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NDN has sent out an email with their thoughts on the DNC chairmanship -- a job with clearly evolving qualifications.
A critical first step in deciding who we want as our next chair is to first figure out what the job is, and what it requires.  An article in this week's Economist, excerpted below, does an excellent job at describing how the Republicans now view the job and why they have chosen a 38-year-old strategist as their next chair.

As NDN has been discussing for the past several years, the modern Republican political machine has redefined politics as we know it. Years of investing billions of dollars in their infrastructure have created a vast and complex web of multimillion dollar operations which include think tanks, for-profit media outlets like Fox News, traditional political advocacy groups and, in recent years, a very healthy and strategic set of national, state and local party organizations. 

The Republicans understand the division of labor required to run such a political empire, and have a diversified set of leaders to build and manage their affairs - spokesmen like Bush, Colin Powell, Bill Frist, Rudy Giuliani, and Arnold Schwarzenegger; strategists like Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist; managers like Roger Ailes, Ed Gillespie and Ken Mehlman; intellectuals like those at Heritage, Cato and the dozens of other local and state think tanks; propagandists like Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge; and investors like the Coors and Scaife families.

They run their politics like a business. They have strategic plans, targeted outcomes, measures to gauge progress and accountability. As Democrats, we must come to terms with what they have built and how they run their affairs, for today they have a much better system that yields much better results than ours.

Finding someone who can take on Bush on TV is not the biggest or most important part of the job of chairing the DNC. Terry McAulifffe has repeatedly said as much, and the Republicans have clearly recognized this in their recent choices for chair of the RNC. We already have dozens of national leaders well-equipped to take on the GOP each day. They are named Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Richardson, Gore, Dean, Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Hoyer, Bayh, Lieberman, Vilsack, Landrieu, Menendez, Graham, Salazar, Ford Jr., Nelson, Lincoln, Durbin, Stabenow, Granholm, Rendell, Warner, Biden, Holbrooke, Harman, Spitzer and Emanuel. We could all add more.

What we need at the head of the DNC is someone who can take on Rove, Reed, Norquist and Mehlman. Someone who understands how to defeat the modern Republican machine at its own high-level strategic game; someone who understands the demographic, attitudinal and socio-economic complexities of the coming America; someone who is deeply rooted in the emerging new media world of databases, digital media, satellite and cable television; someone who understands the internet and modern community-building techniques; someone who can speak for the mainstream of the party and connect with its increasingly youthful activist base; someone who has successfully raised money and worked in all regions of this diverse country; and someone who has a proven track record at running a business or political organization.

Considering that Simon Rosenberg wrote that email, the argument is obviously that he is best suited for the job. While that may be debatable (not necessarily by me), fact is, this job description is the best I've seen to date.

As for that Economist article that the email references, here's the key grafs:

A mere 38 years old, Ken Mehlman does not fit many stereotypes. He isn't a Washington veteran like the current chairman, Ed Gillespie (who retires in January to return to his lobbying firm). He isn't a "character" like the smooth-as-molasses Haley Barbour. He isn't a nationally known figure like George Bush senior. He comes across as a classic company man--the whippersnapper CEO of a data-management company in Plano, Texas, perhaps--rather than a back-slapping pol. But it is impossible to find anybody in political circles, Democratic as well as Republican, who doesn't think that he's the ideal man for the job.

Karl Rove may have been the architect of Mr Bush's victory--the man with the grand strategic visions and the sweeping sense of history. But Mr Mehlman was the mechanic who translated those strategic visions into reality. His main assets are an extraordinary command of detail (his colleagues dubbed him "Rain Man" because he can reel off election statistics much as Dustin Hoffman, in the film, could calculate at a glance the number of toothpicks spilt from a box) and the iron discipline necessary to keep Mr Bush's unruly army together.

The GOP is at an advantage, in that Bush could nominate whoever he wanted to the job without opposition. Yet it's telling that he selected someone from outside the "establishment", someone who can build and manage the high-tech machine of the future. Consider, in contrast, the type of people Kerry would've installed to the DNC chairmanship had he won the presidency. Vilsack. Shaheen. Blanchard.

And we wonder why Democrats can't win elections.

Update: After further consideration, the thing that is most missing from that job description is something about "finding a spine". Throw that in there, and it's near perfect.

And yes, the description does happen to fit the two people I most support for the job -- Howard Dean and Rosenberg. More than any of the other candidates, these two have articulated the party's biggest challenges -- and possible solutions -- in a way the other candidates have failed to do.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 10:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hmm (4.00)
    This makes me want to support Rosenberg for DNC chair. I understand that Dean is all for reform and all that, but Rosenberg seems to really, truly know what he is doing when it comes to this. He has a plan.
    •  Boy (none)
      I sure hope you're being facetious.
    •  Yes, (2.50)
      And I want Dean back in 2008. I'll even hold my nose and register Democrat again for the primaries.

      Independent--draw the line, don't toe it.

      by xysrl on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:08:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What Rosenberg's doing. (none)
      You might almost call it "reform."
    •  Think like they do? (none)
      I think it is great to talk about being like the Republicans, but if we actually sit down and think like they do, we analyze our advantages and disadvantages, I think we will come up with a different process.  We have a comparative advantage with certain constituencies.  We need to press that advantage.  Many of those groups, such as unions, environmental groups and many other left leaning groups are not amenable to a Bush/Rove top down approach.  If you look carefully, Bush empowered the religious right over the economic conservatives in his base.  By empowering that part of his base and hanging onto the economic people he strengthened his position.  We should empower our base too, but we can't do that in the same way they do.

      One other significant difference is their attack/tricky bastard machine, we could really learn from them there.  Democrats used to know how to play hardball, not any more.  We need a spine.  I am growing really tired of Democrats who refuse to take the gloves off, and are always equivocating and being respect of other people's feelings.  I am sick of the "we're too good for that, we can't be like them" bullshit.  We need to have an old fashioned ambush set up for the Repuglicans and kick their ass, and when they beg for mercy we kick em in the teeth, rob them blind, and tie them to a post, buck naked.  We need to win back all the state houses, forcibly redistrict everything and gerrymander them out of Congress, just like they did to us.  And when they complain call them sore losers and remind them of what they did to us in Texas.

      Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:8

      by PJ 7 on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:34:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed.. (none)
      But I've rarely seen Rosenberg in the spotlight, whereas Dean loves attention and the camera eats him up.  After reading this, I would strongly advocate for Dean and Rosenberg as co-chairs, with Dean the "media man" and Rosenberg the guy in the background making it all happen.

      I have one major reason for this: I think that if Dean isn't thoroughly involved with the party machinery, the media are not going to want to talk to him.  Without a DNC position, he's little more than a former governor of a tiny state that lost a primary race (to the short-memory media, not to us obviously).  But it certainly seems that Rosenberg beats him out in the organizational skills.  I think a co-chair situation (or Howard chair, Simon vice-chair) would be ideal and would most benefit the party.

      In Afghanistan, they call them the Taliban. Here, we call them Republicans

      by ragnark on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 04:13:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rosenberg in the War Room (none)
        I know that many here enjoy Dean's combativeness--and think that may even be one of his best assets. I think Rosenberg can do this more deftly so that it doesn't upset people.

        Dean should not be forced to reign himself in and that is why he should stay outside the party apparatus. I think he is more potent there.

        •  That's a good point.. (none)
          but do you think there is a way for him to stay out of the party apparatus and still stay visible?  I think that's the only way it helps us, and it's a shame to let a resource like Dean go to waste.

          Also, any transcripts or anything of Rosenberg getting dirty?  I'd like to see what he can accomplish, and I really like this article.. so if he can take a healtyh fighting stand in the media I may just be willing to keep a more open mind on this.

          In Afghanistan, they call them the Taliban. Here, we call them Republicans

          by ragnark on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 05:48:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fed up with the Rosenberg "Puff pieces" (2.50)
    I have asked over and over again what the hell does Simon do to pick his candidates to sponsor for the NDN. I am  getting quite sick of the false bravado for this man while completely and intentionally refusing to answer bascic questions about his work with the NDN.

    • Yes we know that the man is good with computers...

    • Yes we know that Al From hates Rosenberg...SO FUCKING WHAT!!!

    Rosenberg still has made his entire career out of steering the Democratic party towards agreeing with the same issues as the Republican party.

    Rosenberg has made his ENTIRE career out of keeping libruls out of power.

    Even if he and MR. From disagree they played Batman and Robin to kick Mike Mile out of the Senate race in Colorado and to install a DLCer Salazar who is already licking his lips to kick some librul butt.

    PLEASE ANSWER THESE BASIC QUESTIONS:

    • HOW DOES ROSENBERG PICK CANDIDATES TO FUND? IT is said that he has a questionaire to weed out any trouble makers(read Librals) for his corporate clients.

    • WHERE IN THE HELL DOES ROSENBERG GET HIS MONEY FROM, BECAUSE IT IS FOR DAMN SURE IT IS NOT THE SMALL DONOR.
    •  answers (4.00)
      I work for Simon at NDN.  NDN is actually several organizations in one - there is a PAC and a 527.  The 527 describes the Democratic brand in areas like Colorado, Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, and Nevada, in both English and Spanish.  It doesn't support individual candidates because that's not legal.  As far as I know, it is funded by a mix of small and large donors, including centrists, leftists, and conservatives.  

      The NDN PAC picks its candidates based on who can most effectively win races in all areas of the country.  In the mid-1990s, NDN was more focused on New Democrat policies that had their roots in the DLC era, but over the past five years or so it has transitioned away from the unproductive politics of that group and towards reinventing politics into a modern message and organizing machine based on the internet and a modernized America.  It is funded like normal PACs - donations of $5000 or less.

      The focus on money is a bit off.  Simon isn't one of those politicos who cares primarily about money (though he's quite good at fundraising).  To him, money is just one tool to political effectiveness, and as such, he has acknowledged frequently Clinton's problem of having middle class oriented policies that were funded by the rich.  The ability to align our politics and policies through the internet is something he is excited about, and something that I think is key to the rejuvenation of a modern Democratic Party.

      If I were to place Simon on the ideological spectrum, I would call him largely pragmatic.  He is flexible about what and who can win depending on local political constraints and resources, and is focused like a laser beam on rebuilding a party and a brand that has fallen into disrepair.  In other words, he's a strategist, not an ideologue.  You will not find many insiders in DC like him - he is blunt and intelligent, as well as committed to talent and listening to all comers.

      Is he perfect?  No.  Do I agree with him on everything?  No.  But he is a committed party builder willing to take risks that few others will, and has staked out his vision for the DNC as one of the key institutions that must rebuild the party.  If we choose Simon, we will shave years off of our path to retaking the country, and I don't just mean Democrats, but progressive Democrats retaking it.  

      •  Thank you (3.50)
        but there is way more that needs answering.

        In the now famous albeit old report "How the DLC does it"

        It clearly states that

        To ensure that liberals don't slip through the cracks, NDN requires each politician who seeks entree to its largesse and contacts to fill out a questionnaire that asks his or her views on trade, economics, education, welfare reform, and other issues. The questions are detailed, forcing candidates to state clearly whether or not they support views associated with the New Democrat Coalition, and it concludes by asking, "Will you join the NDC when you come to Congress?" Next, Rosenberg interviews each candidate, and then NDN determines which candidacies are viable before providing financial support.

        I am guessing that this still happens since the highlight of NDN 2004 Congressional support was to Carson which only by the extreme streches of imagination could be called a Democrat (even in Oklahoma). So it looks like the strategy of the NDN is to still keep out the libruls

        We can hire any technician to make websites or to blog but Rosenbergs ideology and those he is gathering around him for support are exactly the same people who got the party in this mess to begin with.

        •  abcd (none)
          isn't that what the K Street Project was all about?  And Bushs' loyalty oaths? Don't hang with people you disagree with?  Are we then to become that which we despise?  

          anarchy is loosed upon the world...and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drown. - Yeats

          by eunichorn on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:39:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Asinine (4.00)
          I was and remain a fan of Carson. Is my strategy "keep the libruls out"?

          We would've scored a huge coup had Carson won the Senate race in OK. I also supported Salazar over Miles in Colorado.

          In your book, that clearly makes me evil. Right?

          •  You are asinine (1.50)
            and immature.

            Evil those are your words...

            but tell me were you a paid consultant for Carson?

            •  first kill all the professionals? (none)
              Look, I'm as much a reform democrat as anyone.  But the anti-consultant thing can go too far.

              I don't know if anyone on these blogs is a political consultant, but what is needed is not a wholesale purge of all professionalism or business, marketing or organizational know-how.

              What is needed is a new selection process for bringing in the right kind of preofessional talent that "gets it."  A clearing of the decks from those whose political education has been built around keeping the old school methods in place.

              We can make a lot of noise without having smart professionals at the center of this emerging movement.  But the movement will never emerge and take root without smart, professional guidance.

              So let's dispense with the knee-jerk anti-professionalist agitprop. . . unless of course we want to keep losing.

              We are not a "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

              by Pachacutec on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:21:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Have no problem with that (2.50)
                but I am sick of childish name calling at the first sign of dissent.
              •  The "marketing" done (4.00)
                by the "professionals" has ben pathetic.  We are losing the marketing war.  If Bob Shrum is our marketing guru and an example of our "professional" - the, yes, they must all be purged.

                Rosenberg's essay is interesting, but we are not the Republican Party and we do not have their infrastructure in place.  At this juncture, a Rosenberg/Mehlman might not be our best move.  We need to define our ideology - the Republicans have already done that.

                We can hire someone who can do all the techy stuff - what we lack is vision.  Dean is solid on "the vision thing".  Rosenberg's vision seems to be more "whatever it takes to win" than "this is what we stand for".  I want to win, too, and I am not opposed to nominating the candidates who seem best positioned to do so, but our biggest weakness at this point is a complete lack of brand identity.  I think Dean can fix that MUCH better than Rosenberg.

                •  brand identity (none)
                  is exactly what I'm talking about:  take a look at the tag line I'm currently using for my signature.  I'm emphatically not in favor of any blurring of the lines of what we stand for versus what they say they stand for (as opposed to what they really stand for).

                  Bringing up Shrum is a straw man.  If you reread my comment, I think you can pretty well see that I'm talking about replacing that old guard.

                  You can only effectively market a distinct brand.  You can only have a distrinct brand if you have a clear and well differentiated brand identity.  You can only have a clear brand identity on the left if you are willing to be liberal, without shame or confusion.

                  Rosenberg might me the right person, I have no idea. I like Dean and I liked his speech to the convention in Orlando a lot.  He may be the right person, too.  Or maybe someone else.

                  In the end, we are saying the same things.  Maybe a model of Dean as the DNC CEO, who sets vision and broad strategy, while acting as a more public face and presence, and Rosenberg as an operational COO, massaging and managing the operational details and egos needed to drive a winning coalition.  

                  As I don't know much about their individual executive talents, and as I have spent a career in evaluating executive talent, I am willing to be uncommitted on these questions, absent further infomration.

                  We are not a "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

                  by Pachacutec on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:51:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I didn't notice (none)
                    your tag line before, and I like it immensely.  I also like your idea of Dean as a face on the leadersghip and Rosenberg (or someone like him) as the organizational force.  I don't discount the skills Rosenberg has - I just think that Dean is what we need right now more than anything.  Rosenberg can sell our brand, but Dean, I think, is the best one to define it.
              •  Kill all the consultants? (none)
                What a great idea!  I am all for it.  What good are they if we keep losing?  All the successes we have had have been at the local level where the consultants don't have a presence.  The message seems clear to me.  The people on the ground know what is 'actually' going on.  The consultants don't have a clue.  

                Kill em all, or at the very least give them a 90% pay cut.

                Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:8

                by PJ 7 on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 02:14:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Confusion (none)
              The "screening" and "vetting" procedures that you are alluding to are for basic insurance--so that crazy people don't get under the brand name and that they can't back out of their support--say someone on the NDN questionaire suddenly made overthrowing Tony Blair and imprisoning the Queen their number one priority. As an organizational leader you would want to know about it before you signed on to their campaign or risked your name.

              I am not calling "libruls" crazy by any means but there also has to be a pragmatic, pratical approach to selecting candidates so that they have a chance of winning.

              •  in the article (4.00)
                it clear defines the vetting process

                For all the back talk of ideological purist it was the NDN that forced purity on their candidates.

                The questions are detailed, forcing candidates to state clearly whether or not they support views associated with the New Democrat Coalition, and it concludes by asking, "Will you join the NDC when you come to Congress?" Next, Rosenberg interviews each candidate, and then NDN determines which candidacies are viable before providing financial support.

                Even if Al From and Rosenberg hate each other NDN was set up as the money pot for the DLC centrist to effect the ideology of the party. Wheteher or not evilness has anything to do with it is subjective.

                Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, a DLC nemesis, strongly agrees that money is not the primary motivator for the organization. "It's ideological," he says. But certainly the DLC has been able to advance its ideology more effectively within the party because of money. Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, who is considering helping to organize a grass-roots-based, left-wing alternative to the DLC, sees the DLC as partly responsible for making the Democrats "much more of a money party and less of a grass-roots party." He adds: "The imperative of fundraising has weakened the policy performance. Whether or not the DLC should get most of the credit or not, I don't know. Certainly that is the direction that President Clinton took the party."
                •  Polarization (none)
                  We need moderates and we need the grassroots--they have to work in conjunction with each other towards a common goal. The NDN has been more focused on campaigns while the DLC has focused on elected officials once they have become elected and hopes to transform them into the next Bill Clinton.

                  If I am giving money to their campaigns, lots of money, then I would want to have an interview with them and ask them to join my organization if they made it to Congress so that I could help further their career. I see no problems with that. I just don't think that signing over a check for $10K and saying, "Peace out" cuts it.

                  I don't think he is looking to purge the party of liberals--but he is looking for candidates that can win.

                  Republicans Outnumber Democrats
                  The latest Gallup poll shows a "historic surge" in Republican party affiliation, with those identifying themselves as Republicans jumping to 37% of the public, with Democrats trailing with just 32%.

                  That is the first time that has happened since the 1930's. We have been steadily declining. As much as I want liberals to run--moderate/progressives have better chances at winning and thus raising money.

                  •  This is why the Republicans (4.00)
                    ONLY MOVE TO THE RIGHT:

                    There is a force and tension that the DLC centrist refuse to take into account.

                    Even by "dancing with the opposition"  the Democrats are giving free momentum in the right direction to the Republicans. It is like in the tug of war when one side lets go the opposite side lurches to the extreme.

                    Polarization is good...it halt the pull to the right while the Democrat reform and gain energy to pull the center back to the center.

            •  no (none)
              "tell me were you a paid consultant for Carson?"

              Nope. You'll have to look elsewhere for motivation. But I can help:

              Carson was the best bet for winning an open seat in Oklahoma.

              I didn't need to be a paid consultant to figure that one out.

              •  he lost to a nutcake (none)
                •  Nutcakes won all over (none)
                  DeMint in SC, Thune in SD--alot of places Dems cannot be as far to the left as Paul Wellstone was. If you remember, he was campaigning like he wasn't an incumbent. He may have lost the race unfortuneately something worse happened.
                •  It was Oklahoma (none)
                  what more can be said? The wingers stand by their own, and there's a ton of them in Oklahoma.

                  But your point is, what? That a liberal would've won the race? That NDN's support of Carson led to his defeat? What?

                  •  My point is (2.50)
                    that NDN is still using the exclusionary tactics to support only right wing candidates.

                    I would very much like to see a copy of this questionnaire to see what kind of ideology the NDN is pushing.

                    As for Carson it tells it all that he lost major support amongst Democrats after his stunning interview on MTP. It proved the old adage why vote Republican lite when you can get the real Republican. He was an embarrassment to the Democratic party and it was obvious that it was an opportunistic move and in no way was he planning on even sitting on the Democratic side of the Congressional Cafeteria.

                    AS my crudely draw graphic shows that these types of Democrats do more harm than good. Even when we weren't winning the presidency we were at least winning in the house and senate now we are not only losing across the board but we are lose on winnable issues but our ranks are filled with these faux Democrats who sell us down the river each time.

                    Lets take a wild guess on where Salazar will stand on privatisation of Social Security???  Amybody...Anybody...Bueller???

                    •  all kinds (none)
                      NDN supports all sorts of candidates.

                      Like SF Mayor Gavin Newsom, one politician who performed gay marriages earlier this year.  It's not an exclusionary group.  

                      •  Uh... (2.50)
                        didn't he almost lose to a green candidate in librul San Francisco.

                        The Party establishment had to bring out the heavy guns to get him elected. Even Bill Clinton was called in to help in a mayorial race.

                        That one is still developing...

                        Do you have the questionaire?

                        What ideologies are the NDN backing????

                        NDN PAC

                        Working through NDN's political action committee, NDN PAC, NDN and its members endorse a small number of candidates for the Senate and House. Candidates must meet three criteria to be picked. They must support the NDN Agenda, have a competitive race or district; and be in a race where our money can make a difference.

                        NDN List (2004 Cycle)
                        Erskine Bowles (NC)  
                        Brad Carson (OK)
                        Betty Castor (FL)
                        Tony Knowles (AK)
                        Ken Salazar (CO)
                        Senator Tom Daschle (SD)
                        Senator Blanche Lincoln (AR)

                        Don Barbieri (WA-05)
                        Melissa Bean (IL-08)
                        Dan Boren (OK-02)
                        Nick Clooney (KY-04)
                        Joe Driscoll (PA-15)
                        Tom Gallagher (NV-03)
                        Jon Jennings (IN-08)
                        Richard Romero (NM-01)
                        John Salazar (CO-03)
                        Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)

                        Rep. Ben Chandler (KY-06)
                        Rep. Artur Davis (AL-07) (African American, DLC)
                        Rep. Stephanie Herseth (SD)
                        Rep. Baron Hill (IN-09)
                        Rep. Darlene Hooley (OR-05)
                        Rep. Jim Matheson (UT-02)
                        Rep. Dennis Moore (KS-03)

                        Mostly conservative and the only African American is a memeber of the DLC

      •  MattS (none)
        Can you give us any info on the role the NDN played during the presidential Primaries.

        This guy is no longer my state senator http://aniskovich.com/ Don't get mad ,get local

        by ctkeith on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:34:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  None officially (none)
          NDN was neutral.

          Simon, on the other hand, was the ONLY establishment Democrat to embrace the Dean movement and publicly defend Dean's candidacy.

          Google news articles about Dean with Rosenberg quotes and see for yourself.

          •  Huh? (none)
            Up until Iowa Dean had a HUGE number of committed superdelegates.  Are you saying that superdelegates aren't establishment Democrats?
            •  Those superdelegates (none)
              were almost all non-white Dems. Oftentimes, establishment in name only. Congressional black caucus and Hispanic caucus type Dems. Then there was the union support, some of those leaders are superdelegates. But you know as well as anyone about union's receding clout within the "establishment".

              Simon was a Clintonista, and the only one who publicly didn't deride the Dean candidacy.

              •  Actually, No (none)
                I don't agree about labor's receeding clout within the Dem establishement.  I actually think its influence over the DNC has increased over the last four years as we've been out of the White House.  

                As for Clintonistas, DLC'er Elaine Kamarack did quite a bit of spear-chucking for Dean in December and January, and she was an ur-Clintonista.  And even though they were somewhat disaffected Clintonistas, Dean's finance chair was a former DNC Chair under Clinton who also had close ties to AIPAC, and he had other prominent Clinton people like Echeveria and Edley.  How much they were utilized/influential, other than Grossberg I have no idea.  But he had his share of non-CBC insiders flock to his campaign, especially in November and December when it looked like he might win the nomination and they wanted to position themselves for positions in his general election campaign and a prospective Dean administration.  

              •  asdf (4.00)

                Simon was a Clintonista, and the only one who publicly didn't deride the Dean candidacy.

                Are you omitting Gore because you've forgotten about him or because his transformation from Clinton camp moderate to fire breathing, MoveOn populist was more or less complete by late 03?

                I understand what you're getting at, but using Clintonista as short hand for "DNC consultant class" makes your argument a bit confusing - there was no shortage of powerful Democrats openly backing Dean right before the Iowa caucus disaster.

                The Devil crept into Heaven, God slept on the 7th, the New World Order was born on September 11th - IT<

                by tomaxxamot on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:53:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  it took no official role (none)
          NDN took no official role in the primaries, just like most Democratic organizations.  Within DC, the vibe among insiders was pretty anti-Dean.  Simon's tone differed.

          Here's one of Simon's blog posts from October, 2003:

          The presidential campaigns reported their third-quarter fundraising totals yesterday. While there were no major surprises, the big story was Howard Dean's historic fundraising success. $15 million raised is an extraordinary accomplishment, akin to a baseball player hitting 75 home runs, or the NASDAQ gaining 83 percent in a year. To put this success in perspective, Dean raised 50 percent more than the single best quarter a Democratic presidential candidate has EVER achieved - the old record had been established by President Clinton during his re-election campaign - and Dean achieved this in a highly competitive, ten-candidate primary.

          Simply put, the Dean campaign has changed politics forever. Through innovative use of the Internet, the campaign has enabled regular people, regardless of where they live, to participate in a presidential campaign 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It should be no great surprise that, when asked to take action to help make their country a better place, Americans have responded, and responded in record numbers.

          Howard Dean's campaign is the first of the post-broadcast era of American politics. For too long our politics offered people three primary things to do: write a big check, watch a television advertisement or read a direct mail piece, and vote. Clearly many wanted to contribute more, but the system just didn't allow it.

          Dean has created a new model that emphasizes not passive participation but active engagement. Interested voters can view the campaign's advertisements online, post on the campaign's blog, forward tailored emails to friends, attend house parties with other supporters, canvas their neighborhoods, Meetup with others, sign a petition about the slashing of national service and, of course, donate money.

          For far too long our party has left real Americans out of our politics and campaigns. For far too long our party's efforts have been dominated by special interests and wealth, rather than being squarely focused on those we have the great fortune to serve - what President Clinton called the forgotten middle class.

          The Dean campaign, coupled with the energy and innovation of Meetup, MoveOn and similar efforts, has changed politics as we know it. So, through the flubs and mistakes, the passion and people, $15 million in a quarter, hundreds of thousands of supporters, record crowds at rallies, thousands blogging everyday, the Dean phenomenon is a new model for American politics, and - regardless of whether it leads to Dean capturing the nomination - the effect is 100 percent positive for the future of our party and our democracy.

      •  Are Simon and Howard on the same page? (none)
        Rumor has it that he was considering an early bow-out in favor of Mr. Rosenberg. Now I hear he is actively seeking the chairmanship.

        Having been in Iowa for the Perfect Storm fiasco, and then New Hampshire, I wonder about Dr. Dean's managing skills. It certainly came as a shock when all the tens of millions were suddenly gone, and that is not to mention the lousy commercials, the inability to identify Kerry as enemy/opponent number one, etc.

        Plus DFA has seemed to be wandering and lost.

        So I am a huge Dean person, but am trying to keep an open mind about who would be best to organize the Party.

        •  My Opinion (none)
          Dean is a force to be reckoned with. However, he is much stronger outside the party apparatus than within it, in my opinion. I think that he can develop candidates and actually help fertilize the grassroots while the DNC Chair is going to have to be a technician that rebuilds the party--piece by piece.

          They need a 10-15 year vision--what Simon articulated above is a perfect example of that.

          •  you're completely right (none)
            But of course most people here just want a trendy rockstar, having no idea what the DNC chair actually does (hint: it isn't a media persona or a place to publically enunciate a "vision").  They like Dean as a politician, so they assume he should be a business manager.  Eh?  Uh?  Wha?
        •  Trippi managed the Iowa fiasco... (none)
          Dean's record of managing the State of Vermont is pretty darn good.  He was too busy being shuttled around and speaking to micromanage his own campaign.
        •  I agree with you. (none)
          I don't think Dean was a good manager.  Of course, I thought candidates left that up to someone else who (hopefully) knows how to manage things.

          I believe that was Trippi's job.  One could question Dr. Dean's judgement seeing as how he chose Trippi to head up his campaign.  On the other hand, when he hired Trippi he was on a shoestring budget and never expected to be the frontrunner.  Perhaps, he "bought" the best he could buy, within his price range at the time.

          Dean's biggest mistake?  Not knowing when to leave the Sears suit at home and buy a new and better fitting one.

      •  DNC for structure- Dean and Liberals for vision (4.00)
        Rosenberg is correct in his assessment that we must emulate the structures and divisions of labor of the Republicans.  Too often we spin our wheels looking for a massiah to come and rescue the party.  All the while, the Republicans have been building a coldly efficient machine that can win even when it puts a monkey like W. up for election.  

        At the same time, we must understand that at the core of the Repubican machine is yes, VISION.  As the Kerry campaign conclusively proved, all the money and volunteers in the world will never win if common Americans don't get what you stand for.
        That's where Dean and the liberals come in.  

        We need to return our vision to one that focuses on the betterment of the common man (and woman). We need to remember our identity as progressive populists, who improved the lives of all those people in the red corners of America who used to love eastern liberals like FDR, JFK, and RFK because they knew where they stood, and that they stood for them.

        At the same time, it is critical that this message
        Bush's campaign brilliantly combined structure with strategic message control. Their victory was not the product of a great ideological shift.  They beat us the same way they beat Ann Richards (a Texan) and Al Gore (a Southerner-at least as much as W.), both of whom were also supposed to win in a landslide.  He used a simple but brilliantly executed 2 prong attack:

        1. Message discipline.  COMMUNICATION IS LEADERSHIP. There is no difference between the two.  It motivates the base and wins the middle.  Kerry, while I liked him and thought he'd be a great president, was ineffectual at this. He was "the real deal,"  sought "A Stronger America," promised a "fresh start," and so on.  His message was constantly changing, bouncing from one tree to the next, never settling on the forrest that would be his defining theme. Along the way, he missed plenty of trees. The day the soldiers mutinied and refused to go on a mission Kerry should have been saying here is yet another example of how this man is going to get your sons killed.  Instead, he talked about flu shots.

        2.Personal attack.  The problem with Bush wasn't that he had the wrong positions.  The problem was that he was an incompetent human being.  Rove understands that the public votes for the man, not the policy.  That's why "flip-floper" worked better than "W stands for Wrong." If you take down the other guy, it doesn't matter if you're on the right side of the issues.

        These approaches were brilliantly executed, right down to making Bush's crowds take a loyalty oath before letting them attend his speaches. They created lasting themes for voters as they entered the booth.  They did know where Bush stood, and in a time of fear, that was more important than the fact that they disagreed with him on most of the issues.  The forrest was clear. That's why they won.

        It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of thematic clarity and discipline.  I'm a death penalty defense attorney, and that's what they teach you at the best trial schools in the nation. It is the essence of what motivates people to make important decisions. Jury trials are like mini-elections and in the world of saving killers' lives, every one of them takes place in a red state.

        Rosenberg sounds like he gets the importance of structure and is pragamatic about the actual vision.  That's okay with me, so long as his associate here is correct in saying that he realizes that the moderate "vision" (if one can call it that) has been a long-term failure.

        I

        •  CORRECTED VERSION OF ABOVE POST (none)
          Sorry, I hit post rather than preview.  Here's the complete comment:

          Rosenberg is correct in his assessment that we must emulate the structures and divisions of labor of the Republicans.  Too often we spin our wheels looking for a massiah to come and rescue the party.  All the while, the Republicans have been building a coldly efficient machine that can win even when it puts a monkey like W. up for election.  

          At the same time, we must understand that at the core of the Repubican machine is yes, VISION.  As the Kerry campaign conclusively proved, all the money and volunteers in the world will never win if common Americans don't get what you stand for.

          That's where Dean and the liberals come in.  

          We need to return our vision to one that focuses on the betterment of the common man (and woman). We need to remember our identity as progressive populists, who improved the lives of all those people in the red corners of America who used to love eastern liberals like FDR, JFK, and RFK because they knew where they stood, and that they stood for them.

          At the same time, it is critical that this message be delivered strategically and with, I hesitate to use the phrase these days, "military precision."  And here, we have HUGE lessons to learn from Bush/Rove.

          Bush's campaign brilliantly combined structure with strategic message control. Their victory was not the product of a great ideological shift.  They beat us the same way they beat Ann Richards (a Texan) and Al Gore (a Southerner-at least as much as W.), both of whom were also supposed to win in a landslide.  He used a simple but brilliantly executed 2 prong attack:

          1. Message discipline.  COMMUNICATION IS LEADERSHIP. There is no difference between the two.  It motivates the base and wins the middle.  Kerry, while I liked him and thought he'd be a great president, was ineffectual at this. He was "the real deal,"  sought "A Stronger America," promised a "fresh start," and so on.  His message was constantly changing, bouncing from one tree to the next, never settling on the forrest that would be his defining theme. Along the way, he missed plenty of trees. The day the soldiers mutinied and refused to go on a mission Kerry should have been saying here is yet another example of how this man is going to get your sons killed.  Instead, he talked about flu shots.

          2.Personal attack.  The problem with Bush wasn't that he had the wrong positions.  The problem was that he was an incompetent human being.  Rove understands that the public votes for the man, not the policy.  That's why "flip-floper" worked better than "W stands for Wrong." If you take down the other guy, it doesn't matter if you're on the right side of the issues.

          These approaches were brilliantly executed, right down to making Bush's crowds take a loyalty oath before letting them attend his speaches. They created lasting themes for voters as they entered the booth.  They did know where Bush stood, and in a time of fear, that was more important than the fact that they disagreed with him on most of the issues.  The forrest was clear. That's why they won.

          It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of thematic clarity and discipline.  I'm a death penalty defense attorney, and that's what they teach you at the best trial schools in the nation. It is the essence of what motivates people to make important decisions. Jury trials are like mini-elections and in the world of saving killers' lives, every one of them takes place in a red state.

          Rosenberg sounds like he gets the importance of structure and is pragamatic about the actual vision.  That's okay with me, so long as his associate here is correct in saying that he realizes that the moderate "vision" (if one can call it that) has been a long-term failure. If that's the case, he may understand that using the liberal/progressive populist message of Dean isn't just right, it's pragmatic.

          •  Two Things Missing... (4.00)
            ...from the mainpage post, and that pertain to your focus on structure.

            First, we shouldn't necessarily look at the GOP's current model as what we should emulate on the grounds that they've won, and that's what worked for them.  Rather, we should recognize that they are using that model in part because they won and control the White House.  Had Bush lost, they would most likely have taken a somewhat different approach, because when you have the WH, the job of being national committee chair is much less visable and strategy-oriented than when you're out of power and the chair does much more of the job of leading the party apparatus.

            The second thing is related to the first, and that's the importance of being a mediator and consensus builder.  Ken Mehlman doesn't need to build and maintain consensus withing the GOP coalition, because that's essentially done by the White House or those acting under the guidance and with the authority of the President.  But again, without the President, the national committee chair has a much greater responsibility of forging consensus on her own without the authority of the President.  

            •  I agree- Our model must fit our people but... (none)
              be just as organized.

              For, example, we wouldn't get very far using religious groups as our structure like the Republicans.  A Democratic equivalent would be to make broader use of the meet-up phenominon for GOTV purposes rather than just fundraising, and to have large portions of the DNC on top of this in the kind of hands-on way that the Repubs handled church groups.

              As for a mediator, it's interesting to note that, unlike past history, consensus was NOT our problem this time around.  I think the party really matured and accepted the fact that rallying around the candidate is essential just to stay in the same ballpark as the Repubs.

              What's missing is the kind of strategic control of structure and message that is the hallmark of the Republican campaigns. They're getting it down to a science and we need to do the same, albeit with our own unique pieces of the Democratic puzzle.

              •  hello? (none)
                we use religious groups already to organize--they just have black faces. how many times does this need to be mentioned? and plenty of white Democrats are church goers and HAVE been organizing in their churches--with absolutely zilch help and understanding from the Democrats of course. the future of winning depends on getting Catholics--a strategy that targets churches is urgent, or at least to fight the GOP propaganda.
          •  Skeptical about Rosenberg (none)
            Most of the stuff in the NDN post was pretty basic, and good.  But this section kinda worried me:

            We already have dozens of national leaders well-equipped to take on the GOP each day. They are named Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Richardson, Gore, Dean, Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Hoyer, Bayh, Lieberman, Vilsack, Landrieu, Menendez, Graham, Salazar, Ford Jr., Nelson, Lincoln, Durbin, Stabenow, Granholm, Rendell, Warner, Biden, Holbrooke, Harman, Spitzer and Emanuel. We could all add more.

