Friday, January 21, 2005

Blowback for supporting Dean?

This report on the heat that one Dean endorser is receiving should be taken as a warning:

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Some Democrats aren't happy with the state party chairman's endorsement of a presidential candidate to lead the Democratic National Committee.

State chairman Jay Parmley yesterday said he supported former Vermont Governor Howard Dean for the post over six other candidates.

Parmley is joined by party chairs from Mississippi, Florida and three other states in supporting Dean's bid to replace Terry McAuliffe.

Durant state Senator Jay Paul Gumm says the endorsement doesn't represent the majority view of Democrats in his legislative district.

Parmley is voting in place of Oklahoma City state Senator Debbe Leftwich, a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Leftwich says she's disappointed in Parmley's choice and doesn't believe Dean is the right person to lead the party at this time.

Parmley said Dean would provide party leadership that would help all 50 states, not just states that traditionally support Democratic candidates.

As I said in my previous post on this topic, Dean has the largest core following in the party today, but that core is simply not large enough to put him over the top. He will need a lot of the fence-sitters to ultimately win. The last thing we need to do right now is give those fence-sitters a reason to join the Anybody-But-Dean forces.

In that sense, I would probably have preferred that Parmley and others not have endorsed Dean this early. It may make for good headline copy, but it can also be an encouragement to others to redouble their efforts to find an alternative to Dean. This is what happened with the Gore endorsement. We don't want a repeat of that.

So, while I still stand by my warning to the ABD people, I would also warn the Dean supporters to stay cool in their efforts to win this race. Don't let your enthusiasm be your weakness.


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