Annual Democratic State Conference
Keynote & Progressive Issues Roundtable: Governor Howard Dean
May 14-16 at Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City
Tickets Hotel special rates
This morning, on Morning Joe, Howard Dean got into a ferocious argument with both Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Dean was defending Hillary Clinton against allegations in a new book – Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer – that the Clinton Global Initiative took undisclosed funds from a Russian oil company as that company was securing State Department approval for deals in the U.S..
Gov. Dean is emerging as an important surrogate for Clinton. Their relationship goes back decades to Clinton’s failed healthcare reform efforts as First Lady. And it’s an interesting juxtaposition, given that the organization Dean founded – Democracy for America, of which I am both a member and a leader – has put resources behind the quixotic efforts to draft Elizabeth Warren to challenge Clinton.
In her downsized Iowa rollout, Clinton paraphrased Warren talking points on income inequality, though it remains to be seen if Clinton, more identified with Wall Street money than Main Street problems, will learn to make that case authentically (I think she can). One direction Campaign Clinton is making – a happy surprise – is a return to Howard Dean’s 50-State Stragegy, which will send paid staffers to both blue and red states, D.C. and the territories to ramp up grassroots organizing – trainings, local meetings, events. 50-State Strategy was Dean’s baby as DNC chair (2005-2009). The potential of this is more than just the optics of populism one might expect around a Warren candidacy, more than a Clinton one. A true 50-State Strategy, well-resourced and with advice from Dean, may have the potential to convince Democrats unmoved by dynasty politics and the “inevitability” factor of Clinton (which was also pushed in 2008) that there’s something more organic – maybe even exciting – happening in Clinton’s campaign. If they mean it, it’s smart.
We’ll have to see. But expect Gov. Dean to talk about it in Atlantic City.
On the jump, Clinton’s video, The Power of Organizing. Worth a look.