Advantage: Dean

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Over at MSNBC, EleanorClift discusses the possibility that Howard Dean will become the Democratic Party chair.

You know, if there is one thing on which the country is in nearly complete agreement, it's this. In the bitter, ugly, way too long 2004 campaign, Howard Dean was a breath of fresh air. Democrats love him because he's exciting, unpredictable, and they imagine unseen throngs suddenly materializing on election day to vote for him. You know, like what happened in Iowa. And Republicans like him because he's exciting, unpredictable, and not the least bit threatening. He's just a fun guy to have around.

Now, to seriously answer Clift's question: "Can Howard Dean Save the Democrats?"

Well, Clift answered the question in the lead in to her piece.

"The Vermont firebrand is essentially a centrist—with conviction and passion. He's an obvious choice to lead the fractured party." (emphasis added)

There's your problem ... "fractured party." They can't even agree with each other. I don't see how you can pin responsibility for a fix on one leader, or one candidate. Whoever it is is going to be either too centrist or to far to the left to satisfy half of the party. Then, when it comes to issues where the public favors what the GOP is doing, they really have a problem.

Obviously the Arlen Specter issue demonstrates that the Republicans don't enjoy complete harmony either. But I believe that that same issue will demonstrate that our party won't let internal differences impede progress. Specter will be chair of the Senate Judiciary, he will recognize that he shouldn't provoke the President and the party by stonewalling, and the President will recognize that he shouldn't provoke Specter by sending up the extremes.


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