Debbie Wasserman-Schultz To Replace Tim Kaine At DNC

With Tim Kaine running for Virginia Senate, the Democrats have tapped Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to head the Democratic National Committee:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) is expected to be named chair of the Democratic National Committee later Tuesday, top Democratic sources said. Wasserman Schultz was chosen for her strength as a fund-raiser and as a television messenger, and for her clout in the crucial swing state of Florida, the sources said. She will succeed Tim Kaine, who announced earlier Tuesday that he will run for U.S. Senate from Virginia. The final choice, made by President Barack Obama, came down to her and former Ohio governor Ted Strickland, the sources said

Interesting choice. It will be, I believe, the first time a major political party was headed by a woman. (See correction below)

Update: I was incorrect. Mary Louise Smith headed the Republican National Committee from 1974-1977, which incidentally couldn’t have been very easy. Additionally, Debra DeLee headed the Democratic National Committee from 1994-1995


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ryan Gleason says:

    Mary Louise Smith headed up the RNC in the mid-70’s.

  2. wr says:

    She’s a great choice, the best since Dean. She’s smart and tough, a real fighter. As a lifelong Democrat and frustrated liberal, I couldn’t be happier.

  3. Ryan Gleason says:

    And, Debra DeLee got the top slot at the DNC in the 90’s. I had forgotten about this one but in confirming my memory about Mary Louise Smith there was a reference that she was one of two.

  4. Ryan,

    Thanks. I’ve updated the post

  5. Kylopod says:

    Well, for what it’s worth, the first Jewish woman.

  6. TG Chicago says:

    Wow. I mentioned lazy writing in another post. How hard is it to take 30 seconds of Googling to make sure you’re right before posting that she’s the first woman?

  7. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Being named DNC Chair is like winning a contest at the Special Olympics.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    Being named DNC Chair is like winning a contest at the Special Olympics.

    Oh really? Funny how the previous RNC chairman could be a poster child for the Special Olympics…on second thought, scratch that…he would lower the bar for all of those who participate in the Special Olympics…

  9. Tano says:


    I do wish you would not feel obliged to follow the morons down into the gutter….

  10. wr says:

    AIP — The Republicans are going to end up looking back fondly on Steele, once his successor finishes branding his boy Scott Walker as the face of the party — and loses the midwest for conservatives for decades.