Shake it up! Shake it up!
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is heading to Washington Thursday for back-to-back meetings with President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. A Senate aide familiar with the planning of the latter meeting said the expectation is that Sanders will push for leadership changes at the Democratic National Committee when the pair sit down. This could include a call for the removal of the party’s chairwoman, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Sanders’ planned meetings come as he is facing mounting pressure to end his presidential campaign. His rival in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton, secured enough delegates to become the party’s presumptive nominee on Monday. In spite of Clinton’s victories in Tuesday’s primary contests, Sanders indicated he plans to stay in the race and contest the Democratic convention next month.
The Senate aide noted that Fox News’ Chad Pergram reported that Sanders could ask for the removal of Wasserman Schultz in his meetings with both Obama and Reid. In a series of tweets, Pergram said “some Dem sources believe the key to getting unity” with Sanders after a tough primary campaign is “booting Wasserman Schultz.” Sanders’ campaign has also called for the removal of the co-chairs of the DNC’s standing committee on rules, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and former Rep. Barney Frank. The Senate aide expected that Sanders will present Reid with plans that would help him join a post-primary effort to unify the party.
“We’ve been in listening mode for the most part. He’s going to be hearing what Bernie’s ideas are for bringing the party together and hoping he comes with some ideas,” the aide said of Reid. “And hopefully there are some good ones they can work on together.”
If Sanders does indeed call for removing Wasserman Schultz or other DNC leaders, the aide said Reid would be “open to hearing him out.”
Sanders’ campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Yahoo News about plans for the meetings.