Tue 11 Nov, 2008 07:32 am
Let's see... Howard Dean got a congressional majority in 2006 and a dem president in 2008 with his 50 state plan.... he gets to step down a winner.... good for him and screw the nay sayers eh Howard?
Quit while you're ahead. Smart man.
Dean was funny on a talk show last week. The commentator implied that the Democratic party doesn't do well on "faith" issues, and Dean replied with a smile, "oh no no, we're the FAITH party now". Then he practically winked into the camera. I'm certain that Dean was responsible for retooling the image of the Democratic party. He looked like a very happy man.
I think he'd have made a good president. we'll never know.
We owe Dean for shaking up the Democratic campaign habits and setting us on the track to change. Dean made it possible for Barack Obama to be successful.
Thank you, Howard Dean.
Yep, Howard Dean was definitely one who was proven right by time... for all the reasons you mention. But also for first re-energising (and reinventing!) the grassroots of the party. They had become demoralised and disempowered by years in which the party establishment's top-down politics had ignored them, only to lead the party to humiliation in the elections. Dean changed the dynamics. (Remember how the traditional Democratic powerbrokers in DC hated/feared him?).
And he didnt just change them by revving up the internet-based organising and fundraising machine that helped propel Obama into power now. But also by redefining the party's internal culture, one that builds an relies on local activists, rather than one that sees voters as mere demographic slices to manipulate with a new twist in targeted mail or attack ads. Obama's victory in the primaries was already a manifestation of the culture Dean helped create - one in which Mark Penn's type of politics was soundly defeated by a new type and generation of campaign managers.
Dean also set the tone with a bolder and prouder type of Democratic Party, one that didn't rely on triangulation and being like the Republicans but less so. Obama campaigned as a Democrat, defining the subject of debate itself more than Bill Clinton ever did, and showing none of the cowedness that marked the Congressional Democratic leadership of 2000-2003. He's much more smooth and mellow than Dean was, of course, and probably more moderate too (though Dean himself wasnt half as radical as they made him out to be). But he wouldnt have been there if Dean hadnt first mobilised "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party".