Tuesday, February 3, 2009

View From The Roots: Where's Howard?

Sorry Rahm. Its time for Obama to call Howard, say sorry, and move forward...

One of the key underlying subplots to the Daschle Debacle is the increasing disrespect and disregard that the Obama Administration has shown and continues to show for Howard Dean, the now former Chairman of the DNC. A doctor by trade, Dean was the perfectly logical and unbelievably qualified candidate who openly cherished the now tainted HHSS position. Picking Daschle over Dean at the beginning was the wrong move; picking Daschle over Dean without proper vetting is downright egregious.

Many among the grassroots organization that I work for (and I must say that I am included in this group) identify themselves whole-heartedly as "Deaniacs" who believe very deeply in his vision and belief in the 50 State Strategy. Obama's campaign models were in many ways an outgrowth of what Dean started within the party. The mixture the small donor “net-roots” fundraising base and aggressive outreach into traditionally Republican areas is the lasting Obama legacy, but it is directly attributable to Dean as well. It is easy to say now that the 50 State Strategy was a successful direction for Dean to take the party 4 years ago when he took it over, but it was not without contention from within the Democratic ranks. Famously, Rahm Emanuel and Dean battled viciously over the 2006 election cycle when Rahm was the Chairman of the DCCC about where to invest resources. Real clear politics documented the dispute http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/07/why_are_democratic_leaders_fig.html in fine form. Dean and Emanuel are in many ways very similar: Aggressive, partisan, and vindictive, both are clearly driven by passion and emotion. Both a guys you want on your team politically, but it is time of Obama to set up and keep the wild cards in his hand, rather than letting them to continue to fight within the party.

The whole Daschle Debacle is the exact type of move that Obama avoided making so well during the longest campaign in human history. Rev Wright and all the other scandals were not necessarily handled perfectly, but they were very rarely from Team Obama's lack of work or actual negligence (which is the only way to really explain the lack of Daschle's vetting). Now it is time for our chief executive to stand up and do the right thing.

Perhaps he could even end the confirmation ceremony with a "bbbbeeeeyyyaaahhhh."

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