Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

November 10, 2008

Howard Dean Steps Down As DNC Chair

The Huffington Post reports:

After four years at the helm of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean is preparing to relinquish his chairmanship.

Dean, who has been serving in the post since 2005, has said in the past that he would serve only one term, though his successful work with the Obama campaign had led some Democrats to wonder whether he would stay on into the next administration. This won't be the case, officials at the DNC confirm. He will serve as chair until his term ends in January. The party will settle on a new head when it hosts a meeting during the week of Obama's inauguration.
Howard Dean was a netroots candidate and favorite in 2004, and his 50-state strategy deserves major credit for the party's congressional wins in 2006 and last week's presidential landslide win in which red states like Indiana, North Carolina, Indiana and the seat of the confederacy itself, Virginia, turned Democratic Blue.

Does Dean's departure signal the end of the 50-state strategy? Chris Bowers thinks so, given that the paid, locally-based organizers who formed its core have been fired.

I tend to disagree, simply because there's no reason to abandon it. The strategy was a resounding success and in perfect sync with Obama's own campaign strategy of going on the offensive instead of accepting the traditional delineation of "red states" and "blue states". Besides, why stop now? The Dems came close to turning even more states like Georgia, Nebraska, Montana and Arizona blue; with the changing demographics that increasingly favor the party, they could turn in a few more election cycles. Heck, even Texas is ripe for the picking.

Also, I see the firings as pro forma, the same way that a previous president's administration all have to tender their resignation when a new president assumes office. There's nothing to stop Obama and his aides to re-hire the same people or at the very least, deploy the same strategy and continue finetuning it.

As for Dean's replacement, Senator Clair McCaskill (D-MO) and Obama's Deputy Campaign Manager Steve Hildebrand's names come up as co-chairs of the DNC going forward.

No word yet on Dean's future plans. One thing is sure, though: because of the groundwork he laid, the Democratic Party is strong and its future bright.

posted at 4:45 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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