Monday, November 10, 2008
Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
Gov. Howard Dean is stepping down after a four-year term as head of the DNC. His accomplishments in those four years? Engineering a fifty-state strategy that brought the Democrats back into power in the House and Senate in 2006, further consolidated that advantage in Congress in 2008, and helped put Senator Barack Obama into the White House.
This blog began roughly four years ago, as I was trying to find a way to deal with the emotionally devastating re-election of George Bush. I supported Kerry once he was the nominee, but anyone who knew me back in 2003 and 2004 will remember that I was a certified Deaniac. In the early days of this blog, I spent a lot of time hoping that Dean would return. (Indeed, I even floated the idea of a Dean-Obama ticket for 2008.)
Dean was the candidate in 2004 who best captured the anger that so many of us felt at the horrors and depredations of the Bush administration and its wholly unjust war, its lies, its arrogant disregard for international law, its casual abuse of the Constitution. I was devastated when the media tore Dean down, exploiting the infamous Dean Scream to complete their media assassination.
As Dean steps down from his historically successful tenure as DNC chairman, we should recognize the power of his strategy, and the tremendous results Dean has helped realize. Many -- including the new White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- once mocked Dean's fifty-state strategy of building support for the Democratic party in "Red States". It's that strategy, adopted by Obama, that helped turn Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia blue for the first time in decades.
That beautiful map we saw lighting up on Election Night with blue from Virginia to Colorado, from Indiana to Nevada? Thank Howard Dean.