Howard Dean to Step Down as Chair of DNC

November 10, 2008 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

howard-dean2.jpgFormer Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who rose to national prominence during a failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, will not seek a second term as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, clearing the way for a loyalist of President-elect Barack Obama to be named to the soon-to-be vacant post.

The news of Dean’s departure after a single four-year term in office was first reported by the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein and confirmed to The Fix by a Democratic Party source.
“At this point he has said that he doesn’t intend to run again,” said a DNC source granted anonymity to speak candidly. “He has said so publicly for a while. He has not said what he will do next.”
Dean’s tenure at the DNC has been marked by a sharp disconnect between the grassroots of the party and the operative class.
Grassroots — and netroots — activists, who propelled Dean’s presidential bid and then helped get him elected as chair of the party in early 2004, love the former Vermont governor and credit his chairmanship of the DNC with the rebirth of Democrats as a national party. (Dean’s pioneering accomplishment of his four years in office is the 50-state strategy, a plan that put staff and organizations on the ground in every state in the country.)
Dean was not as well received among members of the permanent political class in Washington, many of whom dismissed him as a lightweight — particularly on the fundraising front.
Dean, at times, clashed publicly with Democratic elected officials over his stewardship of the DNC — particularly newly installed White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Of one particularly contentious meeting in the spring of 2006, Tom Edsall wrote:
“Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), who is leading the party’s effort to regain majority status in the House, stormed out of Dean’s office several days ago leaving a trail of expletives, according to Democrats familiar with the session.”
Over time, however, Dean did win over some skeptics to his side (former President Bill Clinton among them) thanks to a series of special election wins in conservative strongholds like northern Mississippi and Baton Rouge Louisiana.
Dean’s future remains cloudy although he has been mentioned as a possible choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services in an Obama Administration. Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) is also being mentioned for that job.
With Dean expected to vacate his post early next year, speculation has already begun in earnest about who could replace him. (Our quick handicapping of the potential successors is below.)
What is clear is that the general chairman/operational chairman model set up during the general election when Dean chaired the organization and Obama field guru Paul Tewes ran the day to day operations is a real possibility to be repeated again. Among the names mentioned if Obama decides to go that route with the DNC are Tewes and Steve Hildebrand, another field guru for Obama.
Here is the (early) list of potential DNC Chairs:
Claire McCaskill: McCaskill’s name was prominently mentioned in the HuffPo piece but according to sources close to her it is unlikely she would take the job. McCaskill was one of Obama’s most prominent — and effective — surrogates during the primary season and is respected by the operative class for her political acumen.
Tim Kaine: Thanks to Virginia’s inexplicable one-term limit on its governors, Kaine will be out of office at the start of 2010 and may be looking for a new gig. Kaine was one of three finalists to be Obama’s vice president and is very close personally to the president-elect. But, does he want the job?
Kathleen Sebelius: Obama made no secret of his admiration for Sebelius during the primary and general election campaign. Sebelius will be term limited out of office in 2010 and might be interested in such a prominent national post. On the other hand, Sen. Sam Brownback (R) is widely expected to leave the Senate in 2010 to run for governor — leaving an open seat in which Sebelius would almost certainly be considered a favorite.
Bill Richardson: Like Sebelius, Richardson will be term-limited out of his office in 2010 and is clearly interested in coming back to Washington as either a member of the Cabinet or perhaps chairman of the DNC. Richardson’s Hispanic heritage could further aid Democrats’ outreach to this critically important voting bloc and his political chops are unquestioned.
Source: Washington Post

Entry filed under: National. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

French say ‘Yes, We Can!’ Too: Obama’s Win Inspires Country to Elect More Minorities to Public Office Osama Bin Laden Reportedly Planning Attack to ‘Outdo’ 9/11 (Video)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

November 2008
« Oct   Dec »

%d bloggers like this: