Howard Dean for DNC Chairman

Dean ponders bid to become DNC chairman (AP)

Former presidential candidate Howard Dean is considering a bid to become chairman of the national Democratic Party. “He told me he was thinking about it,” Steve Grossman, himself a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Monday. Grossman was a Dean backer during the former Vermont governor’s failed presidential bid. Dean was traveling Monday in New York and unavailable for comment. His spokeswoman, Laura Gross, said “it was far too early to be speculating on that. The election was less than a week ago.”

The roughly 240 members of the DNC will elect a new chair early next year. Several names are already being mentioned, including former Clinton aide Harold Ickes; Donna Brazile, who ran Al Gore’s presidential campaign, and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

Grossman said it is not too soon for Democrats to focus on their future leadership. “I strongly urged (Dean) to seek the position,” he said. “Howard is a voice of political empowerment and that to me is important, for the Democrats to get their sea legs back as quickly as possible, to get beyond the disappointment of the last week and to believe there is a bright future ahead for the Democratic Party.” Dean has been outspoken since the beginning of his presidential bid in saying that the Democratic Party must establish a separate and unique identity from Republicans.

Duncan Black, a/k/a Atrios, thinks “this is a good idea.”

In the spirit of bipartisan comity, I heartily concur. I urge Dr. Dean to take the reins of his party and become its national spokesman for the next two election cycles. He’s already got a path to victory mapped out:

Not only are we going to New Hampshire … we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York. And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we’re going to Washington, D.C. To take back the White House. Yeah!

The only thing that gives me any pause in fully getting aboard the Dean for DNC Chair bandwagon is this:

Grossman said that if Dean were to run for DNC chair, he would need to pledge that he would serve the full four-year term, thus ruling out a presidential bid in 2008.

I’d sure hate to miss the chance to see Dr. Dean fight Senator Hillary Clinton for the soul of the Democratic Party.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anjin-San says:

    I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Dean has rock-solid support in California.

    I saw Dr. Dean speak many times in Norcal during the campaign. The media basically shredded Dean, I can’t help but think that his stated policy of breaking up media conglomarates had something to do with it.

    If you have not seen Dean speak in person, don’t be quick to judge him. I voted for Reagan twice, and Dean is the first politician to come along since then who really got me interested in being involved. He is the only politician who ever impressed me enough to get me to open up my wallet.

    The portrayal of him as a “far-left liberal” is nonsense. He is a fiscal conservative (something Mr. Bush is definitly not). He is center-left on social issues. More then anything he is, like President Reagan & Bill Clinton, pragmatic. He wants to solve problems & find approaches that work.

    He is also the only one with a clue on how to stop our health care system’s slow slide twoards the cliff. If you don’t think its headed that way, go talk to some doctors about it. Then consider that none of us are getting younger and we will all need more health care as the years go by.

    Hillary Clinton is undoubtely bright and talented, though not nearly as much so as her husband. On the other hand, she strike me as someone who’s primary goals are power & fear. Yuck.

  2. ken says:

    Dean is the first politician I ever gave any money to as well.

    His support in Orange County among some of my republican acquintences over several months is what got me interested in him as a serious player.

  3. LJD says:


  4. McGehee says:

    Can there possibly be any better endorsement, from the standpoint of Republicans, than that Anjin-san and Ken support this idea?

    Where do I send my check to help make this happen?

  5. Perhaps, though, the battle for the soul of the Democratic party will take place sooner.

    Dean may decide to challenge the Clintons early with the Chairmanship. This could get interesting.

  6. Although most people voted for Bush, if you ask people what they think of Bush’s policies most people are against them. The solution is not to do what the Democratic “leadership” council says and make the policies of the Democratic party even more like the policies of the Republicans, because people did not vote for those policies. People voted for the candidate they were most comfortable with. Voters were not comfortable with Kerry because he never stood for anything, and they had no idea what would happen if he was elected. He spent too much time with his finger in the air, testing the political winds and dancing left or right, and not enough time energizing the Democratic base and holding Bush accountable for his lack of anything but scandals to show for the past 4 years.

    Kerry got what he deserved. Let’s not forget that it was Kerry who smeared Dean in Iowa to advance his own ambition. Kerry is just the kind of self interested politician people are sick of. Those who supported him did so out of fear and disgust of Bush, not enthusiasm for Kerry. He lost because not quite enough people could hold their noses to vote for him. We need a candidate who stands for traditional Democratic values, and isn’t afraid to say so! Someone with a proven record who will get voters excited about clean, responsible government, and give them a reason to vote. That would be Howard Dean. I hope he won’t run for the DNC chairmanship, because we need him as our nominee in 2008!!