in the country to build on what we've done that worked and find solutions for things that are broken."
Wasserman Schultz faces a daunting task —
re-energizing a Democratic electorate after a crushing defeat at the polls. She told the Huffington Post
she already has discussed her plans with President Barack Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
The Tampa Bay Times noted,
"While the GOP will continue to face challenges in presidential election years, Democrats have the opposite problem: their broad coalition simply isn't showing up in numbers to make candidates competitive."
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski told the Huffington Post, "We have said from the beginning that Obama 2012 wasn't the standard for us. The midterms showed that, and we are going to keep building on our successes."
Wasserman Schultz said the review would be completed and presented at the DNC winter meeting early next year.
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