Frost is out!
Martin Frost, after failing to secure the endorsement of the AFL-CIO for DNC chairman, has thrown in the towel.
"I am calling my supporters to thank them and to inform them of my decision today to withdraw from the race for DNC Chair. I have also called Governor Dean and congratulated him for running a strong campaign. The challenge ahead for Governor Dean will be to unite the Party, rebuild the DNC and win elections in every region of the country.
"This campaign was never about me or any other candidate. It was about rebuilding the Democratic Party so that we can better present to the nation our strong, hopeful alternative to the dishonest, corrupt and elitist Republican Government that keeps selling out the nation in order to reward its few, privileged friends.
"Make no mistake, Democrats are the party that can best meet America's challenges - challenges like keeping our people safe and winning the war on terrorism, stopping the Republican attack on Social Security, solving the health care crisis, and ensuring that all Americans have good jobs and the opportunity to build a better
future for their children.
"With a strong, unified Democratic Party, a real 50-state party structure, and a commitment to working together and speaking directly to Americans' concerns and values, I am confident that we can and will elect Democrats at all levels and in all parts of the country. I look forward to continuing to play a constructive role in those efforts."
Of course, Dean hasn't officially won, but Frost can read the writing on the wall. He knows that Dean has a very strong chance of winning on the first ballot and, if not, certainly on the second. He doesn't outright endorse Dean, but the message is clear to his supporters: vote for Dean because the party needs to be united now more than ever. In other words, if Dean is going to win he must win with an overwhelming vote on the first ballot. Only then will he have the political capital necessary to re-organize the party and win in 2006.
I've never been as critical as some of Frost's use of Bush in his campaign ads in 2004. It was a necessary political calculation on his part given his untenable electoral position. But I firmly believe that, as much as that move may have been necessary for Frost to survive DeLay's redistricting, it automatically disqualified him for the DNC chair.
Thanks for being gracious Congressman Frost. Now lets go out there and kick some elephant butt!