February 2, 2005


Dean Emerging as Likely Chief for Democrats (ADAM NAGOURNEY and ANNE E. KORNBLUT, 2/02/05, NY Times)

Howard Dean emerged Tuesday as the almost assured new leader of the Democratic National Committee, as one of his main rivals quit the race and Democrats streamed to announce their support of a man whose presidential campaign collapsed one year ago.

Dr. Dean's dominance was secured after Martin Frost, a former representative from Texas, whom many Democrats viewed as the institutional counterpart to Dr. Dean, dropped out after failing - in what had become an increasingly long-shot effort - to win support from national labor unions. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. announced instead that it would remain neutral, freeing its affiliate members to do what they wanted, which proved in many cases to be boarding the Dean train.

"It's a fait accompli, it's over: Dean's going to be it," said Gerald McEntee, head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, who runs the umbrella political organization for all the unions in the A.F.L.-C.I.O.

Check out this story from one year ago today and then try to explain what Democrats are doing picking this guy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 2, 2005 8:18 AM

The more interesting thing is whether or not Dean still is doing his Angry White Liberal schtick as an act, or if he's really come to believe his own on-stage personna. If the latter's true, Howard has a chance to make Terry McAuliffe look about as excitable as Joe Lieberman in comparison, while if Dean is still role playing to get the DNC job, it's going to be fun watching him try to triangulate as party spokesman between the better instincts he showed as governor and the red meat he's going to have to throw out there to keep his own core supporters from considering him a sellout to the cause.

Posted by: John at February 2, 2005 9:02 AM

The DNC chair has one job: raising money. Where are the Democrats going to get money from? Organized labor is dead, effectively thrown over the side decades ago. The shakedowns of Corporate America perfected by Tony Coelho and Jim Wright in the 80s and nobly carried forward by the Clintonistas are no more. You can only shake people down if you can have Luca Brazzi pay a visit to those who don't pay off. Since the GOP controls the executive, the legislative branches of the Federal government as well as most governorships and state legislatures, that source of funds is gone. Jewish money is about evenly split between the parties and the movement is all towards the GOP in that community as Jews at once become more assimilated and more religious. The bad old days of the Old Bush Administration and the Nixon White House and the Eisenhower Administration are about as relevant as the War of the Roses.

So again where do the Dems get their money from? All that's left are the deviants, like the Hollywood and gay community, for whom politics is a means of validating an immoral lifestyle. 'I can't vote for those evil Republicans they won't let me marry my a)same sex lover, b) neighbor's 12 year old daughter, c) short Welsh herding dog, d) all of the above in a public ceremony with a Navajo shaman and a Tibetan lama taking turns reading from 'Kabbalah for Dummies.' Another group are the armchair Bolsheviks with trustfunds. These people, who are beneficiaries of American power and freedom, hate everything America stands for but need an outlet for their nihilism. Katrina Vanden Heuvel wants to spend the money somewhere. Finally, there are the slimy moneychangers like Soros who make their pile by manipulating the gullible in the currency markets. A nice short term panic and someone with insider info can make a nice chunk of change. Sure, Soros may have spent $30 million on losing the last election, but how much did he make going short on the dollar and long on oil while the campaign was ongoing?

In this Brave New Party, Dean is the only logical choice.

Posted by: Bart at February 2, 2005 9:25 AM

Even the public service unions are wallowing. Early in this story, McEntee says Dean is nuts. At the end, he says he will support him.

It will be fun to watch Dean overshadow Pelosi and Reid. It will be even more fun to watch the press turn on Dean (again), as they inevitably will. Think of all the 'sympathy' HRC will generate ("Howard Dean does not speak for the average working American, as I do").

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 2, 2005 1:53 PM