Saturday, November 11, 2006

Howard Dean, vindicated

The DNC chairman's "crazy" strategy of rebuilding the Democratic Party across all states helped it ride the national wave against the GOP.

By Joe Conason

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. "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?"

Those early days must have been painful for the former Vermont governor -- still smarting back then from his presidential primary defeat and that endlessly looped "scream" video -- and he endured a barrage of snarks and snipes from the Democratic congressional leadership as well. Unfortunately for Dean, he doesn't play the Washington press corps nearly as well as do rivals like Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who ran the House Democrats' campaign committee, or Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who performed the same role in the Senate.

But this week, he is enjoying vindication far earlier than he ever expected. [Read more here]

Howard Dean started the grassroots effort and taught us how to work our constituents. I am thankful for all that he has taught us, the people, because now our country has the leadership it needs to protect the people and re-build the foreign policy we once had. There is a lot of work ahead of us, as we are inheriting a true mess in our districts and states. We need to keep our constituents informed of each failure of the predecessor but more to correspond with them of the progress we are making on their behalf.

It is going to be a tough road, but we have something behind us that the GOP never did -- THE PEOPLE and human decency. I so often remember through these past 6 years of hell the lack of human decency by the Republicans, but now it will return.

It truly is a great time in our country -- we have pulled in the reins from the "Rogue Elephant."

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