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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Obama-Dean divide?

Looks like soon-to-be president Barack Obama isn't going to show the love for former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean and all his good-soldier efforts the past four years as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Politico is reporting today that Obama chose to visit DNC headquarters Thursday for a joint press conference with Dean's DNC replacement, Gov. Tim Kaine, on a day that Dean happened to be in American Samoa, about 7,000 miles away from Washington D.C., fulfilling a promise to visit every state and U.S. territory as DNC chairman.

Dean loyalists are quoted as not being happy about the slight, not at all.

"The snub today was no accident," one unnamed Dean all is quoted as saying in the Politico piece. “I guarantee you he would have rescheduled his trip if asked to attend. It’s easy to [screw] over people when you are riding high in the polls, let's see how many people are singing his praises in six months."

Dean's brother, Jim, who heads the Democracy for America grassroots organizating group and PAC that was born out of Dean's failed 2004 presidential campaign, said he was sore about what was going on, too.

“If he had been asked to go to that event, he would have been there,” Jim Dean said. To read the piece in its entirety, click HERE.

Jim Dean's comment explains what had previously been sort of a mystery to me, a recent DFA call for supporters to contact the DNC and urge them to "immediately reinstate" Howard's vaunted 50-state strategy. The appeal initially struck me as odd considering no one including Obama has said the strategy was being abandoned. Now I get it.

Howard Dean's official take on all this appears to be that he's not bummed out that he may not be part of the Obama administration.

"I`m very happy that Barack Obama is president, and I think he`s picked a great cabinet. And I`m pretty happy," Dean told Hardball's Chris Matthews recently. "I wouldn`t trade my position for any other position right now. I`m going to go into the private sector, make a living making speeches, and do a lot of stuff on health care policy."

I can believe that, sort of, because I saw how quickly he got over his own demise as a presidential candidate four years ago. Few people could have bounced back as fast as he did after the humiliation of watching his presidential dreams crash and burn so suddenly and so viciously.

But don't think for a minute that part of him is still waiting for a call from Barack.

After I wrote a Buzz piece earlier this week about him not getting the Surgeon General nod, someone at the DNC took time to call and make sure I understood Dean didn't feel like he was "passed over" for the post because he wasn't hoping to be the SG anyway.

Why make a call like that if your guy isn't still hoping to land a job with Team Obama?

-- Sam Hemingway

Gee, Sam, perhaps they just called to set you and the record straight.
They have a way of taking care of fools like Dean - offer him some insignificant job with a big title - like Ambassador to Lower Uzbekistan - and that's more than he deserves!
Sam, you are full of crap. You have no ability to reason. You can't do research. Your reporting is cringe worthy.

Such a waste of ink & pixels.
Man I hope Howard runs for president again. Watching him get laughed at a second time would be just what the doctor ordered.
There's trouble in dim-land today, and I'm not sure how jw will resolve it - seems that Obama's pick for Surgeon General, Gupta (praised by jw)is now being attacked by Michael Moore's tool in the House, John Conyers, for actually DARING to question some of Moore's "data" in his sick movie "Sicko"! Sure sounds like this is going to be a fun time, what with all the dims either fighting among each other or learning how to do the "perp" walk. (can you imagine how a blue-dog dim like Heath Shuler is going to get along with a far-left loon like Waxman?) And Barack isn't even pres yet!
Yea, Gupta-gate is going to sink the Obama Presidency.

It's time to start drafting the articles of impeachment!

Keen in sight, bubba!
Vermonter of the YEAR

That was funny then and even funnier now.

Seems as though Obama doesn’t care for Dr Dean they don’t mix well.
Dean is seen as far to outspoken and at times screams. Or could it be the fact that dear DR. Dean signed a Civil Unions bill behind closed doors now could it?
Either way it may be awhile before we hear of him again.
It took FDR 10 years to end the great depression and it had nothing to do with any of his failed economics; the depression finally ended in 1942 solely because we went to war! Let's hope this time it doesn't cost 416,800 American lives to end the mess Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and the rest of the bleeding heart libs got us into!
Um It's GW Bush's mess and it's already cost too many American and Iraqi lives.
Would you rather we not respond to being attacked by the Japanese? I thought it was the Dems who were the girly men--or so you say.
You've got the wrong Roosevelt, Bubba. It's Teddy who started a war without provocation, knowing full well that the Maine was an accident.
Well, I guess Dean and others should have thought more about who they were supporting when they jumped on the Obama bandwagon months ago. While Dean remained neutral throughout the primaries (and appropriately so), I think most knew that he was not a strong supporter of Hillary's (given Pres. Clinton's lack of support for Dean's presidential bid). Lots of former Dean supporters I know in Vermont also couldn't get enough of Obama. It's funny how things work. It kind of makes you wonder what kind of a president Obama will be when he's unable to reward those who have played a major role in his being elected in the first place (Dean's 50 state strategy). Seems like the "democratic wing of the Democratic party" got taken for a ride.
Howard Dean was a great Gov and a great DNc chair and I have always been a proud that he was our Gov. And I like Sam's reporting.
Let's try this again

Some of you have misintepreted what I said about blog control and jumped to the conclusion that we're not going to do anything to change the system.

I was merely giving you an update, telling you the factors going into our thinking. It's not going to change today because it takes time for the web people to make it happen and because we have other things to do. But no one is more eager to block JW than we are.

- Terri Hallenbeck

posted by vt.Buzz | 12:46 PM | 15 comments

Come see Howard Dean at DemocracyFest! http://www.DemocracyFest.net
Dean and Deans' grassroot strategy put this Obama guy where he is today.
Thanks for nothing !!!!

What is the best way to appreciate MyObama is to stop contributing to the DNC. For that matter stop contributing to any other democrat of the same cadre.
I wish that Democracy for America will stop drinking the kol-aid of blindly supporting the DINOS.
Ho, Ho, Ho I guess we got the last laugh. Sooo glad that the sceamer screamed before it was too late..and the electorate of the USA is equally lucky.
I thought this forum was tough. Look at this outrageous statement about Dean:

And right on the mark!
I think Big Bag of Wind is right on the mark too. The Dems are laughing. But not poor Howard!
Howard dean shold be appointed to the Senate from New York
Unless Dean was volunteering for the DNC (doubtful) he was probably reimbursed quite handsomely for his efforts. Remember Dean was a right of center democrat when he was governor of VT. Obama is not trying to recreate a Clinton administration at least domestically he is not. Dean as governor signed the civil rights bill in the closet as if he was embarrassed for Vermont. But, at least, he signed it. The Human Services budget was slashed 10% while he was governor. Dean is a Democrat from the 90's when they were trying to be republicans. Nader stated it best that the dems and the gop had morphed into one party. Now Obama has the stage. Unlike Dean, Clinton and Kerry before him Obama is stating that government is for the people by the people. Working hand in hand with business. Liberalism is a balancing act but it is far better then a GOP/Centralist Dem led government that does not see that the U.S. government should be the big equalizer not the big oppressor. Dean, thank you....now move on!!no pun intended. The only way to true freedom is liberalism. Give me the dignity of risk=freedom. Happy MLK..Liberal, Progressive and proud!!
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