St. Paul, MN Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5) has set his sights on becoming the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. His bid has garnered the support of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and others in the Party. This week, he was endorsed by the AFL-CIO.
However, there are murmurings from within the party leadership that show Ellison may not be as much of a shoe-in for the position as it would seem. According to the Pioneer Press, despite becoming an early favorite, Ellison’s candidacy “remains under siege. Ellison has faced vocal criticism from prominent Democrats, Jewish groups and some union leaders, who have questioned his comments about Israel, his defense of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his commitment to his own party.”
The article goes on to say that President Obama and Hillary Clinton aides and supporters are searching for an alternative to Ellison. Other candidates for Chair may include Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Vice President Joe Biden and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but both have said they are not running for the position.
Meanwhile, Ellison continues to increase his exposure. This week, speaking for the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he was critical of Donald Trump’s Cabinet appointments. According to CBS-Minnesota, Ellison said, “We are disturbed by not just one pick here or one pick there, but the sum total of all represent a very disturbing trend.” The caucus members are concerned that Trump’s picks are, “more committed to serving his brand and their own wallets than they are to serving the American people…many of Trump’s appointments have attempted to destroy the agencies they are now expected to lead.”
With the nation remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, a 2012 video of Keith Ellison appearing on Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor” has resurfaced where it seems the Congressman is confused about which country attacked Pearl Harbor.
Arguing with O’Reilly about Iran’s nuclear program, Ellison tries to convince O’Reilly that the country doesn’t have plans for a nuclear weapon. O’Reilly responds by comparing that attitude with the American attitude regarding Nazi Germany in WWII. To which Ellison says: “In World War II, they attacked Pearl Harbor…”
It remains to be seen which faction of the Democrat Party will win: the progressives pulling for Ellison and the party’s movement further to the left, or the others who see that far-left movement is part of why they experienced such heavy losses in November.