Top DNC Official Departs After Less Than A Year

NBC News reports:

The CEO of the Democratic National Committee is leaving after less than a year on the job, NBC News has learned.

Veteran Democrat operative Jess O’Connell took the helm of the DNC last May with a mandate to help newly installed Chairman Tom Perez turn around a troubled party organization that was struggling after years of neglect and a brutal 2016 that included accusations of favoritism in the primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the hacking of internal emails, and the loss to President Donald Trump.

O’Connell will leave the party stabilized, if not yet fully recovered, after wins last year in Virginia and Alabama, and her decision to leave is a personal one, a DNC official told NBC News, timed to cause minimal disruption ahead of November’s midterm elections.

The Washington Post reports:

In a statement to The Washington Post, DNC Chairman Tom Perez said that O’Connell joined the party “when it needed her most” — months after he won a lengthy and sometimes bitter contest to lead it.

“Her leadership brought a laser-like focus on winning elections up and down the ballot,” Perez said of O’Connell. “She helped build our Every Zip Code Counts strategy, oversaw unprecedented programming and support for state parties and campaigns, renewed our focus on data and technology, and helped lead us to 100+ victories in elections all across the country in 2017. ”

  • DaddyRay

    Seems odd she would leave before the Blue Wave but we will move on

    • MaryJOGrady

      Maybe just this once it *is* personal reasons.

      • David L. Caster

        More will probably come out.

        • MaryJOGrady

          Maybe so.

    • Gustav2

      Maybe she can make more money working for an outside group or consulting multiple candidates.

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    for gods sake get howard dean back doing something, anything

    • DaddyRay

      Howard Dean would be perfect, he would certainly know how to leverage the Indivisible movement with his 50 state strategy

    • rabbit_ears

      Or Howard the Duck even.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        Howard Stern

    • Sean Taylor

      Howard Dean!?!?!?!? Dear God no.

    • gothambear

      yes yes yes! we need a strong shot of Howard Dean

    • Terry

      Howard Dean is an establishment fool. Get a progressive in there!

      • Stephen Elliot Phillips

        And who would that progressive be?

        • Terry

          Keith Ellison
          Nina Turner
          Tulsi Gabbard
          Nomiki Konst of TYT
          Ro Khanna of CA

          Just to name a few. However, I would strike off Khanna and Ellison becausee I believe that a sitting Congressperson should NOT be overseeing the DNC. It should be a full time job

          I feel the focus on Big $ as opposed to message and a progressive agenda has hurt us like nothing else has. I do believe Dems need to compete in every district in every state but there has to be not only the promise of change, but when they are in positions to affect that change they actually do it. ESPECIALLY on the federal level

  • SkokieGuy

    Why don’t I see lots of ads for our side pointing out the evil on the right? Why does the DNC seem powerless and inconsequential?

    The election is less than a year away and do I see the DNC shouting about election tampering? Crosscheck? Pointing out that the Republican party is in disarray? The number of fired or resigned admin members? There is plenty of material to help sway the conversation, but I don’t see it happening.

    I will donate to candidates, but the DNC is not demonstrating that they know what to do.

    • DaddyRay


    • Terry

      I hear that! I will donate to actual candidates campaigns but I will not donate to the DNC. They not only misused the funds, but also violated its own bylaws to put their thumb on the scale for Clinton.

      Further, what policy aims are they going for? Absolutely nothing! They have rarely put forth a unified message other than “resist Trump” and they’re microresistance at best

  • Friday’s_cat

    You have two vehicles, one of which stalls in the middle of traffic regularly the other more or less dependable. Guess the one neglected.
    Same for the DNC, they become adept at snatching defeat in any occasion.

  • Jmdintpa

    and the so called blue wave continues to just be a myth… a mystery monster… that some people say will save us from total fascism and civil breakdown. its not going to happen. trump has and will continue to destroy our republic. our lives as gay people is going to be a complete hell within 7 years. we are going to be living in a religious style oligarchy like Russia….. and we all see how christians treat queers in russia and are allowed to get away with it… just wait until they can do it here. Are you protected, are you ready to protect you and your family? Remember dont bring a knife to a GUN fight. Remember the country and the people we are dealing with. They are violent and seething and armed to the nines and just waiting for permission to come after us all in the name of the LORD.

    • Gerry Fisher

      Interesting crystal ball you’ve got there.

      • David L. Caster

        It’s a dark one for sure.

  • Friday’s_cat

    Got tired of having to jump the snark?
    I used to think it bad luck how republicans always managed to smack Democrats around, turning every misstep into a scandal. Then it dawned on me that some of them are just that dumb. “Impeachment is off the table” dumb.

  • Gigi

    What a shit show. The lives of millions of people are on the line and the DNC couldn’t raise funds for and organize a successful office potluck. They’re so out of touch and clueless as to the wants and needs of the American people that, if they don’t do something fast, the country could be lost for several generations. If we see seven more years of Trump & Co., it might not recover at all.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    I don’t know. This retirement and McCabe retiring from the FBI doesn’t make me feel good. It seems like the orange monsterpig and his spawn and toadies just keep running over the Constitution left and right. And it feels like Mueller is taking forever.

