I was a Dean supporter during the 2004 primaries. I even went to hear him speak when he had a rally in Copley Square – Kerry territory. I blogged on his site. Worked on organizing the Asian American community in Boston on his behalf. After he dropped out and announced his run for DNC Chair, I cheered his 50 State strategy as did most of the state chairs and committee people from states that the Democratic Party had neglected.
Now as John Nichols writes in the The Nation today:
When the DNC chair said, “I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country, I really do,” everyone knew he meant it. And, as it turned out, Americans were coming around to the same conclusion.
The fact is that Dean’s work is done. He was an essential player in the transformation of the Democratic Party from what former Labor Secretary Robert Reich described back in 2005 — “essentially a glorified fund-raising mechanism” — into the clearly-defined “movement” party that Barack Obama would lead in 2008.
With that 50-state strategy, his full embrace of netroots activism and, above all, his refusal to pull punches, Dean made being a Democrat mean something. That turned out to be the cure for what ailed a party that has benefited immeasurably from the doctor’s able treatment of its condition.
Howard Dean saved the Democratic Party by creating the base that lead to victories in 2006 and 2008. Will he return to being a doctor in Vermont or will he be Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration?