make the team work
Overreach from the White House is frustrating Democratic National Committee members, who point to President Biden's senior adviser and strategist Steve Ricchetti as a particularly tenuous source of influence, reports The Hill.
Ricchetti, whose hands reportedly touch "nearly every facet of Biden world," is viewed by members as "pivotal politically." As one committee member said, "nothing moves without Richetti's sign-off." Other leading administration operatives involved in bridging the gap between the DNC and the Oval Office include Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O'Malley Dillon and White House political director Emmy Ruiz, reports The Hill.
Although a level of collaboration is expected between the administration and party-level figures, DNC members feel this degree of White House participation was "too much too soon," and arrived before certain internal decisions had been settled, says The Hill. "People are super frustrated in the trenches around what's happening with the DNC and the White House's control of it," said another member, who also purports the administration to be focusing far more on re-election than "how to build the electorate writ large."
Stuck in the tug-of-war is DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison, who is seen by committee members as "torn" between the White House's re-election priorities and the "broader party agenda" to retain Congress, writes The Hill. "I think Jaime Harrison is definitely caught in the middle of this," said a member.
The White House rejects the idea that Richetti is overinvolved in the committee's affairs, and some DNC members do agree. Said Ken Martin, chairman of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party: "It shouldn't surprise anyone that folks that are high up in Biden's circle are going to be involved with consequential matters of the DNC."