            I agree, and think we should add many more.  This seems to be a good listen, but one mostly focused on centrists and those who have won.  We need a list of people that have vision, and some of these people don't seem to have it.  So the above poster is right: organizationally, a centrist will be fine, but we need a Dean or a progressive who will get some new, clear, liberal idea that resonate with the country.  We did the organizational thing and lost.  Message is key, and we should spend some time developing it and thinking about it, not just sucking up to some well known names.

            •  My disagreement (4.00)
              I too have a gripe with this list:

              They are named Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Richardson, Gore, Dean, Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Hoyer, Bayh, Lieberman, Vilsack, Landrieu, Menendez, Graham, Salazar, Ford Jr., Nelson, Lincoln, Durbin, Stabenow, Granholm, Rendell, Warner, Biden, Holbrooke, Harman, Spitzer and Emanuel. We could all add more.

              Last I checked, they were named Dean, Pelosi, Obama, Granholm (I says this only because I'm a Michigander), Biden, and Spitzer.

              Rosenberg is really misreading the ability of those in his party to work the talk shows if he believes Joementum is helping our case. And most of the others are either ineffective on TV/on setting messages (or have $200 million reputations as a flipflopper, which they did little to counter), or they are no-names, people with no name recognition among your average Joe. And I'll grant that Reid and Durbin MIGHT be moving into that role--but damn it has taken them a while. What have they been doing all these years???

              I think this line was an attempt to differentiate himself from Dean--who could say all the other things Rosenberg has. But Dean, too, can roll with the best of them on Sunday morning. And absent someone else really messaging effectively for us, we need that in a DNC chair, too.

            •  Message is the missing link (none)
              Bush had one. We didn't. The organizational stuff was pretty close to a tie.  Message is what put Bush over the top.
      •  I have no beef with NDN (none)
        But I was in New Mexico for the last three months of the 2004 election cycle working on behalf of Kerry and the Dems running for Congress. Any NDN presence out there was drowned out by some very ugly local races and bond issue campaigns.

        I had personal contact with thousands of New Mexico voters this year, I'd say that about 80 percent of them were Hispanic. If there were ads, I should have seen them. If there were events, I should have heard about them. The founder of the group I was working with is a big NDN supporter, and communicates with Simon regularly. He knew about our project to engage Hispanic small business owners for Dems.

        I heard nothing from NDN in New Mexico.

        I think NDN's work is important, even critical to making sure that the U.S. maintains a two-party system, but I'd be very interested to know about the metrics it uses to evaluate its projects.

        Pragmatic is great. I'd say that pragmatism is a key quality for any leader of a political party, but in a figurehead, pragmatism can be too easily characterized as checking the wind.

        I'm all for Simon being a major player. I wouldn't be upset if he were chair, but I do have reservations. I've heard him talking the talk, but I'd like to see a little more of the walking before I'd be comfortable.

    •  I have read enough about (none)
      Rosenberg's DLC-type tendancies and his actions to continue to suck up to corporate and conservative interests to the point of excluding liberals and progressives such that I have serious reservations about this guy heading the DNC.

      But, look at it this way.  If Dean doesn't get DNC chair, he is ripe and ready to run again for President in 2008.

      And with his grass roots organization still intact and his political goodwill continuing to grow among real rank-and-file Democrats who are tired of continued appeasement, he may just have a chance THIS time against the Dem establishment and their allies in the corporate media who will be backing either Hillary, Kerry, or Edwards.

      "What is wrong with you?"--Jon Stewart to Tucker Carlson on "Crossfire."

      by PhillipG on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:51:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a small NDN donor (none)
      I'm an NDN donor.  Small donor.
  •  Fun. (none)
    I can't wait for the DFA mail about the DNC job, which will be equivalently insightful and accurate as the NDN email and yet perfectly fit Howard Dean's credentials.

    Ken Mehlman is also an egoless gay dork-nerd, which is the one kind of person all the pompous jocks in the GOP can trust. "Sure, I'll do your homework, Biff." "Sure, I'll write a love letter to Cindy for you, Chet."

    I'm not sure the Democratic Party needs one of its dork-nerds to run the party.

    Not that dork-nerds are bad. I'm one.

  •  Of course ... (none)
    ... the Economist conveniently avoids mentioning that Mehlman is all but out as gay, which could be a real problem for Bush and his gang if that "all but" disappears. It would negate all his undeniable talents in one swift stroke.
    •  abcd (none)
      That's not necessarily true.  It would give the repugs that one chance to prove that they weren't foaming-at-the-mouth homophobes.  Kinda like protecting Mary Cheney during the election, even though she was operational in her dads campaign.
  •  I know the victors get to write the history.... (3.66)
    ...but, really, I think we're giving the republicans way too much credit with all of this analysis.  I think they won not because they have created " a vast and complex web of multimillion dollar operations" (as the NOW letter puts it) but they simply lucked out.

    They got several large groups to vote for them: the way-right religious types, the self-interested (i.e. the tax-cut crowd), and the fearful (whooooooo......muslims.....whoooooo), and the easily swayed ("kerry shot himself while in vietnam so he could run for president someday.")

    And that's why I think we shouldn't approach this whole thing like an archaeologist  dig...yes, they've done some things right but we've done tremendous things right as well...let's just offer creative, innovative, inclusive solutions to the country's problems & get out in front of this thing.

    •  Correct (none)
      We must keep reminding ourselves that a year ago, the CW was that Bush would sweep to re-election.  He didn't sweep.  We did great.  It's just hard to remember that when we've also LOST.

      When all else fails...panic

      by David in Burbank on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:15:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Additionally (none)
        I don't know that I'd call that "luck", playing on the fears of the xtian right and the national security oriented is a skill, and they used every arm of their machine to drive home their boogiemen: terrorists and cultural change. Even if it was luck, I want our organizations and infrastructure to be so strong that all the luck in the world wouldn't put someone like Bush back in office.

        But even if we'd won by 3 points, I'm not comfortable with that. I'm not comfortable with winning by narrow margins anymore, and respectfully acknowledging the value of Republican opposition.

        I want to win, and I want Americans everywhere to understand that they're choosing to do the right thing when they boot Republicans out of office.  And that means not just successfully pointing out how effed-up people like Tom Delay are, it means putting up candidates that will give people a clear choice that they'll be compelled to take by their own consciences.

        And after elections, I want our machine to keep hammering away on anyone who supports the policies and politics of the current Republican party, until labelling someone a neocon in the press is grounds for a lawsuit. I want to hammer on these insane weasels until the Republican party's only hope for survival is to be unrecognizable from what it is today.

        And I wanna see Grover Norquist's sorry ass drunk in an alley in his sole pair of urine-soaked dockers, talking to himself about governments and bathtubs.

        It's a lot to ask, I realize.

    •  But It's Way More Than Bush (4.00)
      This is the business party, they wouldn't invest billions of dollars for nothing.

      All that effort created the intellectual climate and the corporate environment that Bush stands on. This is how they "got" different groups to vote for them this time around.

      Keep in mind how horrendously incompetent their candidate was. We take a huge risk looking at the election as a case of our almost winning. It's really a case of their winning against both us and against their own candidate who has about the worst record in modern times. Their machine is strong enough to suppress knowledge and actively misinform much of the electorate. They can invent the reality, they invent the questions, and then they deliver the answers.

      See, they own as private property all of our significant space for gathering and debating. It's the only space available for us to "offer creative, innovative, inclusive solutions" to the general electorate, and we need their permission to distribute this message. And we have no input at all on the context around our message, how much of it they'll deign to distribute, and how they'll frame it.

      And much of their message is distributed in churches and other citizen groups where we're not even allowed to enter much less offer a rebuttal.

      My prediction--and I sure hope I'm wrong--is that, based on the success of Sinclair, PAX and others with Swift Boat programming, we'll find we have a really stunning deficit of media access for the next election cycle.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:48:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Was the GOP (1.00)
      "lucky" in 2000, 2002, 2004, ...?

      Seems to me, they've got a system to beat the house!

      Independent--draw the line, don't toe it.

      by xysrl on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:23:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey.... (none)
    The best fit to this definition of the job is Joe Trippi.  Why not?
    •  Technically, yes (none)
      But he's not the most diplomatic person in the world...

      Same reason I could never do this gig. Or be Ambassador the the United Nations.

    •  Trippi ran Dean's (3.50)
      campaign into the ground.  I like the guy - but he really let Dean down in the homestretch.
      •  Let's face it. (none)
        Trippi got carried away and began promoting Dean as a rock star.  Neither Dean nor Trippi had ever been involved in a rising star like Dean who catapulted to the front of the pack like greazed lightning.  Trippi got carried away by the glamor and Dean just isn't that kind of guy.

        Dean is a down-to-earth Harry Truman and should have been handled that way.  Dean is totally awkward in this role and that's why he came off (to me, at least) as just, plain silly in Iowa.

        My problem with Dean?  He should stop playing the damned scream tape and just start being the serious and solid politician he is.

    •  I like Trippi (none)
      but he had a pretty terrible strategy in Dean's campaign. Win by activating our base? Our base is way too small to win it alone. America is 40% conservative, 40% moderate, and 20% liberal. We need to win moderates to win. Dean governed as a centrist, and he ran as a leftist. Simply put, this is bad politics. Trippi was smart to use the internet the way he did,so he's clever tactically. But we need someone who can thing strategically as well.
  •  Busy day for kos (4.00)
    This is the umpteenth entry today.  Almost hard to keep up with them all.

    In regards to this one, I think this is correct.  The Democratic Party has always had a hard time defining itself, much less what the chairperson should be, and this definition at least provides some structure around which to make that definition.

    Two thinks strike me right away.

    1>  To play the game at the opponents level of expertise.  Part of our problem in this past election was the reluctance to get down and dirty, starting, maybe even fatally, with the convention.

    2>  The absence of one bit of expertise where the Republicans are masterful, and that is the psychology of political campaigns.  As a mental health professional, I know that what one believes will always outweigh what one knows.  
    The Democrats think facts are all that is necessary, but a ton of facts won't necessarily change an ingrained belief, and the Republicans are the master of manufacturing belief systems and ingraining them in the populace, beginning with the belief that "liberal" is a dirty word.

    The new chairperson needs to work on creating a list of beliefs and mounting a psychological campaign to ingrain those beliefs in people, not just pounding away with facts.

    Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

    by JAPA21 on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:06:51 AM PST

    •  Spot On (none)
      Good post on "manufacturing belief systems."  We need to create an irrationality that favors our own values, just as they have.  Simple factual allegations are not nearly enough.
    •  Getting Struck (none)
      Japa21's tiptoe around Lakoff was noteworthy - facts only matter when they don't bounce off the listener. Something else raised might bear further discussion.

      1>  To play the game at the opponents level of expertise.  Part of our problem in this past election was the reluctance to get down and dirty, starting, maybe even fatally, with the convention.

      I'd offer that, rather than trying to reach the GOP's "level of expertise", Democrats must identify weaknesses and strive to surpass their effectiveness, lest we find our guys perennially playing catch-up. We cannot hope that a new DNC chair will be able to turn mute or re-tune the Mighty Wurlitzer of the VRWC, or remove the first two letters of the SCLM.

      Opportunities do exist. Dems can do better than GOoPers at empowering the local parties and grass roots. These local parties hold secrets to unlocking votes, as demonstrated by performance in Montana, Colorado, and other mountain west states, and in 2002 in (what's the matter with) Kansas, when they elected a Democrat Governor. Conversation and careful observation of the folks in the precincts can be the means that this party can reinvigorate itself nationally.

      ======
      Finally, no, the chairperson does not need to work on creating a list of beliefs. He or she must, instead, get to work on enabling, connecting and sharing a network of centers of progressive and moderate thought, our own media centers, our own A-List of talking heads to create and disseminate these values among the people.

      vote early - vote often

      by wystler on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:50:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree to a point (none)
        The type of beliefs I was talking about start at the grass roots level.  Witness, for example, the NRA's ability to paint all liberals as out to get any God-fearing gun owners to give up all possible weaponry and to create the slippery slope arguement.

        Now on a national level, this started out on the local level in areas where hunters were the main target group.  This campaign created the national belief system.

        The Democratic response, especially valid and currently gaining strength in some of the states mentioned above, is that the Republicans are laying waste to valuable hunting and fishing areas.

        When I mentioned "create a list of beliefs", I did not mean out of thin air.  We already have many beliefs that are rational and coherent.  The question is how to get them out there in a manner where they have an impact, and the talking heads (competent, unlike many during the past campaign), is where we start.

        The advantage we have, if we take advantage of it, is that many of our beliefs are based within a reality system.  And strengths or weaknesses are perceptions.  What we frequently see as weaknesses of the Republicans are often seen by them as strengths.  It is necessary to put the lie to those "strengths."

        Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

        by JAPA21 on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:13:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was explaining (none)
      to a friend over brunch yesterday that the Repugs could care less about "debating" issues with us. All they care about is creating a perception about the issue that works to their advantage. You said it better than I did.

      "It's better to burn out than to fade away."

      by Norcal Lib on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmmmm (4.00)
    Sounds like Rosenberg is drafting a job description that only he can fill...sort of like the Pentagon and Halliburton.  I think I would like to add to it:

    ...someone who has no trouble facing down right wing media and dressing them down on their own turf...someone who is comfortable and has experience with his face in front of the cameras acting as an articulate spokesman and figurehead for core Democratic values and isn't going to start squirming and look weak when they sit him down next to the likes of Enron Ed...someone who has been on the receiving end of the blows of an excoriating right wing media and who still burns with indignation about it, and is driven to spend every waking moment seeing that it doesn't happen again...

    ...someone like...Howard Dean.

    •  if Rosenberb is... (none)
      ... smart like that, the job should be his.
    •  Hmm (none)
      someone who has been on the receiving end of the blows of an excoriating right wing media and who still burns with indignation about it, and is driven to spend every waking moment seeing that it doesn't happen again...

      We need a fresh start not someone motivated by old vendettas. I think Howard Dean would be a greater force outside the party structure than in it. I would hope that he could settle the scores in his own way by motivating the base rather than saying "If I don't get this position, I am taking my ball and going home". Then we all lose.

      I think Simon is the right choice--he has been in the War Room--92--he knows how to fight.

      •  when (none)
        Dean take his ball and go home?

        What vendetta are you talking about?

      •  Dean was the (none)
        ultimate team player in supporting Kerry after the dirty way Kerry ran his primary fight.  Dean did what was best for party and country, and you have absolutely no basis for even suggesting that he might "take his ball and go home."  His supporters might.  But we want Dean because he can articulate a Democratic Party vision.  He can hire someone like Simon Rosenberg to carry the vision out.  We currently lack a national party leader, and, if Dean gets this job, it will be him.  If Rosenberg gets the job, we still won't have one.  The definition of this job depends somewhat on who we give it to.  I think we need Dean's vision more than Rosenberg's organization.  Organizers can be hired; we need a leader.
        •  I respect your opinion (none)
          But I disagree that he can bring the vision to put in a 10-15 year plan to create the necessary inferastructure. Simon knows how to creat message from core ideals that we all share as Democrats.

          I think that you are putting much more emphasis on the DNC chair than what it actually is and does.

          •  Historically, yes. (4.00)
            But my point is that if, at this juncture, we give the job to Dean, it will be a different job than it has been in the past, or than it will be if we give it to someone else.  Such a move would signal to the country that the Democratic Party has decided to stand its ground and fight.  My husband is a union organizer, so I understand the importance of organizing.  Dean understands it also.  And I believe that he will hire an organizational leader with Rosenberg's skills to do the organizing.  But he will be the face, the voice and the leader of our party if we give him this job.  If we give it to someone else, it will be a job more like it always has been.
            •  There would have to be tons of rule changes (none)
              He can't come in there and expect to be a dictator in overhauling the system. There is a lot of sedentary interests that will have to be convinced to come along with him.

              I still think Dean, as he was as a Presidential contender remains more potent outside the party structure so that he can speak his mind and add backbone to the party.

              What happens when Harry Reid has to cut a deal in Congress, will Dean criticize him as the DNC chair--that would not be a unifying force that we need.

      •  I am (none)
        replying to the post above--who is implying that Dean is burning with indignation because of the assault that he received. I am saying that is not what we need, to look back but looking forward. We don't have time to settle old scores.

        Yes Dean was a team player but if he gets thrown out of this process and says "I am leaving" then we all lose.

        I would want Rosenberg to chair and Dean to be a force outside the party.

        Calm down there tiger.

        •  You've already put Dean out of the game. (none)
          Sounds like you're telling Dean to leave the dem party ("force outside the party"?).  Is that what you mean?

          Frankly, I wouldn't mind if Dean left.  I'd go with him and so would a bunch of other people.

          You think the Dem's are a minority party now?  Just wait until then.  You're party will never win another election.  It's about time you people began to realize that there is strong, strong support for Dean out here.  Go ahead, test us.

          •  No no and no (none)
            I am not telling Dean to leave the party--I am saying from outside the DNC position, still inside the Democratic party. See what I am saying?

            You can't leave because I need you to be here and you need me too. If we all start jumping ship for our dream then we are going down together.

            I think Dean is a force but that his specific attributes are used better when he can speak his mind.

            A chairman of an organization cannot speak out against members who disobey his wishes without alienating their constituents. Dean as he is can say whatever he wants and it can be taken for face value. If Dean were to go after Bill Richardson for acting too much like a republican then we could get ourselves into some trouble. If he did it from DFA then he is saying come back a little and align your priorities better.

            See what I am trying to say?

  •  DNC Chair Credentials (none)
    Quote:

    "someone who is deeply rooted in the emerging new media world of databases, digital media, satellite and cable television; someone who understands the internet and modern community-building techniques; someone who can speak for the mainstream of the party and connect with its increasingly youthful activist base; someone who has successfully raised money"

    Sounds like Dean to me

    •  You should (none)
      probably asked to be removed from the list then. I myself wish all the candidates were taking the job this seriously.

      "If there is no struggle, there is no progress ... Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -Frederick Douglass

      by kitchentable on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:56:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Contrast in D and R chair roles. (4.00)
    The party in power only needs a strategist in the party chair role. With the president, the house speaker and the senate majority leader all in the ruling party, the opposition is forced to choose a chair or cochair who can be a face for the party. Barbour's chairmanship is a better analogy for what the Dems need. He was a public leader. In fact, when I think GOP chair, I still visualize barbour. He effectively stemmed the losses the GOP suffered in the very early 90s and put them on a path to power. Mehlman is perfe4ct for a party in in full power. His mirror image wold hardly be proper for a party in shambles.

    Let's stop worrying about who will lead us in 2008 and instead work on who we'll be in 2005.

    by pHunbalanced on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:11:43 AM PST

  •  YES! Organizational competence is the key... (none)
    Everything comes from organizational competence - message development, saleable candidates, motivation, money, GOTV, persuasion, etc. etc. etc. It is not a stretch to say that we are currently incompetent, naive and amateurish and that we need to professionalize. Fast.

    I agree with pretty much everything Simon says but I just wish I'd seen him in action a bit more. A few posts and the NDN site don't really give me much to assess him with. He obviously knows what to do. But can/will he do it? I've heard suggestions that he may be too compliant.

    One thing I do know is that the competent people I met during the campaign were disproportionately brought into the Party by Dean. Dean can motivate the Party like absolutely nobody else. To heck with his TV appearances - its his effect on volunteers and donors that has the most potential to really reform the party. But is Dean a competent manager or can/will he recruit competent managers?

    I'm torn (leaning Dean) but at least we have two competent reform candidates in the race...

  •  Cheerleader vs. Strategist (none)
    The first commentator in this string hits a valid point:  Howard Dean gets people very fired up (including me).  He represents the direction I think the party should be going:  full tilt progressive.  But how much of his organization was his design, and how much was Joe Trippi's?  

    If the chairman needs to be a true strategist, doesn't that mean that we still need a cheerleader out there?  I say again, and again, and again:  we need a shadow government.

    sgc

  •  Kos, slow down, buddy! (none)

    You're on fire today.  But it's hard to keep up (insert "It's hard work" joke here).
  •  Let's be real!!! (4.00)
    They are named Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Richardson, Gore, Dean, Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Hoyer, Bayh, Lieberman, Vilsack, Landrieu, Menendez, Graham, Salazar, Ford Jr., Nelson, Lincoln, Durbin, Stabenow, Granholm, Rendell, Warner, Biden, Holbrooke, Harman, Spitzer and Emanuel.

    Yeah, Bayh, LIEberman are on the same page as Dean and Durbin...what crap is this.

    The fat that Rosenberg is intentionally trying to obfiscate the realities of DLC Dems and their disaterous effect on the Democratic Party is very disheartening.

    And NO IT IS NOT ABOUT IDEOLOGICAL PURITY IT IS ABOUT TRYING TO SALVAGE THE PARTY AND IDENTIFYING THOSE WHO ARE DOING THE MOST DAMAGE.

    There is a HUGE difference between the two groups even though they all call themselves "centrists"

    The real centrist make sure that the ideology of the government stays in the center by providing strigent opposition to the far right groups:

    -
    -
    -
    The DLCers have created this faux centrism by actually moving ideologically to the center:

    The latter has done more harm to the Democratic party than the GOP coul have ever hoped of doing. It not only shifted the discourse from "liberal" and "conservative" to "moderately conservative" and conservative" in effect abetting both parties to NOT REPRESENT the majority of the population. Tow parties representing 20% of the population.

    The moving to the right by the DLC aided and abetted by the NDN has also forced moderate Republicans further to the right "because, that is where the money and support in their party are".

    So I get really offended by this nonsense of Rosenberg trying to covertly slip in the likes of Bayh under the cover as a leader of the party...which party the GOP???

    •  more evidence (none)
      It's not a coincidence that the biggest financial supporters of the DLC (and its approved candidates) -- e.g., oil companies -- give all the rest of their contributions (and far more than they give to Democrats) to the Republicans.  Al From may not realize he's actually being used as a tool for the Republicans, but those who bankroll him sure do.

      "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have." --George W. Bush (quoted in The New Yorker, January 19, 2004)

      by Jim in Chicago on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:45:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think he realises it (none)
        but couldn't give a damn about the Democratic Party. Al From is out for himself and his corporate clients. Have you ever seen the Republican leadership eviscerate their base the way From does the Democratic base???
    •  OH! (none)
      So you're trying to divide the Democratic party. I get it. I like that he listed Democrats of various stripes. We need a united party to win.

      "If there is no struggle, there is no progress ... Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -Frederick Douglass

      by kitchentable on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:58:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Illustration... (none)
      This is exactly what I've been trying to describe for so long, what your illustrations depict.  This is what is happening to America's ideology... the right gets liberals to abandon the left, demonizes it and makes it look like the only way to win is to hug the center, so on the balance the whole country moves closer ideologically to the right.  And Democrats keep allowing that "center" to move further and further to the right, until that's all that remains.

      Kudos for putting a very simple but powerful image to what I've been trying to explain to people for a long time now.

      If there is no left, the center cannot hold.

      by JAS1001 on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:15:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Politics is a Bargaining/Negotiation process (none)
      When I go into a car dealership to buy a car, I have a good idea of what I think the car is worth. THe salesman, of course, gives me an initial figure much higher than the figure I have in mind. That's his job!  Now, suppose he gives me a figure of $20K and I want to pay $15K. If I am smart, I do not "triangulate" and give him a counteroffer of 19K, even though I am sure he will accept this figure of 19K and sell me the car at that price. If I want to pay 15K, I offer him a price of $10K.

