Friday, November 10, 2006

"The vindication of Howard Dean's 'crazy' strategy"

Joe Conason in Salon, via RAW STORY:
Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, the former presidential candidate who was once in danger of being remembered for an angry scream, has come full circle. Dean's "crazy strategy of rebuilding the Democratic Party across all states" helped the Democrats achieve success as they captured Congress in the midterm elections, writes Joe Conason at Salon.

"Only weeks after the Democratic National Committee chose Howard Dean as its chairman last year, the nasty whispers began to circulate around Washington and among longtime party donors and activists in cities from New York to Los Angeles," writes Conason. "'He's going to be a disaster,' they muttered. 'He can't raise any money. He doesn't know what he's doing. And what does he mean by this crazy 50-state strategy?'"

Despite his struggles with power brokers in a party he was selected to lead, Dean persevered and is now "enjoying vindication far earlier than he ever expected," the article says.

"What Dean and his organizers created ... was an environment that allowed insurgents and outliers as well as the party's chosen challengers to ride the national wave of revulsion against conservative rule," Conason writes. "Faced with many more viable challenges than anticipated, the Republicans made mistakes in allocating resources -- and were forced to defend candidates in districts that are usually safe."

Conason says that Dean has "reached a peaceful accommodation" with his party adversaries, in part motivated by his popularity among the "unruly netroots." While deliberation over the continuance of the 50-state strategy will continue, Dean has in the meantime "won the argument" he initiated in the planning for this year's midterm.

"There would have been much less for the Democrats to celebrate on Election Night," concludes Conason, "if Howard Dean hadn't been so 'crazy' -- and so persistent."

No comments: