Rep. Keith Ellison: ‘Barack Obama Could Have Been a Better Party Leader’

( – Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said last week at an event at the University of Minnesota that former President Barack Obama’s legacy is in danger, because he wasn’t a better party leader.

“Yeah, he was,” Ellison said when asked whether Obama was responsible for some of the electoral failures of 2016.  “And look– I’m a great fan of of President Obama. I totally voted for many of the things he supported — Dodd Frank, Affordable Care Act, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — I could keep going – wonderful achievements – but Barack Obama could have been a better party leader, and I think that the fact that he wasn’t, has put his legacy in jeopardy.


Ellison said Obama’s legacy won’t be in the presidential library he’s building. It will be in the work that he’s done.

“Your legacy’s not a building that he’s gonna construct in Chicago housing his presidential papers. His legacy is the work that he has done, which I believe is tremendous, but given that we did not– we lost a lot of state House seats, governorships, secretaries of states, his true legacy’s in danger, and I think that he can’t say that he wasn’t part of those losses. I mean, who else?” Ellison said.

Meanwhile, Marie Harf, spokeswoman for former Secretary of State John Kerry, told “Fox Friends” on Saturday that Ellison “blaming a popular former president” for the Democrats’ losses is “a stupid thing to say, and I don’t think it’s true.”

“And as a Democrat I want my party to look at all the reasons we lost in 2016. There are a lot of them, starting with a bad campaign strategy, a candidate with a lot of baggage, a lot of external factors, misreading the country’s mood, especially in key states,” Harf said.  

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