      What has happened with the liberals and the democratic voters and especially the democratic activists, is that we have allowed representatives of the salesman to give us false advice, and we have taken that false advice. I refer to the DLC adn the NDN and the DNC. All of these organizations are representatives of corporatism and of wealth. NEVER EVER listen to or heed anything said by anyone from the DLC, the NDN, or even the DNC. ALL of them are corporatist representatives. Here is a good rule of thumb: if reprentatives of a political organization is a frequent member of tv news shows that talk about politics, then just ignore everything they have to ssay. THey are representatives of the salesmen, as is the media itself. All these political shows on tv are essentially mouthpieces for corporate power and wealthy investors. Pay them about as much heed as a typical TV commercial.

      We go for candidates and platforms that we think we will, instead of NARGAINING for what we want. Poll after poll shows that 65-75% of Americans want universal healthcare funded by taxation. But we do not vote for candidates who staunchly support this policy. Why?  Because we want to win. Thus, we triangulate. And we get what we bargained for.

      I support NO politicians. Politicians are opportunists. They take advantage of whatever the political zeitgeist happens to be. And how is the political zeitgeist created? By the MEDIA.
      If we want to make America into something resembling Sweden, or other social democracies, then we have to put out ideas into the air, ideas that reach voters. Politicians do not do that. THey do not create the zeitgeist. They leverage it.

      WE activists need to alter the zeitgeist. If we move it to the Left, then politicians will take advantage of that.

      But talking about what the NDN is saying, man. THat is crazy. That is like some idiot walking into a used car lot and believing everything said by the saleman.

      How sad.....

      help me prep Iowa & NH for a progressive candidate in 2008: http://leftwingmediamachine.blogspot.com/

      by cryofan on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 02:32:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  DLC centrism (none)
        makes NO SENSE anyway you look at it. IT presupposes that the GOP is static and is just gonna sit there. Electing Non-Dem Dems NDDs makes the situation even worse because it forces republicans to run even wackier far right Republicans, because they have learned the Golden Rule "Define a clear difference between yourself and your opponent", while the DLC Dems try to blend in the GOP background like no one will notice.
  •  but Simon' analysis of their machine is spot on (4.00)
    The Democratic party will continue to fail unless we, literally, get down to business.

    By that I mean, as I have been arguing for a while now, that we have to overcome our allergies to models of organization and analysis derived from the business world if we are to succeed.

    We have to blend our natural affinity for the mythology of the populist, progressive, people-to-the-ramparts narraitive with the grown up tools of running and developing a successful business enterprise.

    If we can't do that, and we remain comfortable only with our principled chaotic populism, we will continue to waste energy, squander opportunties, and howl with futility to the fates as we perpetually lose election after election.

    The next DNC chair needs to be a good progressive, political CEO.  That is not an oxymoron.  The right kind of CEO can empower and acivate the grass roots while involving its members, simultaneously giving the movement shape and strategic focus.  That may or may not be Simon, but Simon's analysis is correct.

    We are not a "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

    by Pachacutec on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:17:58 AM PST

  •  Fighting the last war? (3.80)
    This seems to me too much like figuring out how to beat the Republicans at their own game.  We forget that it's their game and they make up the rules.  It's all about getting people to vote for Democrats -- and I don't think you achieve that by treating them the same way Republicans do.  So long as we follow the Republicans, we will lose.  I say, lets take next loss on our terms, working in a way that truley represent the kind of democracy we believe in and work our way up from the bottom.  What we need in Chairman is somebody whose ego wno't prevent them from ceeding some of the centralized power back to the state and local communities - but who will also to hold them accountable for working in the smae way.  

    When all else fails...panic

    by David in Burbank on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:21:46 AM PST

  •  Three Cheers for Oregon's Sen. Ron Wyden! (none)
    We need a DNC chair who will support the kind of moves Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill have recently made.  All three sit on the Senate Intel Committee and are exposing a GOP boondoggle that could put all three under investigation of the Senate Ethics Committee.  They rock, and we need a DNC chair who can spin for them!

    Read more on this at New Frames:
    http://www.newframes.typepad.com

  •  Shows why Rosenberg or Dean would be better - (4.00)
    I'm still for Dean. He should either be DNC head or, at the least, be brought in to a high level of strategic and tactical involvement.

    If Dean isn't brought into the DNC at a high level in any way, then that would show to me that the DNC is not serious about winning or about core Democratic party values.

    A lot of people are watching on this one. I know I am. 2006 congressional elections are coming up. If this is resolved and we have truly effective leadership and strategy in the DNC, then we can take the power back.

  •  Center?? (none)
     someone who can speak for the mainstream of the party and connect with its increasingly youthful activist base;

    Need someone who can articulate the mainstream.
    Mostly, I hear left, center, right.  I need to hear Populist or Corporationist.  Follow the money.  

  •  BFA (none)
    For the last four weeks Blog for America has been running some very inspiring stories on the REAL EFFECT Dean has had on state activists in Red States and candidates...How come none of those stories have made front page here????
  •  DNC Chair (none)
    Was it really the repubs organization that won th election as Rosenberg described it?
    A month ago it was how the issues were framed, or perhaps it was the morals question that did it. Or how about dirty tricks or uncounted votes or block box shennagians.
    Some of us even blamed Kerry while others declared it was the people who were running kerry's campaign that screwed it up.
    Actually you don't have to accept any of the above. If you have your own ax to grind just make up your own reasons but just make them abstract enough so that it appeals to the intellect and at same time be sure that there are no facts that can be checked that will trip you up.
    •  All of it (none)
      Organization leads to effective framing and effecient tactics.  A strong organization gives you 2 voting machines in your opponent's voting area and 4 in yours.  A strong organization gets your attack ads airtime and your opponent's ads ignored.  A strong organization can effectively frame and re-frame a debate as necessary.

      Its a little bit of everything.  All of the things people have mentioned, from strategy, framing, ground game, money, persona, and organization had a hand to play in the '04 elections.  However, in order to improve everthing, we need to improve the central mechanic, the core Democratic organizations that can do the rest.

    •  Framing (none)
      is a direct result of their organization.

      I've blogged this before, looks like I need to do it again.

      The GOP has a machine that spends $300 million anually to develop message (frames), deliver that message (FNC, Rush), and train its operatives in effectively wielding that message.

      We need to build all of it from scratch. That's what Rosenberg is talking about. Message development is part of the same beast. But just a part. If we can't get our message out, while they control the media, we are still screwed no matter how great our message might be.

      We have lots of problems, lots of reasons why we lost. Part of the new chair's qualifications has to be the ability to assess all those reasons and encourage solutions (many, if not most, which will come from outside the party itself).

      •  Their control of the media (none)
        is no excuse for the lack of coordination and focus among Democratic party spokespeople.  

        Every day some Democrats find their way to the cable news or to talk radio.  Who is prepping them and giving them the talking points and language on the issues?  Is someone blast faxing these points to all the media outlets in order to create an echo chamber?  

        I know we are at a disadvantage and that Fox features fake Democrats like Estrich and Caddell (and soon Zell!) who do more harm than good.  But we ain't dead either, and I think we could do a helluva lot better with what we have.  

        "Pro-life" really means "pro-criminalization"

        by Radiowalla on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:36:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Competence over Ideology (none)
    If Rosenberg can do a good job, I'd like to see him in the role.  I'm worried about his past connections to DLC-type organizations and their apparent distate for strong progressive positions, but things like that can easily be misinterpreted or blown out of proprotion.

    I don't request that the party always or even usually push hardcore liberal democrats.  However, they have to stop attacking them.  You don't have to campaign with Micheal Moore, but stop wasting time and money arguing against him.  I'm not even defending Moore, I'm just pointing out that when you use your offensive time against your own party, you don't win elections.  At least move the ball in the right direction...

    Will Rosenberg focus on building the party as a whole, or will he return to the failed moderate vs. liberal intra-party wars that have cost us election after election?

    His current rhetoric says the former, his resume says the latter.  He deserves the benefit of the doubt, but it would be nice to have a bit more confidence in a potential DNC chair than "we'll see."

    To be fair, the "status-quo" Democrats seem to be wary of Rosenberg, so he's probably more revolutionary than we give him credit for.

  •  Fighting the last war & evidence (none)
    Up-thread there were two very insightful comments suggesting that we shouldn't be re-fighting the last war and that people can craft numerous explanations for why we lost and these explanations can in turn be used to suit whatever agenda a person might have.   I agree.  This is a distraction, in some respects.

    I think the bottom line is that we need to come up with our own strategy that works.  Howard Dean attracted many people to get involved (myself included) that had never been involved before.  Something about the combination of his message and the media he chose to deliver that message resonated with people.  It may not be perfect, but it kinda worked and should be expanded and further refined-by Dean or someone who recognizes this.  We should start writing our own rules rather than continuing to react to those of the GOP or trying to "nuance" the reasons why we lost.  This sounds like "triangulation", and I fear that voters see right through this come election time.   We must have our own set of convictions and they should be populist/reformist and should NOT be totally fixated on keeping corporate donors happy.

  •  Simon vs Roemer (none)
    While I like Simon as DNC Chair, I am also taking a look at Rep. Tim Roemer as well.

    Evan Bayh 2008
    Rosenberg for Chair

    by dsolzman on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 11:56:49 AM PST

  •  I like Rosenberg (none)
    Everything that he has said so far I have pretty much agreed with.  I think he is kinda like Dean without the baggage.  

    One thing to note: if Kerry won the presidency, we wouldn't be wondering why democrats can't win elections.  

    •  Yeah, but (1.00)
      But Kerry didn't win.

      Against the worst President. Ever.

      Let's see, Dems trounced at national level in 2000, 2002, 2004, ... Your point is less than moot, I'm afraid.

      Independent--draw the line, don't toe it.

      by xysrl on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:15:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but (none)
        in the original post, kos said:

        "Consider, in contrast, the type of people Kerry would've installed to the DNC chairmanship HAD HE WON THE PRESIDENCY. Vilsack. Shaheen. Blanchard.

        And we wonder why Democrats can't win elections."

        He is saying who Kerry would have picked as DNC chair if he won the presidency.  If Kerry won the presidency, we wouldn't wonder why democrats can't win elections.

        I'm not really making a huge statement here.  I'm just pointing something out.

      •  Excuse me, he didn't "win" (none)
        when he conceded the race on the day after the elections, without every vote being counted, and without issues of voter fraud and disenranchisement being raised and fought about.

        On that day, any "victory" he had he forfeited.

        "What is wrong with you?"--Jon Stewart to Tucker Carlson on "Crossfire."

        by PhillipG on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:04:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  RE: Find a spine update (4.00)
    If the candidate needs to find a spine, (s)he shouldn't be a candidate! :) Spine renters need not apply.

    Independent--draw the line, don't toe it.

    by xysrl on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:11:57 PM PST

  •  Argument for Dean (4.00)
    This is an email I recently sent a friend who questioned whether Dean is better suited for DNC Chairman or 2008 Candidate.  It might make useful material for letters to the editor Dean supporters should consider sending as the February vote draws nearer:

    I think Dean's role needs to be changing the Party into a true OPPOSITION party.  Until we do that, we aren't going to win much.  Newt Gingrich figured that out and the result is that the Republicans control all branches of the Federal Government.  Newt himself became too polarizing a figure in the process to be able to run for National office himself.  Dean has already become a polarizing figure.  This is not a problem in a DNC Chairman, it can be in a Presidential candidate.  

    Dean has determined that he can help the Party evolve -- as it must -- a lot faster from the inside than from the outside.  Without Dean, all we hear from Democratic "leaders" is that we need to move to the "center."  The Republicans continue to gain power while moving AWAY from the center.  It's not where one is on the ideological spectrum that impresses "swing" voters (who are, by definition, non-ideological), it's how hard you fight for your positions.  When they see Republicans taking strong stands (even ones they don't initially agree with) and the Democrats vacillating, they become convinced the Republicans must have a point.  The Democrats have the advantage of starting out with positions more people agree with on most issues.  If they would just learn to stick to their guns and work on framing the issues in constructive ways, they would be able to (as Dean recently put it) punch their way off the ropes.  

    Dean can help the Party regain its backbone -- he did this once before but the transplant did not "take."  It's not a coincidence that some of Bush's worst poll numbers occurred in late 2003 and early 2004, when all the Democratic candidates (except Lieberman) were sounding like Dean. His ascending the chairmanship would result in tens if not hundreds of thousands of people working actively for the Party who would not do so otherwise (myself included).  The Democratic Party needs that kind of grassroots activism (the Republicans have had it for a long time now).  I know of no other candidate for the position who could inspire that kind of effort on the Democrats behalf.  

