TOM PEREZ is taking over the leadership of the Democratic Party at one of the lowest points in its 189-year history. Since 2009 the party has lost more than 1,000 state legislature seats, more than a dozen governor’s mansions and numerous city halls. Its defeat at the presidential election in November was as painful as it was unexpected. It is deeply divided between a progressive wing led by Bernie Sanders, a self-professed socialist senator from Vermont, and the party’s establishment, of which Mr Perez is a proper part.
“I know that Tom Perez will unite us under that banner of opportunity, and lay the groundwork for a new generation of Democratic leadership for this big, bold, inclusive, dynamic America we love so much,” said Barack Obama in a statement shortly after Mr Perez’s election on February 25th. The former president had not explicitly endorsed Mr Perez, who served as his secretary of labour for almost five years, but he was widely assumed to favour Mr Perez among the nine candidates for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). His vice president, Joe Biden, and his attorney-general, Eric Holder, had come out in favour of Mr…Continue reading