Tom Perez’s new role as the Democrats’ first responder
Donald Trump will not ultimately be defeated on Twitter. But a useful qualification for any of his would-be opponents is nonetheless an ability to fight back with barbs on the commander-in-chief’s preferred platform. So it was encouraging to see Tom Perez — the newly-elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, whose new job it is to coordinate the party’s battle with the Republicans in 2018 and beyond — pull no punches in his swiftly tweeted rebuke to Trump earlier today.
Trump, using a trademark punchline, offered his congratulations to Perez on his election, saying he “could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!” Perez’s response was biting:
In the space of 140 characters, Perez demonstrated both deft diplomacy with his inclusion of Representative Keith Ellison in the tweet — his chief rival for the position, whom he immediately named his deputy following the vote —and a sharp warning to Trump, with a threat which carried quite a bit of edge. Perez has clearly figured, rightly, that Trump is best dealt with like a school bully, and deserves to be fought on whatever battleground he likes — even if that means standing by to fire back retorts at three in the morning. And for what it’s worth, Perez’s tweet received close to 75,000 likes, well within the range that Trump’s tweets usually attain.
Chairing a National Committee while the other party holds the White House is usually a case of keeping the seat warm for the eventual presidential nominee, as well as coordinating election efforts behind the scenes. But judging by his first moves, Perez seems to sense an opportunity to take on the most helplessly garrulous president the United States has ever had, on his own aggressive terms.