Here come the Guvs
The Democratic Governor's Association is weighing in on the whole question of the who should head up the DNC. It looks like they are diagnosing the problem correctly (to much focus on D.C. centric matters and the Presidential election, not enough on the grassroots). But their solution to the problem just sounds like more of the same establishment nonsense:
Yesterday the Democratic Governors met in Washington to nominate a new chair of their club, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. But they also went public with the claim that they wanted more control over the Democratic Party, and insinuated that the Democrats in Washington had lost sight of the way to win. This is a symptom of how weak the national party apparatus in Washington is, something the grassroots should take note of -- forget the rest of what they said... but here's some of the other stuff they did talk about.
The governors also indicated that they want major control over the new head of the DNC, and to split the job into two, with one a spokesperson, the other a manager of the party apparatus. Having been wooed by Howard Dean -- a former Dem. Gov. chair himself -- earlier in the day, it seems they want a "safer" candidate to run the party, one who feels "comfortable" in the heartland.
"safer" is a codeword for the same business-as-usual type leaders we have had in the past. We've been lead by "safe" people for years now. We need leadership that is willing to risk losing some battles in order to win the larger war.
The "comfortable in the heartland" comment is just another way of saying they want someone from a red state. But I don't think the DNC needs a leader who necessarily comes from the areas we need the most help with. Instead, we need a leader who recognizes that the people best suited to solve the problems of those regions are the people who come from those regions. The DNC chair has represent the whole party, not just the heartland.
A good chair would give out more power and more largesse to the organizations at the ground level in the red states. Doing so does not require that the chair actually BE from one of those states. He or she just needs to appreciate the importance of not giving them the cold shoulder.
It will be interesting to see if governors will conflict with the state party leaders group or whether they can find a common ground in their desire to move the party center outside of the beltway.
(Aside: I wonder if anyone besides Dean has been "wooing" the governors?)