    Arrrghhh. I have to go back into Trumpland this week and next. My dad is having health issues and my mom says she needs one of us there, and my brother & sister can’t go. I’m dreading it. I get grind-my-teeth mad almost every day when I think about everybody that voted for Trump. I don’t think I will be able to be diplomatic when I’m there.

    • Joe in PA

      Hang in there, do it for family. Forget the orange one for a bit. You just need a hug. 🙂

      • JCF

        Wubz! <3<3

        Need me some puppy love…

    • Gustav2

      After just a year into the Watergate Investigation, Nixon said in his SOTU it was time to stop the investigation.

      This takes time.

    • don’t be. spend a lot of time talking about the facts of the traitor and his administration. use their own words. as someone was just saying at another blog, they have *admitted* that they are traitors. people in trumpland often have never seen those words. there’s plenty to choose from. and remind them that just a few years ago, all real republicans HATED russians.

  • kareemachan

    “Stabilized”? Maybe try listening to people when they tell you to GET A BACKBONE.

    • MarkBuster

      Well, “dead” is a kind of stable. 🙂

  • Joe in PA

    So they really think it was the DNC (and this woman in particular) that should be credited for the wins in Virginia and Alabama? Well, ok then.

    • ik,r? first to take credit for the works of actual on the ground folks, last to accept blame for the massive fuckups the DWS “strategy” and messaging created.

      • BeaverTales


      • prixator

        Sounds like HRC (the org., not the person).

  • Taylor Bixler

    The ghost of DWS will long loom over the DNC.

    • Joe in PA

      LOL, I was JUST thinking that.

      • Taylor Bixler

        I mean honestly, both she and Kaine were terrible in that role.

    • GlennF

      The ghost of DWS will loom over the DNC as long as the DNC puts it and the nations fate in the hands of weak ineffectual “leaders” like Obama/Bernie surrogates Tom Perez and Keith Ellison.

      At the beginning of last year the DNC membership had a chance to give itself a clear and forceful vision of leadership by electing South Bend, IN mayor Pete Buttigieg as their chairman. But no, they apparently were still too busy fighting the 2016 Dem presidential primaries. smh

      • Taylor Bixler

        I actually think it is an organization that needs a full time person (which is part of why DWS was a failure, and why Ellison would not have been good choice, nor would have Buttigieg, who as mayor actually does work every day in that capacity). But from what I understand from people i know much closer to the situation than I am or ever care to be, the DNC problems extend further than who the chair is. Much further. And hard to see those changing anytime soon.

        • GlennF

          Actually, mayor Buttigieg promised to resign his position as mayor if he had won the DNC chairmanship vote.

          I agree with you that the DNC has problems beyond just who holds the chairmanship, but I think Buttigieg has the strong leadership qualities needed to successfully address and solve those problems.

          The former and very successful DNC chairman, Howard Dean, actually endorsed Buttigieg during the campaigning for DNC chair.

          Here’s a good NYTimes article about Buttigieg that ran during last years DNC chaimanship campaign:


  • Do Something Nice

    What – the DNC is stabilized? If that means broke, then yes, it is stabilized. Perez is a joke. A new leader is needed ASAP.

  • abqdan

    “Build our Every ZIP Code Counts strategy”? You mean the 50 state strategy that Dean built very successfully, and the old guard at the DNC destroyed? Yes, that’s real progress.

  • SoCalGal20

    Meh. The DNC’s primary duty is to host the national convention and raise money for that. Dem candidates are raising a lot of money directly with ActBlue and through the DCCC and DSCC and entities like Kos’ PAC. I’d rather give directly to the candidates I support and donate to the DSCC and DCCC for their efforts like GOTV and ads.

    • Treant

      Dean’s Fifty State strategy was a great idea and helped produce results. The DNC varies as to its effectiveness.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Regardless of whether the DNC is strong, weak or ineffectual, at the end the day it’s up to you, the American people, to make whatever change you want to have happen. Seriously, if the people don’t do what’s right, then they have no right to being a people. It’s your country and while I do hope for the best and offer what insight I can, it’s really all up to you. You can point fingers and blame, you can whine about the DNC, you can howl at Trump…you can even blame foreigners if that will help; but you’re supposed to be Americans. You know, the people who stood up against an Empire and its King and gave what for. Where’s that America? Where are those people? And why are they letting a new King ascend?

    Sorry, I’m really tired and didn’t sleep well last night.

    • David L. Caster

      Nevertheless true. A lack of participation brought us to where we are.

  • MarkBuster

    The DNC headed by people like Tom Perez is dead in the water, which is really frightening.

  • JWC

    her departure is interesting…why?

  • JCF

    “her decision to leave is a personal one”

    Well, OK. Absent any other evidenence—it happens.


  • countervail

    Tom Perez is a groupthink control freak. Just like the DNC these days. They represent me about as well as the RNC.

    Can we just get rid of political parties altogether? I mean what third party candidate has a shot with all the power and money these two organizations wield?