1/31/2005

Howard Dean Hates You

Howard Dean, pushing hard for the chair of the Democratic Party, announced his hatred for those on the other side of the aisle this weekend.

"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization," the failed presidential hopeful told the crowd at the Roosevelt Hotel, where he and six other candidates spoke at the final DNC forum before the Feb. 12 vote for chairman.
This is the sort of thing that Democrats could get away with saying at such functions; in the past, no one really paid much attention to the process by which the parties selected their chairpersons. When one was named, there was a brief news blip, but not much more. That's different now, with the Democrats still smarting from a 3.5-million-vote thumping at the hands of George W. Bush. The race for the Democratic Party chair is news, and comments like this get some play.

It would appear that Dean didn't realize just how much attention the race was getting, or he might have softened his rhetoric a bit. If Dean wants to put the Democrats back on the road to winning national elections, he's going to have to win some hearts and minds. Specifically, he's going to have to convince more than a few people to stop voting Republican. Starting the conversation by saying "I hate you and everything you stand for" does not make for a constructive dialogue.

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe's take on the weekend caucus was that a "Stop Dean" movement appeared to be taking shape.
"The issue for all of us is how to keep Howard from winning on the first ballot," said Wellington Webb, a former Denver mayor and the only African-American candidate for the DNC chair.
...
"I'm from a red state," said Tim Roemer, former congressman from Indiana and member of the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "We need a chair that doesn't only represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party."
This is a big week in the election process - the state party chairs should release their endorsements today and some big labor endorsements are said to be following tomorrow or Wednesday.

Dean looked unstoppable early on in the Democratic primaries, and was all set to win until the voting actually started. Those of us on the right who believe that America needs a credible opposition party will be watching and hoping that someone - anyone - finds a way to beat Howard.