Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Dean for DNC

Howard Dean has made it official, so I guess it is time for me to make it official.

I endorse Howard Dean for Chairman of the Democratic Party.

When this topic first came up in the days after the November election I expressed some skepticism about it. Not because I was against the Doctor being the Chair. I was skeptical because I had my suspicions that some members of the party might be dangling the chairmanship in front of Dean's eyes in order to take him out of the running for 2008. My fear was that Dean would be given the chair and then isolated, in effect promoted into obscurity.

What began to turn my thinking around was that Dean himself expressed some of these same concerns. In the times I have heard him talk about he has repeatedly brought up the point that he didn't want the job unless he had a real chance of winning it and he had a real chance of making a difference if he did win it.

My support turned even more when I heard how Dean was going about the job of "campaigning" for the job. He first asked his supporters if they thought it was a good idea. This demonstrated that he still cared about what we felt. He then started wooing party leaders to make sure they understood that the real person was not as scary as the media image. This demonstrated his desire to work with the existing party leadership as well as shake it up. Then he started making one-on-one calls to ALL of the DNC members to hear them out and see if he could work with them. That demonstrated that he is a hard worker.

One concern I have had was Dean's organizational skills. His campaign for president made several crucial mistakes. But many of those mistakes could be blamed on a combination of neophyte bumbling and a simple inability to keep control of a runaway horse. His past organizational efforts had always been highly praised and his subsequent work with Democracy for America has already produced significant results. So, while Simon Rosenberg may have greater organizational credentials within the party, Dean is no slacker when it comes to getting things done.

Finally, there is the simple fact that none of the other candidates bring anywhere near the level of excitement to the candidacy as does Howard Dean. The simple truth is that the Democratic party will be electrified by Dean's leadership (whether it wants it or not) and that alone is almost argument enough to elect the guy. The party needs a shock to the system and the Doctor is just the one to apply it.

I would be seriously upset with a Roehmer. I could live with a Fowler or a Rosenberg.

But Dean IS the man.

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