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winging it

'Abundantly clear' Democrats never had a plan to pass election reform bill, former Obama aide says

Passing a sweeping election reform bill required two things from Democratic Senate leadership, says former Obama administration staffer Dan Pfeiffer: compromising with centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on some of the details and then convincing Manchin and a few other Democrats, like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), to agree to nuke the filibuster since there was no other way around Republican opposition. "It's now abundantly clear there was never a plan to do either," Pfeiffer wrote in The Message Box on Wednesday, a day after the GOP blocked a debate on the issue.

Pfeiffer tempered his criticism by noting that Manchin "was incredibly vague about the reasons for his opposition to the bill for a very long time," but "in the end, he suggested a reasonable, if unsatisfying, compromise that received the support of Stacey Abrams and [former President] Barack Obama." But, he continued, Democrats couldn't "coalesce around it and offer a united front." Instead, they spent the night before Tuesday's vote "debating strategy and discussing breaking the bill into pieces ... It is truly impossible to imagine why these problems were not anticipated and addressed long before the vote was scheduled." Read more at The Message Box.