November 12, 2004


BILL & HILL PICK THEIR MAN (Richard Johnson, 11/12/04, NY Post Page Six)

BILL and Hillary Clinton are battling behind the scenes to install longtime political operative Harold Ickes as the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, replacing Terry McAuliffe. "This is the first test of whether the Clintons can keep their grip on the party," said one Democrat. Ickes was an advisor to David Dinkins during his mayoral administration and was close to the Clintons, helping arrange stays in the Lincoln Bedroom for big contributors. "He was the innkeeper when the White House became the Holiday Inn," said our source.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2004 12:54 PM

I think the coming feud between the Dean wing and the Bill/Hill wing of the Demmycrats is going to be great fun. Notice that Kedwards doesn't figure into this. At all.

Posted by: Governor Breck at November 12, 2004 2:17 PM

Harold Ickes lives up to his name. Every time.

If the Dems were smart, they would ask Ed Rendell or Gary Locke or even John Breaux to be DNC chair.

Posted by: ratbert at November 12, 2004 2:27 PM

As OJ noted in a recent post the Dems won't even put Kerry into a leadership post in the Senate (and I don't think he is the minority chairman on any meaningful committees). And Edwards will fade from view after he leaves the Senate.

That said I think Ickes is more on the ball than McAuliffe is. And if you buy into the theory that the Clintons helped sabotage Kerry in '04 you won't have that factor in '08.

Posted by: AWW at November 12, 2004 2:28 PM

Agree on Ickes. As for DNC leader is seems to be more about fundraising, strategy, and rousing the base that appearing to be reasonable politician. Rendell fits that bill but the Dems probably don't want to risk the PA governship. Breaux is too reasonable and Locke probably doen't have the national power. As for Breaux Bush should find something for him to burnish his reaching across the aisle theme and put LA more solidly into the GOP camp.

Posted by: AWW at November 12, 2004 2:31 PM

The Democrats go from "McAwful" to "Icky."

Somehow, that seems just about right.

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 12, 2004 3:34 PM

If there is a group within the Democratic party that truly wants to purge itself of Clintonism, now is the time to stand and fight. In public, if necessary. Otherwise, just hand over the keys and walk away.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 12, 2004 4:54 PM

Ickes is a thuggish far Lefty, who went out of his way to alienate the Jewish establishment in NYC when he worked for Dinkins. This guy would be a great pick, if Dennis Kucinich or Michael Moore turn the job down.

Posted by: Bart at November 12, 2004 5:44 PM

Cut Ickes a break. Since he's a two-time Senate loser down in North Carolina, he needs something to occupy his time.

Posted by: Joe at November 12, 2004 6:29 PM

I'm assuming if the Clinton's do approve this change, its because they want someone who's better with a shiv in behind-the-scenes interparty fighting. McAuliffe's more of a straight money man, but comes off as a goofus when you get into the really hardball stuff or putting forward a credible public image. Ickes can take care of strangling any preemptive challenges to Hillary, while she and Bill can handle the up-front fundraising stuff themselves.

Posted by: John at November 12, 2004 6:34 PM


You're thinking of Erskine Bowles.

Posted by: Bart at November 12, 2004 7:33 PM

Wasn't Ickes Grandfather an FDR aide? I could care less about who the Clinton's hand the job to. The worse, the better, confusion to the enemy.

As for Kerry, I assume he will be needing to find an appartment and move his stuff, cause he can't be long for Tereza's place now that he is a nobody again. Run a committee? are you kidding. the guy hasn't done a lick of work in 20 years, why would he start now?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 12, 2004 9:52 PM

Ickes' father, or maybe grandfather, was interior secretary under FDR. fairly controversial, hard-line anti-development, but I am too lazy to look up more details. Ickes was a main player in warring on the GOP in the Clinton era, probably a more ruthless and more effective opponent than McAwful.

Posted by: Jo at November 13, 2004 1:27 AM

Harold Ickes was the brain behind Hillary's health-care plan.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 13, 2004 8:11 AM


The 'brain' behind the greatest policy disaster of the last three decades. That is certainly damning with faint praise. :)

Posted by: Bart at November 13, 2004 11:36 AM