May 24, 2005


Dean: Blacks Annoyed by Party's Outreach (WILL LESTER, 5/24/05, Associated Press)

Black voters are upset with the Democratic Party for coming around just weeks before elections seeking their votes, party chairman
Howard Dean said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Taking black voters for granted is a long-standing problem for the party that dates to the 1960s, said Dean, who promised changes in strategy even as he cited diversity at the top of the
Democratic National Committee.

"African-Americans are annoyed with the Democratic Party because we ask them for their votes four weeks before the election instead of being in the community now and that's a mistake I'm trying to fix," he said. "There's a new generation of African-American leaders and a new generation of African-Americans. We can't go out and say could you vote for us because we were so helpful during the civil rights era."

Marking 100 days as the party's boss, the former presidential candidate addressed several issues in an interview with AP reporters and editors, including the compromise in the Senate on
President Bush's stalled judicial nominees and the right of Democrats to filibuster.

Dean was hesitant to call the compromise a win for his party.

"It's a real test of whether this is a real long-term agreement. That will come when we find out if the president consults with the Democrats" before sending future nominees to the Senate, including a possible Supreme Court choice.

Ken Mehlman is obviously making his life miserable, but if he thinks the President is going to consult over Court nomineees he's seriously delusional.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 24, 2005 4:49 PM

Boy, Dean may well snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Who was it who said, "Howard Dean has a great relationship with the members of the Vermont minority community -- both of them"?

Posted by: David Cohen at May 24, 2005 4:55 PM

From the agreement: "We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word “Advice” speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President’s power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration."

So he's not delusional; if Bush doesn't consult prior to submitting a judicial nomination, Dean and the Dems will declare that the evil Republicans are breaking the agreement.

Posted by: Just John at May 24, 2005 5:14 PM

Every President (or his representative) makes phone calls about possible nominees to various Senators. But just don't expect any calls to Harry Reid or John McCain.

Besides, Bush could call Howard Dean directly, and say, "so how about that Michael McConnell fella, or maybe that Miguel Estrada? I'm nominating them in about 15 minutes. Have a nice day".

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 24, 2005 5:25 PM

Bush signed the agreement?

Posted by: Shelton at May 24, 2005 6:03 PM


What's the downside of that?

Posted by: oj at May 24, 2005 6:07 PM

Correct Shelton, he did not. When the dust is settled though I think Bush can nominate any of the previously mentioned Judges, Brown, Estrada, Owens, Pryor and there is no way the Democrats can back down on the deal for at least a year. Yes they can try, but the nuclear option would breeze through with no problem. That of course still doesn't mean Estrada would automatically be approved.

Posted by: h-man at May 24, 2005 6:11 PM

As I said before the deal is moot until something happens - it could turn out good for the GOP but I'm not optimistic. As usual its a win/win for Bush himself. He can follow the agreement if its all going well and get some credit for being magnanimous. Or if it starts to go sour he can go cowboy and screw the deal citing that he never signed on to it and say "I told you so".

Posted by: Shelton at May 24, 2005 6:48 PM

If there is at least one, if not several, good graces to come from this rancid moderates deal, it is that Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown will be confirmed by the weekend. This does take out one MAJOR motivation for the Dems: The ability to prevent more Clarence Thomases.

Now Henry Saad, OTOH, talk about opening doors that you are told should not be opened:D

Posted by: Brad S at May 24, 2005 7:47 PM

If there's one thing all Presidents do, it is to jealously protect the power of the Presidency. There is no way that Bush will ever negotiate with Congress about his appointments. Nor will any other President.

I think the Dems need to go back and re-read the Federalist Papers. The reasoning and rationale for the appointment/consent scheme is clearly explained.

Posted by: ray at May 24, 2005 9:30 PM