Keith Ellison wants to be the next DNC chair: “Reform is in the air”

He's black, a practicing Muslim, and supported Bernie Sanders.
November 16, 2016, 9:44am

This segment originally aired Nov. 15, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

One of the most important decisions that Democrats will have to make in the Trump Era is who should lead the party. Representative Keith Ellison (D – MN) is an early favorite to chair the Democratic National Committee. VICE News’ Evan McMorris-Santoro sat down with him in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

“It should have never have been this close,” Ellison said, referring to the presidential election. “Donald Trump is the single worst person ever to win the nomination of a major party.”

Keith Ellison was elected to Congress 10 years ago and has become a leading voice on the left. He’s maintained his outsider status by tussling with the Democratic establishment. Now he wants to lead that establishment, with an eye towards reform.

“Bernie Sanders proved that the people will fund the political movements that they believe in, and so we’ve really got to look at how we fund the DNC,” he said. Ellison supported Sanders in the Democratic primary.

Ellison’s detractors question whether a black, practicing Muslim is the right face of the new Democratic Party.

“My district is 75 percent white, and I can tell you that I get elected [with] 70 percent of the vote,” Ellison said. “If you look someone in the eye, and you listen to them, and show them you respect them, then they get that. That means something to them.”