February 10, 2005

NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY WITH THE DEER HUNTER:

Some red-state Democrats facing balancing act with Dean at DNC (Peter Savodnik and Elizabeth Fulk, 2/10/05, The Hill)

Some Democrats in Republican-dominated states already look to be putting distance between themselves and incoming Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean, the Vermont firebrand. [...]

“Representative Herseth and Senator Johnson don’t have to line up behind Howard Dean on every issue,” Jason Schulte, executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, said yesterday, referring to the state’s sole House member, Stephanie Herseth, and its senior senator, Tim Johnson.

Acknowledging that Dean is not popular in the agrarian state — which overwhelmingly backed Bush and tossed Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D) in November — Schulte said that Dean had been “tagged with the liberal connotation. I know that folks here equate liberal with negative.” [...]

In the coming election cycle, Democrats such as Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.) and many representatives scattered across the country will see whether Dean turns out to be the liability Republicans promise he will be.

Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, offered insight into how the GOP plans to make use of Dean.

“You have Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy and now Howard Dean coming to the forefront as spokespeople for their party,” Nick said, referring to two of the most liberal Democratic senators. “You can’t get much more far left than that.”

Carl Forti, Nick’s counterpart at the National Republican Congressional Committee, added: “I can think of nothing better for the long-term prosperity of the Republican Party than to have the Deaniacs come to Washington.”


There's a proven way to establish that distance: switch parties.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 10, 2005 8:18 PM
Comments

Tim Johnson isn't going to switch - just remember who he was standing with at the SOTU address.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 11, 2005 8:58 AM
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