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The Denouement of Howard Dean?

Democratic National Committee Chairman, Howard Dean talks about health care reform at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center December 17, 2008 in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the man regarded by many sharp political operatives as the progenitor of President-elect Barack Obama's successful 2008 campaign, finds himself without an obvious next job as his tenure at the head of the Democratic National Committee comes to an end.

Those closest to Dean insist that he has any number of job offers to weigh (although they wouldn't expound on any specifics), is traveling to Europe three times early in 2009 to advise progressive parties abroad about the lessons learned from the 2008 campaign and is speaking out on his pet issue -- health care -- as he did on Wednesday at a speech to the National Institutes of Health.

And yet, it's hard not see Dean as a lesson in how political hardball is played in Washington. Never liked by establishment party figures -- Dean publicly feuded with incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel when the latter was at the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 election cycle -- Dean finds himself on the outside looking in as a new Democratic Administration comes to town.

"Frankly, given all he did, the whole situation is as unexpected as it is disappointing," said one Democratic source who was close to Dean during the 2004 campaign.

The source noted that not only did Dean's own presidential bid lay the technological foundation for the successes of Obama but also that the chairman's unbending enforcement of the rules of the primary -- stripping Florida and Michigan of their delegates and their meaningfulness -- played a large role in Obama's victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton. "I guess it proves that no good deed goes unpunished," said the source.

Less than a week after Obama's victory last month, Dean announced he would not seek a second term as chairman of the DNC -- a decision cast by those friendly to Dean as his own but made with a recognition that the incoming president would like his own pick atop the party.

Dean then made a play to be secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama Administration but was quickly shot down in favor of former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle, a confidante of the president-elect.

It's now clear -- with the Cabinet all but filled out -- that Dean won't be a member of the Obama Administration, at least not at a senior level.

So, what will Dean do when he hands over the gavel to his successor on Jan. 21?

It's easier to answer what he won't do -- go back to Vermont where he spent a decade as the state's chief executive. "He is going to stay in public policy," said one source familiar with Dean's thinking. "He's not going back to Vermont."

But, imagining Dean melting into the party establishment in Washington is nearly impossible for anyone who has followed his career in the national limelight.

"Howard Dean was never afraid to challenge the established ways of the Democratic party in Washington," said former Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi. "That doesn't win you many friends in this town."

During his 2004 presidential campaign, Dean relished his outsider status -- condemning the senators and members of Congress he was running against in the Democratic primary. And, in early 2005, when Dean made clear he was running for the DNC chairmanship, many members of the permanent political class in Washington searched desperately for an alternative -- only to be overwhelmed by Dean's loyal following among the netroots.

Dean's confrontational style and aversion to fundraising led to clashes with party leader (Emanuel among others) during his four years at the helm of the DNC but, in hindsight, some of his most controversial strategic moves paid off.

Dean was widely disparaged within the party for his "50 State strategy" -- a plan to put DNC-paid staffers on the ground in every state to ensure the party field a competitive slate of candidates. And yet, the 2006 and 2008 elections seemed to justify Dean's decision as Democrats won in places like Idaho, Kansas, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia that, as recently as a few elections ago were considered impenetrable.

"The winning strategy and business plan that Governor Dean put in place helped make Democrats competitive again up and down the ballot from Indiana to Alaska to Mississippi," said Karen Finney, a spokeswoman for the DNC.

(Before we receive a scad of emails, we realize that without the funding provided by Obama as well as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Dean's 50-state vision might have been more bust than boom. But, still....)

That Dean who, inarguably, ushered in an era of person to person politics linked by technology, finds himself as a man without a home speaks to the vast chasm between how he is perceived by the netroots and the party regulars.

Dean is beloved as a prophet by the blogosphere and derided as a flash-in-the-pan by many within the party establishment. The truth, as always, likely lies somewhere in between those two extremes.

Politics is all about comebacks; after all, who would have thought Al "Alpha Male" Gore would become a global warming prophet in the aftermath of his loss in the 2000 election? Dean appears headed to a far less public role over the next four years than he, or his legion of supporters, would have liked. But, a reemergence on the political stage (in some way,shape or form) seems, if not inevitable, than certainly likely.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 18, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party  
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Mr. Dean is reaping the benefits of being on the black list of one of America's most hateful politicians, Rahm Emanuel. Mr. Obama may have had his reasons for appointing Emanuel to a rather important post but he is going to have to reap the fruits of the fact that many, many of us hate Emanuel and he seems to hate many others. A lightining rod like this is usually discovered, lik John Sununu after a time in office. - no time is needed to learn that in the case of this louse.

Posted by: earlmchu | December 19, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm very disappointed in Obama in not giving Dean his just rewards.

Obama's cabinet choices show that he's not as progressive as his fans would like to think.

Dean is a man of character and great abilities. I'm sure he'll continue to be a force in the public debate regardless of Obama's brush-off.

Posted by: Gymshoes | December 19, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

As most people on this blog I echo the comments that it is Dean who shaped the wins for Democrats in 2006 and 2008. In addition to his hard work and vision he was also the guy to first stand up to Bush on the Iraq War even when Bush's popularity was soaring. Dean has courage, humility, and vision. I am disappointed he is not somewhere in the Obama Administration.

Posted by: iamellard | December 19, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean has been on my s--- list since he disenfranchised voters in the Florida and Michigan primaries. It was so obvious that he couldn't stand the thought of Hillary Clinton winning the nomination that he would do anything to make sure she didn't win! This is the good old boy network at its worst! I hope that Mr. Dean fades into obscurity where he belongs.

Posted by: kayceekay | December 19, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I was an independent my entire voting life because I saw the Democrats and Republicans as equally corrupt (still do). Howard Dean was the one exception. Though I only agreed with about 70% of what he said, he came across as principled and a hard worker. Obama is a typical Washington player so this really doesn't surprise me. There are too few Deans in the Democratic or Republican (Ron Paul) parties and this is why the American people always end up scr@wed over in the end.

Posted by: endcorruption | December 19, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean always has been, always will be, a man of principle - and for that, he will always have my admiration and support.

Posted by: cymric | December 19, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean did not get Obama elected.George W.Bush was the man behind Obama's election.Anyone who was NOT Bush could have won this election.Bush did such a thourough job of royally screwing up EVERYTHING that a Democrat couldnt have lost.Of course he(Obama) will throw anyone under the bus who gets in his way no matter who they are.When Blago tells his story Obama will be toast.What a mess that is going to be.According to the constitution Biden cant be the president,and there will have to be another election and Bush and Cheney will still be in office till that is over.Change we can believe in,indeed.

Posted by: cincigal74 | December 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

As if this is anything new in the way Just.Another.Politician. treats people who have outlived their usefulness?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly | December 18, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean is the best thing in the last 25 years to happen to the Democratic Party. He gave it a spinal implant when it desperately needed it. He launched the low donor cyber campaigning and he understood that Democrats had to reach out in all 50 states to win.

Obama owes Dean. What's with the withholding PEBO? Is he too proud? Is Rahm's influence that strong?

PEBO bends over backwards to include corporatist Dems, but can't find a place for The Man of the Grassroots -- visionary and pragmatist Howard Dean?

That's ok. It hopefully means that the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party still has an advocate and point man in the brave Doctor.

Posted by: mtnwoman1 | December 18, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

While Dean's 50 State Strategy may have played a role in Obama's election that was not its purpose, it was not put into effect as a short term tactic. It is a long term strategy that will bear fruit long term, not so much short term.

This is not to diminish Dean's influence or importance to the Party's future, it is to encourage the continuation of the 50 State as a work in progress rather than an accomplished fact. I have not heard people well up in Party ranks claim 50 State won the election. The one's making that claim seem to be aware of little more than the broad outline of hiring and distributing field staff.

Posted by: chuckbutcher | December 18, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if there has been any contact between Dean and Obama since the election. Obama has never mentioned Dean. In the list of folks to be grateful for, Dean's name is sadly missing. I wish one of the liberal blogs would start a campaign to bring this all to obama's attention. Maybe ignoring Dean was a condition of Rahm's accepting his new job.

Posted by: caesarganz | December 18, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Chris just because you write something does not make it true. To say that Dean helped Obama win by not counting FL and MI is patently untrue. If the states had been in play we don’t know who would have won them.

Clinton won because she didn’t play by the established rules.

An analogy would be if two people agree to have a bake sale with specific items and times; cupcakes only from 10 a.m. to 1p.m.; one person then decides to sell cupcakes, brownies, cookies, drinks, etc. from 9a..m. 4p.m. then that person would raise more money but the other person played by the rules and they would lose.

Following rules matter.

Posted by: rlj1 | December 18, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean, MD , will contribute most to the US healthcare. Health care is the single most debacle.
I am UNHAPPY with OBAMA for his rudeness. I shall ask Obama to return my election contributions to Obama08.

Posted by: tariqahmed | December 18, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile..though it's under the Secretary of HHS (Daschle) and not autonomous..what about Surgeon General? He should be put in some position that allows him to exercise his vast knowledge and concern for others!

Posted by: janbana | December 18, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Fix--I love your blog and it got me through this election season! Over the past week or so, there has been an unusual number of typos, though. What gives?

Posted by: PDXOR | December 18, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

This is just more evidence that the Obama Administration is not the inheritor of the Dean doctrine, but rather an ersatz facsimile. I continue to be disappointed.

Posted by: keilprti1 | December 18, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

hey zouk, Howard Dean cleaned your clock.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 18, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

rome6888 - I could be wrong here, but it seems to me that someone who only cares about Howard Dean is hardly qualified to comment on the wisdom of appointing others. They may be passionate, but they are hardly objective.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. Dean, for a job well done.

Posted by: nodebris | December 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean vs. Rahm Emmanuel is like the Norse myth of Baldur the noble killed by Loki, god of mischief. Dean is a seminal figure, the first real New Democrat, a blunt and brilliant strategist without whom Obama might well not be president.

This is the president-elect's first truly major political test: can he -- like Lincoln and FDR -- tolerate another major intelligence in his inner circle? Or does Rahm E., forever a hatchet-man with known allegiences and agendas, undermine Hope? If so, God help us. He may be rough as a cob, but we need Dean's mind and honesty.

Former Republican and senior citizen.

Posted by: SisyphusinSoho | December 18, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I would be very disappointed in Obama if he doesn't think of Howard for any position in his cabinet. Howard is who made the democratic presidency possible. When Obama came on board campaigning for a 50 state strategy, Dean had been working on that format for two years, all we needed was a leader to follow it, sell it and promote it, which was Obama. But the brain behind of what occurred in 2006 and now 2008 was Howard.

Obama should recognize Howard is a brilliant man just like he is. I don't care about Daschle and the others already appointed; all i care is Howard Dean.

Posted by: rome6888 | December 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

the Lib way - crooked to the core.

Alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff has been a major political donor, directing hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic lawmakers over the past two decades. Since 1991, Madoff and other individuals connected with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities made campaign contributions totaling $372,100, with about 89 percent of those funds directed to Democrats, according to

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 18, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

By the way, has anybody else noticed the diminishing role of governors in national politics? There are notable exceptions, of course, but at one time, being a Governor, even of a small state like Arkansas, was considered an asset in a Presidential campaign. No more. It's Senators at the moment.

Bill Richardson didn't get far in his presidential run, despite the most impressive resume of any candidate. Mike Huckabee wouldn't have gotten as far as he did except evangelical Republicans were faced with McCain, Romney, and Guiliani. John McCain plucked Sarah Palin from obscurity, or she'd never have left Alaska at all.

Doesn't bode well for Bobby Jindal, does it?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 18, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

GFReilly, has the prospective Surgeon General been announced?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 18, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Bhoomes! Welcome back.

What do you think of Jim Jones? Did you agree with my comment that appointing Jones and Shinseki showed respect for the uniformed military?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 18, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean deserves a big chunk of the credit for the Democratic rebirth. He's also a major loose cannon, and proud of it (a role often played by physicians in life.) He would have been a fine advocate at HHS, but in terms of getting a health plan passed, nowhere near as effective as Tom Daschle would be.

He'll be back, and in the Senate, I predict. Where he'll continue to stir up trouble in the great American tradition.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 18, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

dnjake: Howard Dean didn't actually "blow up" his own candidacy. The news media generously did that for him. I think ABC did a story on how--after it was too late of course. (Diane Sawyer I think?)

Posted by: ella1 | December 18, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

It's "National Institutes of Health." "Institutes" is plural. Or don't details matter any more?

Posted by: frosejr | December 18, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line reality is that Barack Obama choses people based on his assessment of their effectiveness. The limitation of Howard Dean's effectiveness was visible first in the way that he blew up his own candidcy for President in 2004. It was also very visible in his failure to manage the problems of the Michigan and Florida primaries in a way that avoided disenfranchising voters. Finally, it was visible in the devisive way that he attempted to resolve the Democratic nomination without counting the votes. Obama may have ridden the tides that favored him. But, once he was in control, he quietly cleaned up the festering problems. The differing fates of Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, and John Kerry very likely reflects Obama's accurate assessment of their differing capabilities.

Posted by: dnjake | December 18, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I read in the WaPo a day or so ago that the acting director of the FDA has announced his departure. Wouldn't that be an excellent reward for Howard Dean? I think it's a position where you want someone who is of like mind with the President on the big issues but who can act independently.

Posted by: GFReilly | December 18, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I guess we're seeing the hard side of Obama.

Posted by: caesarganz | December 18, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I echo the sentiments of you who supported Dean in 2004. PEBO owes a great deal to Dean and it is shameful he hasn't rewarded him for it. Between the the bozos Pelosi and Reid in Congress and the PE, I'm beginning to think I don't have a party any more. No more money for the Dems unless and until they start standing up for Dem values.

Posted by: Ami_Blue1 | December 18, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean worked tirelessly, criss-crossing the country to help elect Barack Obama. I guess rather than relying on hard work, Dean should have had either a Chicago zip code or mad basketball skillz to get a position in the Obama administration.

Gov. Dean is the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party in a long time--far better than Barack Obama who, thanks to Gov. Dean's foresight, didn't have to build a strategy from scratch.

Instead of a denouement, I look forward to Gov. Dean's new beginnings. He has my full support.

Posted by: cab91 | December 18, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean worked tirelessly, criss-crossing the country to help elect Barack Obama. I guess rather than relying on hard work, Dean should have had either a Chicago zip code or mad basketball skillz to get a position in the Obama administration.

Gov. Dean is the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party in a long time--far better than Barack Obama who, thanks to Gov. Dean's foresight, didn't have to build a strategy from scratch.

Instead of a denouement, I look forward to Gov. Dean's new beginnings. He has my full support.

Posted by: cab91 | December 18, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

No Howard Dean, no PE Barack Obama. It's as simple as that.

But Chicago politics is way more about numbers than loyalty. HRC has a constituency, so she gets a seat at the table. Dean's constituency is seen as the radical left of the party, and since they have nowhere to go, there's nothing for Dean. Obama is much more a product of Chicago politics and the Chicago machine than he is a progressive.

Think about this: before blacks took him to their bosom, the radical left -- the Dean constituency, the unapologetic Dems (unlike the DLC Clinton Dems) -- was the foundation of Obama's support. Their support, plus 95% black support, made Obama nigh unbeatable. But if you think they have nowhere to go, you're wrong. They can always stay home, and the opposition to Obama is entrenched and unshakeable. Obama will see no primary oppo in '12 -- coopting Clinton saw to that -- but in a GE, he will need that motivated Dem left to turn out for him, or he'll lose states like IN and IA that he won this time out.

He should have found a place in his cabinet for Dean. I get Dr. Dean is perceived as having personality issues (really, he's no different from any other surgeon, they all tink they're God's chief assistant, if not God him/herself) but there had to be an available role where he would have the ear of the President. It''s certainly not like he can't run a large, successful enterprise.

Posted by: gbooksdc | December 18, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean worked tirelessly, criss-crossing the country to help elect Barack Obama. I guess rather than relying on hard work, Dean should have had either a Chicago zip code or mad basketball skillz to get a position in the Obama administration.

Gov. Dean is the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party in a long time--far better than Barack Obama who, thanks to Gov. Dean's foresight, didn't have to build a strategy from scratch.

Instead of a denouement, I look forward to Gov. Dean's new beginnings. He has my support.

Posted by: cab91 | December 18, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I think the perfect position for Governor Dean would be Surgeon General, a position not yet filled in the new administration.

Posted by: cclady1 | December 18, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Dean isn't the only one of Obama's benefactors who seems to have been left out of the new administration. The list also includes senators Claire McCaskill and John Kerry and governors Tim Kaine and Kathleen Sebelius. Obama seems to be avoiding the usual influence-trading culture to a fault.

Posted by: bprittenhouse | December 18, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

This article states that Howard Dean "publicly feuded" with Rahm Emanuel. That's completely false. Rahm feuded with Dean, and there's a significant difference.

Dean never criticized Emanuel or other critics within the Democratic party, like James Carville, even as they were trying to undermine him.

Dean was, and is, a class act.

Posted by: Malacandra | December 18, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

When the history of '06 and '08 are written, the party regulars will not be the ones with the lion's share of credit for putting the Democrats in command of the White House and the Congress.

Howard Dean will get a huge amount of credit because his vision was the right one. The fact that party dinosaurs didn't agree shows how out of touch they are-- and why they weren't winning until innovators like Dean and Obama opened up new pathways to victory.

My suggestion to the new Administration: get rid of the dinosaurs. There's a reason they went extinct.

Posted by: dbitt | December 18, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Not only has Obama dismissed Howard Dean, but he has also done the same to Gen. Wesley Clark, another who is disliked by the establishment. And like Dean, Clark was instrumental in helping the Democrats win back the Congress in 2006, and campaigned hard for Obama during the general election. It is a disgrace, because Dean and Clark would be excellent members of Obama's administration. They are far more qualified than most of his selections. I firmly believe that, before it's over, Obama will be begging Dean and Clark to help him clean up the mess his so-called "Team of Rivals" has made. I certainly wish that, in the mean time, Clark and Dean will use their political influence and popularity to hold the Obama administration's feet to the fire, not allowing them to renege on the promises made during the campaign, nor to take the country too far to the right.

Posted by: KMB2 | December 18, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Again with the Gore "Alpha Male" crap! If the press had not played those games in 2000, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now. Imagine if someone made something up about you, pretended it was real and then repeated it publicly over and over again for nearly 10 years! It's like you're in 2nd grade or something. Smarten up please.

Posted by: tarquam | December 18, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"In addition to flipping off the gay community and its friends and families with his selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration, President-elect Obama is tossing Howard Dean overboard at the behest of world-class schmuck, Rahm Emmanuel.


yeah, and the washington post is still NOT covering this story.

so far, Obama has appointed Summers (woman are second class) and is using Warren(Gays are second class )

when is Obama going to make the tent big enough for Blacks to be called second class"?

Posted by: newagent99 | December 18, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@TapirBoy1, agreed!

Dean for Senate 2010!

Posted by: thrownunderthebus | December 18, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Obama rejects and/or disses Dean at his own peril. Dean will always put the public good and then his party ahead of his own personal ambitions. He would never do anything to undermine Obama. But a LOT of us who gave money and worked for Obama were first brought into politics by Howard Dean's campaign. And we will not forget Emanuel's insults. Rahm should remember that it was Dean's 50 state strategy that put Obama in the WH.

Posted by: smeesq | December 18, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I was proud to support Howard Dean in 2004. He gave the Democratic Party a voice when every other Presidential candidate was bending over backwards to support the war and the Patriot Act. Thank goodness for him. He was confrontational, yes--but that's what the moment called for. He laid the groundwork for Democratic gains even before his fifty-state strategy. (At the time people said "he'd be great--if only he were a little nicer--like John Edwards." Please...) The Democratic Party would do well to show him some respect.

Posted by: ella1 | December 18, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

In addition to flipping off the gay community and its friends and families with his selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration, President-elect Obama is tossing Howard Dean overboard at the behest of world-class schmuck, Rahm Emmanuel.

This is not giving me a good feeling.

Posted by: nicekid | December 18, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh well I can even feel sorry for the Screamer pathetic DNC Chairman Howard Dean
as it looks like Howard Dean will be yet
another of those fools that Messiah Barack
Hussein Obama is throwing under the bus,
and so now I know where all those loud screams are coming from over at the Democratic National Committe Headquarters,
asd once again poor old pathetic Howard Dean ends up being one more of those,who
Messiah Obama has used to screw the pooch
right in front of the American people! Yep,
you betcha more Obama "Change You Can Believe In" hard at work in Obama La La Land.

Posted by: sherrykay2008 | December 18, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

This Vermonter knows Howard Dean. He won't totally disappear, but Obama's making a huge error in shunting him aside. My day will be made when "Rahmbo" starts his foul mouth and it hits the press. Ditto the Blago mess.

Howard Dean's blueprint enabled the Democratic Party to come back to the mainstream and win. Millions of us wish him well as do I.

Posted by: NotBubba | December 18, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

It is ironic that Dean would be ignored by the Obama team - I too believed he could have turned the tide for H-Rod.

I think this is indicative of what to expect from Obama, he isn't very nice on his way up the ladder. I think Dean has every right to toss some tassled wing tips at PEBO's head!

Posted by: newbeeboy | December 18, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I heard a senate seat in IL is available.

Posted by: Southeasterner | December 18, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean will take over HHS *after* Daschle has guided Obama's legislation through Congress. Dean's skill set is perfect for implementation. Persuasion? Not so much...

Posted by: Keystroke | December 18, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Like FDR who fixed the Brits by appointing somebody who they hated (Papa Kennedy) Obama should appoint Dean as ambassador to Russia. It's a twofer, we get rid of the wacko and give him to our adversary.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 18, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I suspect Governor Dean will land on his feet.

If Patrick Leahy retires in 2010, Dean would be an obvious candidate to be his successor in the US Senate.

Posted by: TapirBoy1 | December 18, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

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