Donna Brazile, an adjunct assistant professor in the Georgetown women’s and gender studies program, will serve as interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee following the resignation of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) amid a leaked email scandal.
Brazile, a veteran political strategist who has served as the DNC’s vice chair of voter registration and participation since 2000, will take the reins after the Democratic National Convention, which concludes on Thursday. Brazile was unavailable to comment as of press time.
Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation on Sunday in light of WikiLeaks’ recent release of 20,000 DNC emails, which revealed that Wasserman Schultz wrote unfavorably of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) during the primary race. The emails stoked allegations that the Democratic Party establishment was unfairly skewed toward presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the primary season.
“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals [which include electing Clinton president] is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement Sunday.
Wasserman Schultz, who was appointed DNC chair in 2011 by President Barack Obama, was supposed to hold the office through January 2017. Brazile will fulfill her responsibilities to the end of the term while Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) will preside over the convention.
Brazile has taught a seminar – “Women in American Politics” – at Georgetown for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Brazile is a syndicated newspaper columnist and frequent political commentator on CNN and ABC News.
Previously, Brazile served as the campaign manager for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, becoming the first black woman to manage a national presidential campaign.
Yesterday, both ABC News and CNN suspended their contributor agreements with Brazile in advance of her assumption of the DNC Chair position. Brazile will appear on CNN’s convention coverage for the remainder of this week in an unpaid capacity.
In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Brazile said she had met with the Sanders campaign and apologized on behalf of the DNC.
“I think that the allegations, the emails, the insensitivity, the stupidity needs to be addressed, and we are going to address it,” Brazile said.
Following the announcement of Brazile as interim DNC chair, WikiLeaks tweeted an image of an email that involves Brazile in the DNC controversy surrounding the Sanders campaign. In the email, Brazile responds to a press inquiry from The Washington Post about the DNC-Sanders squabble by writing: “I have no intention of touching this. Why? Because I will cuss out the Sanders camp!”
Brazile said Sunday on ABC News’s “This Week” she had apologized to the Sanders camp.
Roey Hadar (SFS ’17), who is registered to take Brazile’s class next semester, said he was pleasantly surprised to hear about Brazile’s selection. The registrar’s office has not announced whether Brazile’s lecture will still be offered in the fall as of press time.
“I always like to see Georgetown students, alumni or faculty do big things and take on more prominent roles,” Hadar said. “It’s just another example of how closely this school is attached to breaking news.”
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