    Dean has already earned the trust of those the Party need working for it; we know that when he says "You have the power," he means it.  Those currently in Washington are distrustful of the grassroots and we are equally distrustful of them (with good reason -- they treat us as ATMs NOT participants).  That's not a formula for success.   Dean will also concentrate far more on the down ballot races that will produce the next generation of Obamas.  Right now the DNC acts like its only role is to try to elect a President every 4 years (and it hasn't even managed to do that).  Again, that's not a recipe for long term success.  As Dean says, we need to start contesting races everywhere, even places like Idaho, Alabama, and Utah.  We won't win the big races in places like that in one election cycle, but we'll never win if we don't start contesting now.  (Dean's organization, Democracy for America, targeted and did help Democrats win smaller races in those states.)  

    "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have." --George W. Bush (quoted in The New Yorker, January 19, 2004)

    by Jim in Chicago on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:15:27 PM PST

  •  we are on the same team? (none)
    Personally I am pretty tired of the idea "if its not my guy, I'll hit the highway."  There are a few candidates that will do a good job.  If Dean does not get it the world is not coming to an end.  If we try to find "a magic bullet" we are all doomed for continued failure.  Dean is no magic bullet, neither is Simon, nor any other individual.  The discussion about the qualifications for the DNC chair is a valid one, the "everyone else but my guy sucks" discussion is counterproductive, and a real weakness of our party.  I am at this point leaning towards Simon, mainly for the reasons he so simply described in the leading letter.  I believe that there are a couple of reformers in the running and I would like to find out more about the rest of them too.  This debate is really about the reformers v/s the insiders.  From reading all of these comments the reformers should be very happy with either Dean or Rosenberg.
    •  People are saying (none)
      "my guy or i'm gone" because this was the last straw. Those of us who dont want to be republicans have held our tongue for literally decades while dlc scum hijacked the party. We warned about losing elections. We warned about selling out our base. We warned about turning on the very people we claim to be here to serve. This election we held our noses as the insiders picked Kerry and used every weapon they had to insure his nomination. We held our noses and worked for him, donated to him, voted for him.

      Well...at some point you have to stand up. At some point you have to send a clear message to the corporatists, the democratic aristocracy, the sellouts. And the selection of DNC chair is the bellweather of which choice our parties political leaders will choose.

      The time is now. If our party chooses to once again follow the DLC, even a "kinder genter" DLC named the NDN i for one simply wont do it anymore. If it happens for the first time in my life I Will register independant and will NOT vote democratic next election. I will vote green and libertarian.

      Most of america already made this choice. There is a reason most americans dont vote. That reason is because neither party chooses to represent them. The interests of the political aristocracy take precedence.

      The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

      by cdreid on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 03:18:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  then we will continue to loose (none)
        I completely agree with your diagnosis of the dlc and the inexcusable shift to the right, however if folks like you (and honestly I have struggled with this too) drop out of the process then we will continue to loose, and I am not talking about "we" being Democrats, "we" means progressives.  Unless you concentrate all your energy on electoral reform and help enact Instant Runoff Voting, there is not chance that a green or an independent will have any affect on the process.  We are stuck with the Dems, and we are "big tent party."  I too see the DNC election as critical, but there are insiders/conservatives/dlc candidates and then there are reformers.  Rosenberg, despite his early roots to the more moderate factions of the party is not an insider and would be a good choice.  I would also like to see Dean as chair, and I was not a Deaniac.  I have grown to see his movement as critical and vibrant and maybe one of the only possible salvations for the party, but I will not give up the fight if he does not make it, and I propose whoever does give up is as spineless as the people we criticize in our party leadership.  We showed amazing unity after the presidential primaries and we must continue being united with our more moderate brethren or we will continue to loose.  
        So, who is on the list of reformers other than Dean and Rosenberg?  We should be ready to support more than one candidate so we can lobby a block of candidates to support our reform agenda, and not all sink on one ship.  This game is never won and never lost, it is a consistent struggle and if there is ever a loss, it is when we quit.
        •  We've fought (none)
          for a quarter century now. Since Carter lost, due almost entirely to Iran, OPEC and Reagans' traitorous deal with Khomeini. And each election the party has moved farther to the right. Abandoning more and more of the democratic base.
          And each election since then we've heard "where you gonna go? What you gonna do? What choice do you have".

          This is the choice we have. To make it very clear we no longer support the democratic party if it does not support our positions, our ideology, our goals. As the poster below said "so why do you support the limousine liberal party". He's dead on.

          We have to either take back the party.. or in my view leave it to fail so that we may begin anew. In my personal opinion the selection of the DNC chair will be a clear signal as to whether the partys' elite choose to serve themselves and their fiefdoms.. or to serve us.

          The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

          by cdreid on Tue Dec 21, 2004 at 05:53:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  what I don't get is (none)
        that plenty of erstwhile Democrats say this same thing, that they will hold their nose and vote for a centrist even though there are other candidates (Nader, for example, or Kucinich) who hold positions that they agree with more.

        But then they complain that there's "something wrong with Kansas" because those hicks vote against their own economic interest.

        If you agree with the positions of the left--the Greens, the Socialists, the Earth Firsters--then why do you continue to vote for the labor party, the limosine liberal party?

        At some point "strategic voting" stops making sense--and we passed that point in 2000 when Gore tried to blame his loss on Nader. The Democrats are a centrist party, and if you're a liberal or a radical, and you vote for them, you're voting against your interests just as much as those hicks are...

  •  I'd be happy with Norquist bit alone (none)
    well -- for now.

    But Norquist is good example of what needs to be done on the left -- only in our case it would be education rather than propganda.  We need to get to people in a way that helps them see through the bullshit.  How? taht's the question.

    When all else fails...panic

    by David in Burbank on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 12:48:11 PM PST

  •  Howard Dean: DNC Chair (none)
    The only one who has the passion and organizing skills to get it done.  And he has a big, solid spine to stand up to the republicans.


    •  Amen, baby (4.00)
      He's one principled and tough son-of-a-bitch who has political cajones the size of cantalopes.

      Just look at that picture.  That is a STRONG man.  That is a strong MAN.  That is a MAN.  That is not a BOY in a man's body.  That is a LEADER.  A REAL LEADER.  Not a timid wimp.  Not a political sock puppet.  Not a man who has to first put his finger in the air before he cautiously takes a position (unlike a certain Presidential candidate I know of, who for the purposes of this post will remain nameless.)  He knows what he believes in, he has a vision, and the commitment, strength and dedication to see that it is realized.

      And he has worked hard for that vision . . . even after dropping out of the race for President.

      And because he is a real leader, he inspires passion in supporters and they want to go to bat for him.  They want to walk through fire for him.

      And that's why the GOP and the establishment Dems FEAR him.

      "What is wrong with you?"--Jon Stewart to Tucker Carlson on "Crossfire."

      by PhillipG on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:00:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No one else's supporters (3.66)
    are likely to leave over it - but Dean's might.  I was angry when Kerry lost, but I was absolutely heartbroken when Dean lost the primary.  I believed all along that Dean's approach was the correct one, and I feel vindicated because Kerry turned out to be a poor candidate, just as I thought he was.  Our party needs Dean.  And if the leadership insistes on continuing to resist it, then I may not be able to stick with the party.  Dean is the one who energized the base; Dean is the one who precipitated the decline in Bush's poll numbers; Dean is the one who moved average people to give money, to volunteer, to get involved with their local parties and to run for office.  Organizing experience is useless if you have no one to organize.  Dean will bring foot soldiers; someone other than Dean will lose foot soldiers.
  •  ken mehlman's "other" attribute? (none)
    can we please find someone who will go public with it, if he's gay? in my opinion, it is vital to unravel the disingenuous pulling of the chain of intellectually challenged southerners. these are sorry bastards, who pulled no punches and who would shoot you in the back (e.g., swift boat vets), and they are entitled to no decorum.
  •   DFACorps: 200,000 Minutes of Talk Time (none)
    Last week, Arianna Huffington touched on the subject of wounded soldiers who are unable to call home during the holidays because the government will not pay for their long-distance calls.

        Feel like talking to your loved ones while you recover from a wound you received fighting for your country? Not unless you can get someone to give you a handout.... Yet here was Rummy claiming: "We're focused on the power of saying 'thank you' to people. And not just 'thank you' to the troops, but also their families." As long as it's a local call.

    In November, we asked the DFA communityto step forward and revitalize the service aspect of Democracy for America with a call for phone cards for those men and women who are spending the holidays in veteran's hospitals. In response to that call, you have generously contributed over 100,000 calling card minutes!

    Democracy for America is matching your outstanding efforts with our own contribution of 100,000 minutes. This means hundreds of veterans across the country will be able to connect to their home for free. We are sending the cards to nine veterans hospitals in seven different states this week. Every hospital we spoke to was thrilled to receive the minutes--most know this will be the only way for their patients to make a long-distance call home this holiday season.

    Governor Dean was also impressed by the DFA community's effort, "There is more to Democracy for America than just politics and campaigning. Our supporters want to personally make a difference in people's lives. These phone cards are just one small way to tell our troops thank you for keeping our country safe and secure."

    Congratulations on a successful inaugural DFACorps effort--we hope that this is becomes the first step of many. Together, we can make changes happen!

  •   January Meetup: Framing Our Values (none)
    The December Meetup was the largest DFA Meetup since Gov. Dean's primary campaign. Nationwide, Meetup attendance more than doubled over October and November and we added dozens of new Meetup venues.

    For the January Meetup, we're planning to focus on how to frame our values to build support for the Democratic agenda. We're going to use Professor George Lakoff's new DVD called "How Democrats and Progressives Can Win" to guide the discussion. Tomorrow morning we're mailing every Meetup group a package with the Lakoff DVD and other DFA materials. If you haven't been attending Meetups recently, this is a great Meetup to help you get involved again!

    January Meetup Goals:

    • Watch and Discuss the DVD "How Progressives and Democrats Can Win"
    • Practice framing local issues that matter to you
    • Build progressive participation in your local Democratic Party. You can find meetings in your area at http://www.democracyforamerica.com/local

    In preparation for Meetup, we are going to conduct conference calls next week to discuss the January agenda. If you didn't receive information about the conference call via email, you can email us at meetup@democracyforamerica.com to be added to the distribution list for Meetup agendas and conference calls. You can also download the agenda online at: http://www.democracyforamerica.com/meetuphosts/

    --Tom Hughes
    Democracy for America, Political Director

  •   The Power of the Dean Legacy (none)
    Tim Cairl is the president of Georgia for Democracy.

    Over the past 30 days, Georgia has seen a huge increase in individual participation in local Democratic Party meetings and events. At the forefront of this participation are volunteers and community leaders from our own Georgia for Democracy.

    On Saturday, December 4th, the Democratic Party of Georgia saw a 50% turnover of new state party committee members, elected by caucuses in counties throughout our state. And it didn't stop there. New by-laws issued by the state party earlier this year (and adopted by state county chapters), triggered an influx of both state and county committee members, resulting in a massive overhaul of the party from the ground up.

    Members of Georgia for Democracy, fresh off a hard-fought campaign season, turned out in large numbers to sign-up and run for county and state voting positions. By uniting with other progressive organizations such as the Young Democrats of Georgia, the North Fulton Democrats, the Red Clay Democrats and other like-minded groups and individuals, a new coalition has been formed within the state Democratic Party of Georgia.

    Today, our voices are being heard. For the first time since Jimmy Carter�s run for the Presidency in 1976, a movement is underway in the South. This movement began with former Vermont Governor Howard Dean�s campaign in 2002, and is still gaining steam.

    At Georgia for Democracy, we know that lasting change within our Democratic Party will not be quick or easy. It will require cooperation, dedication, and a serious commitment to rebuild a democratic majority in Georgia. We are proud to lead this charge and to carry forward the banner of new progressives working for long-term goals of social justice, fiscal responsibility, affordable healthcare, quality education and environmental conservation.

    We are what democracy looks like.

