After a bruising election loss for the Democrats, President Barack Obama has urged his fellow party members to kick it up a notch.
On Nov. 14, Obama held a conference call with Democratic supporters and lawmakers to assess the damage done to their party by the Nov. 8 election.
Not only did President-elect Donald Trump pull off a stunning upset victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but the GOP will resume their control over both the House and the Senate. Republicans now control 32 state legislatures and have 33 governors installed, giving their party an edge in every conceivable measure of power in the country, according to Daily Kos.
After his party suffered a humiliating defeat, Obama began the conference call by thanking Clinton for inching closer to breaking the glass ceiling, The Huffington Post reports.
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“I want to publicly say how proud I am of Hillary Clinton of a history-making race,” Obama said. “We did not get the results we wanted, but we took a step in shattering a barrier that’s still there. And little girls and little boys are going to have a different sense of the possible thanks to her nomination and her candidacy.”
The president acknowledged that Democrats have the right to be devastated by what was an unexpected loss and added that they were allowed to grieve for another week.
“But after that, we’ve got to brush ourselves off and get back to work,” Obama said. “We need to come together and focus on a way ahead.”
Obama urged members of his party to find strategies to win back control without compromising on their values.
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“The bottom line is: I don’t know about y’all, but I’m still fired up and I’m still ready to go,” Obama concluded.
Before the conference call, Obama had offered an assessment of where his party went wrong leading up to the election during a press conference. He concluded that the Democrats’ message had failed to penetrate in broad swaths of the country.
“I believe that we have better ideas,” Obama said, according to Time. “But I also believe that good ideas don’t matter if people don’t hear them. And one of the issues the Democrats have to be clear on is the given population distribution across the country. We have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere.”
The first question going forward for the party is who will be elected as Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman.
Former Democratic Gov. Howard Dean, who had chaired the DNC from 2005 to 2009 with successful results, has already thrown his hat into the ring, The Hill reports.
“The dems need organization and focus on the young,” Dean tweeted out Nov. 10. “Need a fifty state strategy and tech rehab. I am in for chairman again.”
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota has also announced his candidacy for DNC chair. An unapologetic progressive, the congressman has already been endorsed by Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and the Senate Minority Leader, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, ABC News reports.