Liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore and his allies on the left are furiously making the case for Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) to be the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) leader, casting Saturday’s election as a battle between the old guard and the new.

“The Democrats have a real chance to change things and I know that there’s 400 members plus on the DNC. If any of them are watching right now, you’ve got to do the right thing here,” Moore said on CNN on Thursday night.

“The old guard, God bless them, they’ve got to go. We need fresh blood in there. We need new people. We need Keith Ellison as the DNC chair. To just put in what the old guard wants again — what’s the message to young people out there?”


Moore has supported Ellison since Election Day, but he and other key figures from the left have increasingly begun framing the vote for DNC chairman as one between the grassroots, represented by Ellison, and the establishment, represented by former Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

Perez has been endorsed by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and other key members of the Obama administration, such as former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderTrump official criticizes ex-Clinton spokesman over defunding police tweet Obama to speak about George Floyd in virtual town hall GOP group launches redistricting site MORE.

Democrats have done their best to keep from turning the race for DNC chair into a replay of the 2016 presidential primary between Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.).

But in the final stretch, those divisions have come have come to the fore.

Allies of Sanders, who backs Ellison for chair, are eager to see one of their own installed atop the DNC, believing the national party rigged the primary against them.

They’ve increasingly begun casting Perez as the establishment favorite and representative of the old guard.

Perez allies are furious at that characterization, saying that Perez has an unmatched progressive resume. He was a civil rights attorney in Holder’s Justice Department and before becoming Obama’s Labor secretary.

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