Barack's Bodyguard

By Kurtz, Howard | Newsweek, February 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

Barack's Bodyguard


Kurtz, Howard, Newsweek


Byline: Howard Kurtz

Meet the Democratic leader who's blasting Republicans and reaching out to a peeved Congress.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee is running late, prepping for an MSNBC interview while she brushes her tangled mass of blonde curls in the bathroom, a top adviser hovering behind her. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, dabbing on blue eye shadow, dismisses a suggestion that she call Newt Gingrich the "godfather of gridlock." A staffer feeds her fodder against Mitt Romney: "Spent his time laying off people, shipping jobs overseas ..." The Florida congresswoman looks bemused: "All in five minutes? No problem," she says. The talk turns to Ron Paul: "If I have to hit him at all, I'll hit him by saying he's unbelievably extreme." Then she jogs to the basement studio at the party's Capitol Hill headquarters, slides a mike under her purple dress, and delivers her message.

Party chairs are usually backstage fundraisers, but Wasserman Schultz is a nonstop broadcaster for Team Obama, sometimes delivering her points in robotic fashion. Her situation can be awkward, as the president's survival may depend on running against her fellow lawmakers, who resent being cast as part of a dysfunctional body. She tries to wish that away, saying: "I don't think the president means Democrats when he's criticizing Congress." Many Democrats are also steamed at the lack of attention they get from Obama. "I've had zero personal contact," says California Rep. Dennis Cardoza, who was told by one White House official that Obama looks "pained" when prodded to socialize with lawmakers. Former Tennessee congressman John Tanner says Obama summoned him only to solicit his vote, and he offers some advice: "Call on people when you don't ask them for something."

"I've heard concern about that," Wasserman Schultz concedes. "I've encouraged the president and the staff in the White House to be more inclusive and cognizant of notifying members when the president is going to be in their district or state."

Wasserman Schultz is a fighter--one whose passion occasionally gets her into trouble. She insists that "Republicans are waging a war on women," for instance, and refuses to back off, arguing that the repeal of Obamacare would hurt her gender.

A few weeks ago, in talking about the day a crazed gunman shot Rep. Gabby Giffords in the head, Wasserman Schultz pivoted to how "the discourse in America" had taken "a very precipitous turn towards edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Barack's Bodyguard
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.