President Barack Obama praised Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Friday, at a time her leadership of the party is being sharply questioned.
“I want to thank Debbie for the great work that she is doing to keep our party strong,” Obama said on the stage of the Democratic Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington. “Nobody anywhere works harder than Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I want to thank her for her incredible efforts.”
Kind words. But according to a 4,000-word Politico story this week, Obama rarely includes the DNC chair in his political meetings and thinks little of the job she’s doing—so little that his Administration actively looked to replace her in 2012, but decided it would ultimately be more hassle than it’d be worth.
Obama wasn’t the only one with effusive praise for Wasserman Schultz. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton complimented Wasserman Schultz earlier in the day. “Debbie wears so many hats so well: DNC chair, trusted friend, congresswoman, mom,” she said.
But according to the Politico article, Clinton will never forgive Wasserman Schultz, who co-chaired her 2008 presidential bid, for secretly calling the Obama campaign late in the primary slugfest and secretly pledging her support.
Also effusive of Wasserman Schultz was Vice President Joe Biden. “I’ve never seen anyone work as hard and as tirelessly as Debbie does,” Biden said. “She’s like my little sister.”
Which is perhaps why Wasserman Schultz was over the top on her praise of Biden—perhaps the only prominent Democrat named in the Politico story whose aides didn’t trash her—and hinted at supporting him for President in 2016 against presumed frontrunner Clinton. “Joe Biden is a national treasure… There’s a reason I wore a Joe Biden button [when he ran for President] in 1988 even after someone else won the nomination,” she told the crowd. “Of course, I’m neutral as DNC chair, but I thought you should know that.”