Fans of former Gov. Howard Dean might want to avert their eyes from Sunday's edition of the New York Times Magazine.
There's an article in the mag entitled ““Is Howard Dean willing to destroy the Democratic Party in order to save it?” and the scuttlebutt courtesy of this week's issue of Editor & Publisher is that the piece does not look kindly on the onetime presidential candidate and current chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
The NYT article is meant to be a profile on Dean and his efforts to establish a 50-state strategy to expand the party's base and give it a long-range plan for recapturing Congress and the White House. Many Washington-based party leaders aren't simpatico with Dean's vision, however, and he takes his lumps in the piece, written by Matt Bai.
Here's some exerpts, via E&P:
Writing about a Dean visit to Alaska to check on progress in his 50-state strategy, Bai writes “In just a few hours, Dean had nicely demonstrated why so many leading Democrats in Washington wish he would spend even more time in Alaska – preferably hiking the tundra for a few months without a cell phone.”
At another point, Bai notes "At power lunches and private meetings, perplexed Washington Democrats, the kind of people who have lorded over the party apparatus for decades, find themselves pondering the same bewildering questions. What on earth can Howard Dean be thinking? Does he really care about winning in November, or is he after something else?”
Bai thinks not, but sums up Dean's image this way: “Fairly or not, Dean has come to embody a species of Democrat that a lot of Americans of both parties find off-putting -- the 60‘s antiwar liberal, reborn with a laptop and a Prius."
What do you think?
-- Sam Hemingway