You mean her comments about Republicans wanting to kill old people and Tea Partiers being responsible for the Giffords shooting crossed the line? — Who knew?

(WSJ) — Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz had a sound bite ready when Donald Trump endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently.

“They both like firing people and they’ve both made millions doing it,” she declared, unleashing a line that landed on two network news shows, cable news programs and numerous newspapers and blogs.

Such moments are helping Ms. Wasserman Schultz become, practically overnight, the face of the Democratic Party in this election year. She’s doing so by deploying a style of rhetoric that rouses populist passion and earns cheers among many Democrats—but that critics, including some within the president’s own party, say is too divisive. […]

While she revs up the Democratic base, she enrages the Republican opposition. She once suggested Republicans pushing voter-ID measures “literally want to drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws.” At a New Hampshire forum last month, she raised the issue of her close friend Rep. Gabby Giffords’ shooting by a deranged man in the context of the changing “discourse in America” based on the “precipitous turn towards edginess and lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.”

Ms. Wasserman Schultz often goes to hyperbolic extremes to make her points. In one of her first appearances in May after becoming DNC chairwoman, she said the Republicans’ record is “anti-women” and “a war on women.” She called last year’s GOP budget and Medicare plan “literally a death trap for seniors” and a burden on young people by allowing insurance companies to “throw you to the wolves.”

Some Democrats worry that the tone she exemplifies is making the political process more polarizing and governing harder.

“She has to drop the class warfare soon,” says Jim Kessler, co-founder of Third Way, a think tank promoting centrist Democratic views. “In the battle for moderates and independents, the message from her and the president has to be more uplifting.”

Obama advisers have occasionally told her to “tone it down” and “back off a smidgen,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz says. She agreed with them to enlist two seasoned Democratic female pros, Anita Dunn and Hilary Rosen, to begin giving her occasional political advice and media training, advisers say. “I’m glad to get constructive criticism,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz says.

Keep reading…

2 Shares