Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine is expected to resign in order to run for Senate from his home state of Virginia, leaving one of the most important posts in the party -- and by extension Washington, D.C. -- up in the air. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who represents portions of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, is reportedly one of the top candidates to replace him, but her ascension to the job is far from a done deal.
Wasserman Schultz, who has served in Congress only since 2005, has long been seen as a rising star in the party. Her knack for fundraising, media savvy, and the fact that she hails from a relatively safe Democratic district have given her a great platform to capture party leadership.
She currently serves as the vice chairwoman of the party, was the party's chief deputy whip in the House, and has plum committee assignments.
Politico reports her name is one of the top two in the intra-party race to replace Kaine, along with former Ohio Gov. Tom Strickland. But the choice ultimately rests with President Obama, and his administration has "expanded its hunt for a more out-of-the-box candidate for a job they view as central to keeping the White House and the Senate in 2012."
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"Debbie and Ted have been hanging out there for a while. But now there's definitely a third choice, and maybe a fourth," a senior aide tells Politico. "They want to make a splash."
If selected, Schultz would be only the third woman to hold the position and the first since Debra DeLee held it in 1994 and 1995.
Though a party chairman's powers are somewhat diminished when the sitting president hails from the same party, the chairman is vested with large fundraising responsibilities and is often called to make media appearances.