Ben Buchwalter

Howard Dean Steps Down as DNC Chairman
November 10, 2008, 8:30 pm
Filed under: 2008 Election, General Politics | Tags: , ,

Dean has certainly been a controversial character in the Democratic Party. He was the grassroots Democratic candidate of 2004, generating overwhelming support from left-leaning blogs. Though Democrats were excited about his unapologetically progressive agenda, it was pretty clear that he would not win the nomination. Still, he bounced back in 2005 to become the Democratic Party chairman. 

Dean is best known for his 50-state strategy which has sent representatives of the Democratic Party to all states hoping to reinvent the party everywhere rather than concentrate it along the coasts. This was widely criticized by election-centric Democrats who thought that it would harm chances of winning back Congress in the 2006 midterm elections and the Presidency in 2008. With the massive Democratic wave into Congress in 2006 and Obama’s huge electoral victory, sweeping Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada and being competitive in Missouri and Georgia has proven those critics wrong.

But there is still a chance that the 50-state strategy could fade away with Dean. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s newly minted White House Chief of Staff, is one of the most outspoken critics of the strategy. And despite its success, it is difficult for a major political party to think long-term when an election year is coming up. So we could see the Dems abandon the states in which a Democrat will not be successful in the 2010 midterm elections.

That would be a massive mistake. Even if a Democrat does not win a state he is not expected to, funding his or her campaign gives the candidate more recognition so that he or she could be more competitive the next time around. This incremental increase in recognition could be the key to electoral success in typically red states.

So lets hope that Dean’s Dogma of 50 states becomes the Democratic Dogma so that we can continue to see the party grow and the blue wave sweep across the country to states like Montana, North Dakota, Missouri and Georgia, which were all closer than expected this year, in 2010 and 2012.


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