December 15, 2005
JUST DON'T BLOW THE SEVEN:
Dean still gives Dems heartburn (Peter Savodnik, 12/15/05, The Hill)
An aide close to the Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill said, “There were serious concerns when Gov. Dean took over that he understand what his role was and what it wasn’t. There were meetings with the congressional leadership and Mr. Dean where it was discussed and the governor implied that he understood what his role was and was not, that he was the mechanical part of the party, not the standard bearer or message person. Subsequently, there have been episodes that have been concerning.”
Earlier this year, Dean startled some Democratic lawmakers by calling for the lifting of the cap on Social Security taxes which shields income above $90,000 a year from being taxed.
Doug Schoen, also a pollster, who worked for President Clinton and now works for Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), added: “I don’t think it helps the Democrats to have a party chairman who is involved in controversy. There’s so much work to be done organizationally, so much work to be done in terms of fundraising, that I think he would serve the Democratic Party best by focusing on the grass roots.”
Pollster David Beattie, whose clients include Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), said that he had worked in 31 states in the past five years, only seven of which were won by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in the 2004 presidential race.
“In the other 24, Dean is more of a hindrance than a help,” Beattie said.
You can't blame Howard Dean though for the fact that the party is rightly terrified of having its ideas enunciated and is just trying to cling to as much of the minority as it has left. Making Mr. Dean party chair was about preserving the rump, not winning elections.
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 15, 2005 12:40 PM