For the state’s party officials, many of whom still resent the dwindling Democratic National Congress during Barack Obama’s administration, the choice of Harrison came as a relief.
About 70 party leaders and the vice president sent a letter to Biden’s transition team in November, and, on anonymity, listed a series of traits that “all corresponded to Jaime’s biography and experience,” one of them put it.
These party leaders see Harrison as one of them, a former state committee chair who will lead decentralized DNC and advocate for investing money in statewide regulation – and they hope to get out of how the party is run under Obama.
Harrison’s choice was a given, with DNC members viewing him as the frontrunner for months and showing no competitor.
His rise to the top of the National Democratic Party is a sign of the growing influence of the South in the Democratic Party, which is likely to expand further after the Georgia elections for Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and John Usoff.
But it’s also a sign of the influence she’s wielding Claiborne, a South Carolina congressman and a great ally of Biden, who helped revive the president-elect’s 2020 campaign by endorsing him before his state primaries.
Claiborne She paid Harrison publicly and behind the scenes, including by talking to Biden about the position. Harrison was previously an employee of Clyburn.
Biden and his team were so close to DNC during his run for the presidency that in both processes, personnel joined each other’s conference calls and their own leadership coordinated frequently on field forces and messages.
“Jaime will ensure that all 57 parties and territories get the funding we need not only to win the elections but also to build the infrastructure we need to organize throughout the year,” said Jane Kleb, chair of the Democratic Party of Nebraska. “We can’t afford to be a party parachuting into resources at the last minute.”
“We’re all excited” about Harrison, said Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington Democratic Party. “As a former head of the state party, he clearly understands the issues we need to deal with.”
DNC members will vote for their president and other positions between January 18 and January 21 on electronic polling due to concerns about Covid-19. When Democrats win the White House, that vote is usually a formality endorsing the president-elect’s choices.
One of the challenges the party will face in the coming years will be raising funds without President Donald Trump taking office to mobilize donors. Harrison, who challenged Senator Lindsey Graham last year, showed a talent for fundraising in vain. During his run for the Senate, he brought in $ 131 million, a record for a room candidate.
But some Democrats questioned whether his ability to make big bucks while fighting a tricky man on the left would translate into fundraising for DNC. The Democrats will also face an uphill battle in the 2022 election, when the party that normally controls the White House suffers losses.
“Of course we want to help President Biden, but the House, Senate and Governor races in 2022 will be the main focus of DNC,” said Carol Fowler, a longtime South Carolina Democratic official close to Harrison. Recognition of fundraising challenges for the ruling party. “Jimmy can do it. He can do it. Whoever of us knows him knows he’s going to be an exceptional captain and his focus will be on those races.”