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January 19, 2005
Where Have We Heard This Before?

The AP reports on the ascendancy of Howard Dean for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee with a headline that smacks of deja vu -- "Dean Gaining Early Momentum in DNC Race":

On Tuesday, the former Vermont governor announced he had the unanimous backing of the Florida delegation to the DNC and also the support of Democratic chairs in Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma, Washington state and Vermont. He plans house parties around the nation later this week, like the ones he used while trying to gain the Democratic presidential nomination.

Dean dominated the Democrats' presidential race through 2003, raising more than $40 million and recruiting thousands of supporters through the Internet.

But when the voting started in Iowa, Dean stumbled as Democrats rallied around a candidate they thought was more electable Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

I find the DNC raise mildly amusing but strategically negligible. The Democrats seem ready to line up behind the one man from the 2004 cycle who almost deliberately self-destructed as their leader for campaigning. Dean couldn't out-fight Al Sharpton in Iowa -- Iowa! -- and now the Democrats want him in charge against the GOP nationwide. He is less charismatic than Terry McAuliffe and a panderer to idealogues at a time when the Democrats need a strong, charismatic pragmatist like Bill Clinton to reach out towards the center.

It doesn't matter much, anyway. The selection of the DNC chair only really matters as an indication of the party elites, and obviously they have not yet figured out why they've gotten beat three election cycles in a row. Having Dean represent them, with all the attendant International ANSWER/Move On attachments it implies, will mean that the money will continue to pour into candidates who hew to the radical end of the leftist spectrum. Why not? George Soros has plenty of money left.

Of course, all this assumes Dean can close the deal this time. The last time we saw Howard Dean in this position, his candidacy melted down faster than MacArthur Park and all the sweet cream icing in the dark, and I don't think that he can take it again.

Addendum: The Washington Post has more on Dean's attempt to rehabilitate himself towards the center (second item):

Maddox said competence, not ideology, should be the key to picking the party leader. Noting that Dean comes from the moderate-to-conservative wing of the party, owns a gun and watches NASCAR races, Maddox said: "I'm perfectly comfortable with Governor Dean's leadership skills and think he will be a fine chairman for the party."

The abortion-on-demand Dean represents Democratic conservatives? Why? Because he watches NASCAR? They're more clueless than I thought. Get ready for the fifty-year GOP majority.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 19, 2005 6:08 AM

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