Someone close to DNC Chair Howard Dean has indicated that he will not be running for a second term.
I hardly know how to respond, so mixed are my emotions about this. On the one hand:
- Howard Dean has become one of my political heroes. His aggressive pushing of a 50-state strategy, his pragmatic work to construct and maintain a genuinely national party - including decision to put party staff in every state (and, by the way, to fund a staffer for Americans Abroad - perhaps an early precursor of the Obama campaign's overseas Regional Field Directors). He has been so RIGHT, and so good for the party but I can't help but feel sad that he won't be staying in that role to carry on his good work.
- On the other hand, Dean's strategy and approach has been so broadly successful and so well internalised by the Obama campaign that I can't help but feel his legacy will only grow stronger, and it may be that a new party head who has learned these lessons can further strengthen the DNC in other areas. (The party, in my opinion, still has a long way to go in successfully adopting all the new media tools available - something that the Obama people could certainly help us to improve on...)
As for Howard, I suspect he will have a big role in an Obama administration - or at least, that if these people are smart he SHOULD have a big role. And we know these people are plenty smart. And he's already got just the right tie...