The Democratic National Committee provides national leadership for the Democratic Party of the United States. It is responsible for promoting the Democratic political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy.
Its main counterpart is the Republican National Committee.
The chairperson of the DNC (currently Howard Dean) is elected by vote of members of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC is composed of the chairs and vice-chairs of each state Democratic Party Committee, two hundred members apportioned among the states based on population and generally elected either on the ballot by primary voters or by the State Democratic Party Committee, a number of elected officials serving in an ex-officio capacity, and a variety of representatives of major Democratic Party constituencies.
Dean ran against numerous candidates to win his position in early 2005. Rather than focusing just on close "swing states," Dean proposed the "50 State Strategy". His goal is for the Democratic Party to be committed to winning elections at every level in every region of the country, with Democrats organized in every single voting precinct in the country.
The DNC establishes rules for the caucuses and primaries which choose delegates to the Democratic National Convention, but the caucuses and primaries themselves are most often run not by the DNC but instead by each state. All DNC members are superdelegates and can influence a close Presidential race. Outside of the process of nominating a Presidential candidate, the DNC's role in actually selecting candidates to run on the Democratic Party ticket is minimal.
The chairperson is a superdelegate for life.
In the 2005-2006 election cycle, the DNC raised a total of US $61,141,823, all of it hard money. Most contributions came from small donors, giving less than $250, who accounted for over 80% of total dollars raised in the first half of 2006. The three largest individual contributors were law firm Hill Wallack ($100,000), development firm Jonathan Rose & Co. ($100,000), and investment firm Bain Capital ($53,400).
The DNC also relies on the monthly contributions of over 35,000 small-dollar donors through what is known as the Democracy Bonds program, set up by Howard Dean in the summer of 2005 .
In June 2008, after Senator Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Dean announced that the DNC, emulating the Obama campaign, would no longer accept donations from federal lobbyists.
The National Advisory Board exists for purposes of fundrasing and advising the executive. The present chair is Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal.
|Benjamin F. Hallett||(1848-1852)||Massachusetts|
|Robert Milligan McLane||(1852-1856)||Maryland|
|David Allen Smalley||(1856-1860)||Vermont|
|August Belmont||(1860-1872)||New York|
|Augustus Schell||(1872-1876)||New York|
|Abram Stevens Hewitt||(1876-1877)||New York|
|William H. Barnum||(1877-1889)||Connecticut|
|Calvin Stewart Brice||(1889-1892)||Ohio|
|William F. Harrity||(1892-1896)||Pennsylvania|
|James K. Jones||(1896-1904)||Arkansas|
|Norman E. Mack||(1908-1912)||New York|
|William F. McCombs||(1912-1914)||New York|
|Homer S. Cummings||(1914-1916)||Connecticut|
|Vance C. McCormick||(1916-1919)||Pennsylvania|
|Clem L. Shaver||(1924-1928)||West Virginia|
|John J. Raskob||(1928-1932)||New York|
|James A. Farley||(1932-1940)||New York|
|Edward J. Flynn||(1940-1943)||New York|
|Frank C. Walker||(1943-1944)||Pennsylvania|
|Robert E. Hannegan||(1944-1947)||Missouri|
|J. Howard McGrath||(1947-1949)||Rhode Island|
|William H. Boyle, Jr.||(1949-1951)||Missouri|
|Frank E. McKinney||(1951-1952)||Indiana|
|Paul M. Butler||(1955-1960)||Indiana|
|Henry M. Jackson||(1960-1961)||Washington|
|John Moran Bailey||(1961-1968)||Connecticut|
|Lawrence F. O'Brien||(1968-1969)||Massachusetts|
|Fred R. Harris||(1969-1970)||Oklahoma|
|Lawrence F. O'Brien||(1970-1972)||Massachusetts|
|Robert S. Strauss||(1972-1977)||Texas|
|Kenneth M. Curtis||(1977-1978)||Maine (now in Florida)|
|John C. White||(1978-1981)||Texas|
|Charles T. Manatt||(1981-1985)||California|
|Paul G. Kirk, Jr.||(1985-1989)||Massachusetts|
|Ron Brown||(1989-1993)||New York|
|Christopher J. Dodd1||(1995-1997)||Connecticut|
|Donald Fowler||(1995-1997)||South Carolina|
|Edward G. Rendell1||(1999-2001)||Pennsylvania|
|Terrence R. McAuliffe||(2001-2005)||Virginia|