Granholm's DNC disinterest surprises Democrats
March 18th, 2011
12:13 PM ET
12 years ago

Granholm's DNC disinterest surprises Democrats

Washington (CNN) – Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm's decision to take her name out of the running to head the Democratic National Committee stunned party leaders and the White House Thursday, a Democratic official with knowledge of the West Wing's thinking tells CNN.

Current Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine is seriously considering stepping down from his post to run for the open Senate seat in Virginia and Granholm was one of several high-profile Democrats the White House was said to be looking at for the DNC heading into the 2012 presidential election year.

"When Granholm withdrew her name yesterday, we were surprised and disappointed," said the party official, who spoke about the matter on the condition of anonymity. "If Kaine were to run for the Senate she would have been under serious consideration."

The Washington Post first reported Thursday that Granholm was not interested in the position and informed party leaders. The Democratic official confirmed to CNN Granholm's decision to withdraw.

Granholm is viewed as someone with desirable political attributes ranging from a strong television presence, an ability to raise money and knowledge of how to manage a large scale operation – skills honed as governor of Michigan. And Granholm has credibility with Democratic women, a key voting bloc Obama will need to help win a second term in 2012.

Several other Democrats ranging from veteran political operative Donna Brazile (a CNN contributor), former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz are other Democrats that are said to be under consideration to chair the DNC if Kaine runs for the Senate.

Filed under: DNC • Jennifer Granholm
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    I will like to see Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in consideration. Preferably Gov. Strickland since the 2012 elections will need to be won in midwestern states and who better to address the concerns of the middle class than a former midwestern governor. I wish Gov. Granholm will reconsider however.

    March 18, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Robert

    Speaking both as a lifelong Michigan resident and a Democrat, I was not impressed with Granholm's ability to manage and lead. I agreed with her politically but she seemed unable to push policy through during times where she had the political wind to her back, so to speak. Furthermore, the administration was badly run during the Granholm tenure. I for one and a little relieved that she won't be at the helm of the national party. She could have easily been our Michael Steele

    March 18, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Rdepontb

    Maybe she wants to consider something else-is she allowed to make up her own mind?

    March 18, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Democrats always have strong educated qualified women and Granholm is just one of many. Granholm is an atty, served as atty general, and a "full term governor" of Michigan, not a quitter. And then there's the Republicans Palin, a quitter, uneducated and lazy.

    March 18, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. d

    Agreed with Robert, though I'd like to see Mr. Kaine make his exit too. The DNC badly bungled the 2010 elections, and yet very few people have taken that criticism to Kaine. I am also a lifelong Michigan resident and was never impressed with Gov. Granholm, and neither were Michigan voters, considering how badly Bernero got thumped by Snyder. There must be someone better for the position than Jenny.

    March 18, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    This is good. But check out what the Michigan Governor is trying to do there. Let "chosen" corporations send people into towns and fire all the elected officials and install a corporate head. And the Legislature has no say. It's up to the governor.

    These republican governors are turning states into Fascist and Communist states one at a time. Bet NJ and PA will be next. Watch anywhere that the tea baggers put in a republican.

    March 18, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. HorkusMac

    Go ahead and take Granholm. I will share, as a Michigan resident, that for 6 long years she ran our state into the ground with the help of our 2 long serving Democratic senators, Levin (32 years) and Stabenow (11 years). I can only wonder what kind of mess she can make out of a National Party.


    Another Independent Voter Turned Off by Liberal Whining

    March 18, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Dennis

    She knows this will be a very tough job as long as Obama is in the White House.

    March 18, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. gt

    cant understand that.... she did such a good job as gov. of michigan......not....

    March 18, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. mesamick

    I'm with Granholm...Until the DNC gets some spine and shows some bare-knucled push back to eveything and everyone conservative than it's best to stand on the side lines. This guy Kaine didn't have the chops to be a what's needed to fight against the government on the chea, anti uniuons, anti working middle class neo-Hooverites – To much of a real southern gentleman and all around nice guy...

    March 18, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. mesamick

    The DNC needs a no holds barred, step on their throats, kick 'em when their down leader goping itno the 2012 elections. My nomination is Alan Grayson of FL – And he's available even though those that voted against him are having "buyer's remorse" and are trying desperately to get him to run again in 2012 so they can re-elect him...

    March 18, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Rick

    Phil Bredesen would be an excellent choice. He is a Southern Democrat, and two-term governor. Corzine and Strickland were denied second terms, and Granholm has policies that are very bad for the party and the country. I hope Bredesen becomes the chairman.

    March 18, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Sue

    Hmmm.....Maybe she is friends with Hillary?--I wonder why CNN did not write an article about the fact that Hillary aide's are now saying that Hillary is resigning because of the incompetence of Obama?-Based on what her aide's are now saying publicly, they don't even know if she will finish the entire term. I saw the article in The Daily, but other sources are now revealing this as well.-And, there was another article saying that Bill Clinton agrees with the Republicans about opening up drilling and ending Obama's permit delays.--This should make campaigning and fund raising for Obama very interesting.

    March 18, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |