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Where in the world was Howard?
Posted by: McQ on Monday, February 06, 2006

Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics updates us on Howard Dean (one of my favorites) who was essentially MIA on SOTU night:
Speaking of Howard Dean, you may have heard he wasn't in Washington, D.C. the other night for Bush's State of the Union address. There were some snickering suggestions this wasn't a coincidence and that Dean's absence was part of a coordinated effort to keep him as far away from a national television audience as possible. Whether there's a shred of truth to this rumor or not, it sure did work: Dean was absolutely invisible.
Like Bevan says, there may be nothing at all to this, but it sure seems to have some credence. Where was Howard Dean? Well in Durham, North Carolina, of course, where else would the Chair of the DNC be on SOTU night?

And even there he had a bit of a rough time attracting state and local pols who wanted to be seen with him:
You would think that Democratic honchos in the state might want to be seen with the leader of the national Democratic Party. But a funny thing happened on the way to Dean's Bush bash. Apparently, the state's top elected Democrats would rather be caught cross-dressing in church than be seen with Howard Dean.

Then again, maybe they had some darned good excuses.

Gov. Mike Easley likes to golf and spend time at the coast, so maybe he wasn't even in town. Jim Black, the embattled speaker of the House, might have been meeting with his lawyers. Avoiding jail has to be a higher priority than publicly meeting with your party's leader.

And the roster of Democrats who hope to succeed Easley - Attorney General Roy Cooper, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and Treasurer Richard Moore - surely know better than to associate themselves with the national party.

If you want to win a state race as a Democrat, you run away from the national party. Unless you live in Durham or Chapel Hill.
Republican reaction to Dean's presence?
Wearing a white Bush-Cheney '04 T-shirt, Jeff Hubbard was distinctly in the minority Tuesday night when Howard Dean popped into a pizza restaurant to roast President Bush before the State of the Union speech.

Hubbard, 24, was surrounded by scores of true believers, the few remaining North Carolina Democrats who still think that Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, can help the party. And Hubbard couldn't have been happier.

"I love Howard Dean. I had to see him," he said. "You have to like the man. He's done more for the Republican Party than anybody since Eisenhower."
Heh ... now I'm sure I'll get a comment from my old buddy Pogue reminding me about my "Dean obsession", but hey, you just can't make this stuff up. Couple this with the boffo financial situation the DNC finds itself in and you have a rough time not agreeing with Hubbard, don't you?
 
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Comments
Acknowledging the obsession is the first stage to recovery.
;)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Agreed, Pogue.

Unfortunately, those most in need of recovery (the national party) are still in total denial. That the state parties are distancing themselves should be a 15 MT wakeup call to the national committee. Still, nobody home.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Howard Dean has a lot to say about his recent tour right here.

I wish he would shut up.
 
Written By: Alexander Alt
URL: http://
Alexander Alt: That is NOT Howard Dean’s BLOG! It’s a phony blog written by the rightwing. Geez!
 
Written By: luvadog
URL: http://
The material you cited above came from the only negative print of Dean at the Durham State of the Union Event. The column was published on Thursday, February 2, 2006, by Scott Sexton in the Winston Salem Journal. He certainly did not talk to the host of the Durham State of the Union Watch Party which you would think he wold do if he cared to print facts.

The facts are the party in Durham was a local event hosted by this writer and cosponsored by the 8th and 9th democratic precincts in Durham. We did not learn that Dean was coming to our event until midday Friday. The event was only printed in the Herald Sun newspaper the morning of the event with this writer’s comments reflected as follows “Local activists are discouraging drop-ins by the general public because the number of advance sign-ups for an event that’s doubling as a fundraiser and "watch party" for the State of the
Union address was already close to the combined capacity of the two restaurants, Durham Precinct 9 Chairman Troy McLean said.” The RSVP list was closed early Monday as this writer was starting to get a RSVP about every three minutes. The web site early Monday was also posted that the event was full. The bottom line is this event filled by word of mouth and email. This State of the Union Watch Party with Dean’s appearance filled four eating establishments on Main St in Durham to capacity. We were active in attempting to slow the growth of the number of people who were coming to the event and still some people were turn away. If we had a venue that could have handled 10,000 people there would have been 10,000 enthusiastic Dean Supporters in Durham.

For your information ABC, CNN where at the event. Dean was also scheduled to be interviewed by Brian Williams with NBC at a separate house party in Durham following the State of the Union Address and the democratic response but instead was moved to MSNBC for NBC scheduling reasons. Dean I believe came to Durham, North Carolina (A Red State) in an effort to demonstrate a commitment to the grassroots to win in every precinct in every state.

More information at link below:
http://www.dnc.org/a/2006/02/state_of_the_un_1.php
 
Written By: Troy McLean
URL: http://
I wish that people (Republicans and Democrats) stopped talking about politics as if it were a Hollywood party, focusing on personalities and old clichés. Enough already! Howard Dean energized a party that was close to rigor mortis, period. Let’s see what we Democrats can do this time.

And let’s hope that serious talk about issues starts replacing the chatter about Hillary and Condi and Dean and on and on. The country is sinking, the Middle East and New Orleans are still disaster areas, and the future is not rosy. We need to be united and get to work.

 
Written By: angela m. Jeannet
URL: http://
Let me get this straight. Howard Dean should have been in DC with the crooks and liars instead of party building out with the troops? I live in Durham, the place he was visiting on SOTU night. And this town couldn’t have been happier, no matter what some Republican curmudgeon from Winston-Salem thinks. I’m from Winston-Salem originally. I grew up with that paper, The Journal. And it’s a miserable fish wrapper.

The whole street was blocked off for Dean’s appearance in Durham and there was a mob trying to get in to see Dean. Sheesh. We’re also very happy that he is spending our DNC contributions in a way that makes sense: building local party organizations. He’s the first DNC chair to pay attention to the local organizations the party is founded on. And yeah, true belieivers and new believers love him for it.

Keep blowing your nose about Howard Dean. It makes everyone wonder what it is you are so afraid of that you have to slam a guy who takes his time to come out to little old Durham and make a bunch of people happy. Bush gives a speech that his handlers have to backtrack on within twenty-four hours, but all you’ve got his how the DNC chair was out giving support to the rank and file Democrats watching that speech. Lordy. I guess it’s true. *Anybody* can have a blog.
 
Written By: Chris Calloway
URL: http://

 
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