    --Tim Cairl

  •  Why these post from BFA? (none)
    Because organisation is more than webpages and blogs we need it have real activists in the every county who speak to their neighbors. Most Democrats are against the war and are not conservative much to the dissmay of the DLC.

    Of there was another Dean out there would could motivate the disaffected to get out there in the rain and snow to activate people to particpate in Democracy I would be a happy person because that would mean Dean could run in 2008.

    Beside the technology which the DNC can hire anyone to do we need to hone or message. Rosenberg has to put more on the table than he is not liked by From and was supportive of Dean...well, hell I could say the same for myself but that does not make me qualified to lead the Chair the DNC.

    I think that it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask were do Rosenbergs ideologies lie. This party has been devasted by wrongheaded leadership and the fact that Rosenberg has spent his entire career in the DLC ideological mindframe is worrying.

  •  Thanks for this Kos (none)
    This is great, and for me, the single biggest issue we face.

    So, I am behind Dean for reform, but the more I read and think, the more I wonder if a rosenberg/Dean partnership is the way to go.

    Dean seems to connect with people, has the right strategy idea, and brings the spine. Rosenberg seems to understand the mechanics of what really needs to be built to compete.

    I think on the face of what is evident right now, either Dean or rosenberg or both wuold be acceptable  to me. No other candidate meets the litmus test of reform to the extent these 2 do.

    I am a Reform Democrat

    by Pounder on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:36:45 PM PST

  •  The Democrat's Need a Philosopher (none)
    Does the party have a philosopher? I know that Clinton was the closest thing I've seen to a party philosopher in my years.

    But the Republicans have Rove and a small band of hard-core enforcers who make the decisions. While not a true philosophical entity, it does at least bear resemblance to the hard-core party of Lenin and later Stalin.

    Not that the Democrats need to emulate failed political systems like Communism and Reagan era Republicans, but it would be good to have a single point-of-view, coming from a single philosophy.

    I don't have a recommendation. I'm registered Republican, but that has more to do with primary elections and trying to keep the social conservatives at bay. I'm probably a social progressive libertarian on the "scale" of such things, but am definitely concerned and frustrated by the Republican party of Teddy Roosevelt and even DDE abandoning me for something far close to a Leninist/Stalinist view of our country. I felt a lot of resonance with Howard Dean but that was probably more due to his plain-spoken and often blunt manner of speaking.

    Who is out there to speak for the entire Democrat party who can attract those of us who have been disenfranchised from other parties?

    •  Most academic (= real) philosophers (none)
      are Democrats. The overwhelming majority, I would guess.

      Some contemporary liberal philosophers: John Rawls, Amy Gutman, Ronald Dworkin, Will Kymlicka, Robert Dahl, Seyla Benhabib, Brian Barry, John Dryzek...

      It's ironic that we have the best brains and most professors on our side, still GOP seem to dominate the ideological discussion. Mostly because they own the media of course.. but still. Republicans were faster than us in realizing the importance of "framing" which is even more ironical since the typical liberal stereotype is a bookish elitist with advanced language skills.

      http://www.lcurve.org - US Income Distribution Visualized

      by Joe B on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 03:17:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you (none)
      We need a philosopher and one who can deliver it.
  •  Democrats can't win because... (3.50)
    ... we have been too busy trying to survive, wondering about George Bush, cozying up to him.  We have lost our will to fight on the hill.

    I think it's telling that lately it is Republicans within their own ranks that are doing a better job opposing Bush's policies than Democrats.

    I've seen 4 years of Democrats getting legislation ramrodded up our collective asses.  When Bush wanted special wartime powers, and everyone and their grandmother knew that Bush wanted to invade Iraq, most Democrats were spineless.  Kerry gave him the power and told him in so many words to (paraphrasing) "do the right thing, George".  Hillary Clinton went up there and said (paraphrasing), "George, we know how difficult it is to go to war - here you go, good buddy".  Some "opposition".

    Republicans are at war with us, and they want to destroy us.  Until Democrats fight this "war" like our lives depended on it, we will continue to have legislation rammed up our asses.  That part the Rosenberg message has "right".

    But, it's precisely what Dean articulated in the primaries.  This is nothing new.  Now Rosenberg is basically trying to co-opt the Dean message.  But this message is shrouded in hazy language.  For example, it says: "someone who can speak for the mainstream of the party and connect with its increasingly youthful activist base".  Which is it?  The youth of America or the mainstream of the party?  They are absolutely not the same people.  Also, "someone who understands the demographic, attitudinal and socio-economic complexities of the coming America".  A nickel to who can actually break down that sentence and say what that even means.

    Rosenberg sounds like he's the "old" party trying to "sound" new without actually doing anything new.  This will not get the youth excited about voting, which any successful Democratic winning formula entails.  Only Dean, with proven support from youth, progressives and geeks like myself, has the best shot at reforming the party.

    Dean = bottom-up reform
    Rosenberg = top-down reform

  •  I don't know Rosenberg (none)
    so I can't comment on what kind of candidate he would be. I just like Dean. He energized me back into wanting to be a Democrat again, to be proud to be one. He is centrist on some views, but by and large he's a progressive. We do need organization in framing our message, and yes, we do need to put out one unified message. I just think Dean can do it. He's not afraid to speak to these Repubs and he's not afraid of the conservative and vapid media. Sure he made some flubs, but compared to the flubs and downright ignorance of Bush, his mistakes in speaking are little in comparison. I am not a Deaniac, but so far, no one in the party (with the exception of Obama) has energized me to want to stay in the party. I will always vote Democrat, until a viable, progressive, third party comes along, but I want to be proud and like the candidate I am voting for. I don't think that's too much to ask from our candidates.
  •  Could anyone tell me.. (none)
    about when the DNC chair is chosen. Is there a fixed timeline or is it variable?
  •  Who cares about what the NDN has to say? (none)
    THe NDN represents corporate and investor wealth. They are the opposition. Do not listen to a thing that they say.

    here is a repost of a portion of what I posted above in this thread:

    When I go into a car dealership to buy a car, I have a good idea of what I think the car is worth. THe salesman, of course, gives me an initial figure much higher than the figure I have in mind. That's his job!  Now, suppose he gives me a figure of $20K and I want to pay $15K. If I am smart, I do not "triangulate" and give him a counteroffer of 19K, even though I am sure he will accept this figure of 19K and sell me the car at that price. If I want to pay 15K, I offer him a price of $10K.  Buying a car is NOT ABOUT making the sale. It is about getting the price I want for the car I want.  If you go in with the primary goal of buying a car above all else, YOU LOSE.

    And that is what the NDN and the DLC and the DNC are all about--making us think that winning is everything. It aint! We win, and we celebrate because we won. Oops. But we got screwed if we paid too much for the car, or if we elected a candidate who a centrist.

    What has happened with the liberals and the democratic voters and especially the democratic activists, is that we have allowed representatives of the salesman to give us false advice, and we have taken that false advice. I refer to the DLC adn the NDN and the DNC. All of these organizations are representatives of corporatism and of wealth. NEVER EVER listen to or heed anything said by anyone from the DLC, the NDN, or even the DNC. ALL of them are corporatist representatives. Here is a good rule of thumb: if reprentatives of a political organization are frequently invited members of tv news shows that talk about politics, then just ignore everything they have to say. Practically by definition, they are representatives of the salesmen, as is the media itself.

    All these political shows on tv are essentially mouthpieces for corporate power and wealthy investors. Pay them about as much heed as a typical TV commercial.

    We go for candidates and platforms that we think we will WIN, instead of NARGAINING for what we want. Poll after poll shows that 65-75% of Americans want universal healthcare funded by taxation. But we do not vote for candidates who staunchly and strongly support this policy. Why?  Because we want to win. Thus, we triangulate. And we get what we bargained for. And we get screwed.

    I support NO politicians. Politicians are opportunists. They take advantage of whatever the political zeitgeist happens to be. And how is the political zeitgeist created? By the MEDIA.
    If we want to make America into something resembling Sweden, or other social democracies, then we have to put out ideas into the air, ideas that reach voters. Politicians do not do that. THey do not create the zeitgeist. They leverage it.

    WE activists need to alter the zeitgeist. If we move it to the Left, then politicians will take advantage of that....BY MOVING TO THE LEFT.

    But talking about what the NDN is saying? Man.... THat is crazy. That is like some idiot walking into a used car lot and believing everything said by the saleman. Do not listen to the NDN or the DLC or the DNC or the media.  

    help me prep Iowa & NH for a progressive candidate in 2008: http://leftwingmediamachine.blogspot.com/

    by cryofan on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 02:41:49 PM PST

  •  More Navel Gazing (4.00)
    Although I'm not at all confident that the best candidate will win the Chairmanship, I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be productive to ask simply one question:  

    Which of the candidates running can claim to have motivated literally thousands of people for the first time to actually get off their asses and do something politically?  

    There's only one.  

    This is a no-brainer.  I can't believe we continue to debate this.  

    What can I do, now that the sky / has shut its iron door / and bolted clouds / to the back of the moon -- John Yau

    by lightiris on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 02:50:54 PM PST

  •  Rosenberg/Fowler (none)
    I long ago posted that I like Rosenberg, but have to admit that Donnie Fowler sounded great on C-Span.  He kicked butt and took names and reframed the rabid GoOPer callers and was all around impressive on the message level.  Wish there was a way for him to be involved.  Does anyone know whether he and Rosenberg are likely to want to work together?

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 03:37:06 PM PST

  •  Dean/Rosenberg Ticket (none)
    Dean for Head/Spokesperson
    Rosenberg for COO (or other appropriate title)

    The reality is a whole new infrastructure needs to be built.  
    The energy/passion on the ground to do this will come from progressives that are inspired by Dean, and who need to have somebody they personally trust in charge.  
    The actual technical infrastructure, organizational discipline, etc, needs to be built by a very disciplined person who can just stay focussed on that for a number of years.
    Rosenberg isn't asking to run for elected office or to be given the power to select who runs or who wins.  He really just wants to build a winning engine, a winning operation.  This is not asking NDN to take over, it's hiring Simon for a job based on his skill set, ideas and passion.
    The operation he builds (with our help of course) can then be used to elect any number of people who fit the profile of their target audience.  
    That operation can be used as a highly focussed communication device to identify what voters want in a given area and what will get them to the poles.  We have a very primitive way of doing this right now, and it's not working all that great.  This is really a policy-neutral infrastructural build-out.
    It's not at all a simple device that you just 'hire a web site developer' to construct.  It involves coordinating many kinds of infrastructures so you can actually manage nationwide and statewide personalized campaigns ... that reach individual voters in very individualized ways.  
    Building that is a separate issue from developing policy ideas, though it could be used to coordinate and orchestrate the broadcasting and selling of policies.

    We more or less held our own this last election (could have been much worse), but we need to rebuild in a serious way to be the party of the next generation.  We can be that and the youth want us to be that, but it's a huge leap we need to take.  We need to be the party identified with super-savvy tech and heart interconnectedness.  2 year olds grow up on computers now, and personalization/choice is being demanded everywhere.  Kids won't see such integration and tools as separate or alien, but as necessary, integral tools for changing the world.  We need to meet them there.  They'll be voting 4 cycles from now.  We need to give Simon a chance to do it, to kick this off.

    He doesn't need to be the spokesperson.  Dean would be a great spokesperson, he loves people contact, he loves inspiring people and encouraging them.  I think he deserves a place of honor and a chance to lead, after the last election.

    I say elect the 2 of them, give it a couple of years, and if either is really screwing up, they can be replaced

  •  I object to the downplaying of the TV aspect (none)
    This post makes me think that they don't understand just how much the media is killing us.  I don't care if our DNC Chairman is the most able person on tv, but he'd better be good, and if he's not, he better have all those people who he listed on the television every damned night.  

    They have an army of orcs, we have a list of people who occasionally show up on television and do alright.  We need a media school for surrogates.  We need an army of commentators.  We are hugely behind on this, and the failure of this plan to acknowlege that is not encouraging.

    •  Yes (none)
      This is a great idea the new org can work on, is providing a screening, coaching, training, promoting track for new spokespeople
      Could start out as a grassroots thing, get interested individuals to submit short (2-3 min) web videos, speaking to the theme of the week or the month.  Have viewers rate them, make new stars out of new players

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