Friday, January 14, 2005

Howard Dean for DNC

Most of you know that I'm a Dean supporter for the DNC chair race. Over several posts here and at Burnt Orange, I've laid out my reasons. I think most people would agree that they're true, just not important enough to pick Dean for the chairmanship. The Nation is apparently on board the Dean train, though. John Nichols lays out a decent enough case, but something about it caught my eye. He points out, correctly, that this would not be a front-page story if not for Dean (Except maybe for how much everybody but the suits hate Tim Roemer). That's what the good doctor brings to the table, media visibility. For better or worse, Dean is a polarizing figure who merits attention. With no real national infrastructure to speak of, state parties that are too decentralized and underfunded and not nearly enough attention on grassroots activism, we need somebody who people can instantly recognize and who will be a welcome guest on any political talk show. I know, the DNC chair will already get face time in front of the cameras. But imagine the glee with which pundits will book him. Good headlines or bad, we need a high profile party to take the media buzz out of Bush's agenda. Everytime he wants to give a speech or go somewhere, we need to be above the fold on the front page to get attention away from him and keep his efforts fruitless. There are flaws in that plan, but I think it is extremely workable and a step in the right direction. No way does Wellington Webb or Tim Roemer get that kind of support in the media. Frost and Rosenberg, maybe. But Dean gets face time. One other thing, and this is kind of an aside, but what happens if Dean doesn't win. Byron has a post where he thinks Rosenberg is a strong second candidate who will get the Dean support and the ABD support if Dean decides he can't win and drops out. Martin Frost also has a considerable lead over everybody but Dean in the latest poll of DNC members. I'm just trying to divine what the netroots people do if Frost is selected. I don't think he has the kind of broadbase blogger support of Dean and Rosenberg. After watching an event on C-SPAN today from the Campaign Finance Institute where they talked about how much money the DNC raised in 2004 and what impact BCRA (the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 also called McCain-Feingold) had on the DNC and RNC. I'm just wondering what a Frost or Fowler chairmanship will do to the money flow. The majority of the small donors were from the Internet and that is obviously the realm of Dean and Rosenberg. If they don't get the chairmanship, will most of the Internet donors start contributing at DFA and NDN instead? Just a question worth asking.

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