Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Not really a surprise...at least not to me

Even back in late September people were wondering exactly what Howard Dean was planning on doing next, after the November elections were over. Was he angling for a cabinet level position in a Kerry administration, was he setting himself up to run again in 2008 if Kerry didn't win, or was he going to run for Chairman of the DNC?

Well, it's been 4 months since the rumors started circulating, and while it has been rather apparent for the past month, today Howard Dean announced his candidacy.
I'm Running
As I have traveled across our country, I have talked to thousands of people who are working for change in their own communities about the power of politics to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. Every group I have spoken to, I encouraged them to stand up for what they believe and to get involved in the electoral process—because the only sure way to make difference is to step up and run for office yourself.

Today, I'm announcing my candidacy for the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

The Democratic Party needs a vibrant, forward-thinking, long-term presence in every single state and we must be willing to contest every race at every level. We will only win when we show up and fight for the issues important to all of us.

I'm not quite sure exactly what I think about this right now. I supported Dean from early on in the presidential race, and loathed the media for the hatchet job they did on him post-Iowa. I also think the current national Democratic Party leadership needs to pull their heads out of the sand and realize what's going on, and that this Anybody But Dean bullshit they keep trying only pisses off the millions who supported Dean for America, and continue to work through Democracy for America.

He's scary to the powers that be simply because he's an outsider, not beholden to the "way things are run inside the Beltway".
But most of all, together, we have to rebuild the American community. We will never succeed by treating our nation as a collection of separate regions or separate groups. There are no red states or blues states, only American states. And we must talk to the people in all of these states as members of one community.

That word—'values'—has lately become a codeword for appeasement of the right-wing fringe. But when political calculations make us soften our opposition to bigotry, or sign on to policies that add to the burden of ordinary Americans, we have abandoned our true values.

After what I have read about the other leading candidates, I think that Dean would be the breath of fresh air the party needs to keep going. He's shown the ability to work with the grassroots, inspired dozens of people to run for office themselves, and supported them along the way.
With your help, this past election season, Democracy for America, already started creating the kind of organization the Democratic Party can be. This past election cycle, we endorsed over 100 candidates at all levels of government—from school board to U.S. Senate. We contributed almost a million dollars to nearly 750 candidates around the country and raised millions of dollars for many more candidates.

Together, we helped elect a Democratic governor in Montana, a Democratic mayor of Salt Lake County, Utah and an African American woman to the bench in Alabama. Fifteen of the candidates we endorsed had never run for office before—and won.

He's not the stiff or boring suit the Democratic Party keeps trotting out lately, as evidenced by the current chairman or the other candidates.

Hell with it...I think Howard Dean ought to be the next DNC chair.