Howard Dean: The Windows 3.1 Of The Democratic Party

Howard Dean, otherwise known as the human gaffe machine, has been pumping out embarrassing and obnoxious quotes ever since he hit the national stage. But believe it or not, the frequency of Dean’s mortifying outbursts have actually been increasing — so much so, that “Mad How” has actually prompted a wave of Democratic heavies to try to distance themselves from him. From the Washington Post:

“Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday that Dean is doing a good job, but is not the party’s spokesman.

Last weekend, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards criticized Dean for his recent remarks, saying he doesn’t speak for them.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, talking with reporters Wednesday, said she did not agree with the statement Dean made about the Republican Party.

“The role of the chair of the Democratic National Committee is one that is different than the role of the Democratic leader of the House or in the Senate,” the California congresswoman said, “and sometimes the exhuberance of that position results in statements that neither of us would make.”

“I don’t think that the statement the governor (Dean) made was a helpful statement,” she said. But Pelosi said she thought that Dean was “doing a good job.”

“Listen. Any one of us at any given time will make a statement that we may, in retrospect, say maybe that was a little over-enthusiastic,” she said. “And I can put that statement in that category for Governor Dean.”

Biden, asked about Dean Wednesday during an interview on the Don Imus radio show, also said the chairman is doing a good job.

“A lot of things he does say, I agree with,” Biden said. But he also said that Dean “has views that are slightly different than mine .. .But look, he’s a lightning rod. … It’s probably good that there’s a guy out there that’s a lightning rod … .”

Biden, however, added that he thinks “the rhetoric is counterproductive.” — The Washington Post

But wait, there’s more! From The Hill:

“Last month, (Dean) suggested that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who has been rebuked several times by the House ethics committee, “ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence.” DeLay has not been charged with a crime.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) yesterday said Dean was not speaking on behalf of the party when he made those comments.

“I don’t agree with those comments, and I share the view expressed by Mr. Edwards,” Hoyer said in response to a question from The Hill at his weekly press briefing. “I don’t think they express the views of our party… and I think probably, upon reflection, they don’t express … Mr. Dean’s views. I think they were overstated.”

“I think the party spokesmen are [Senate Minority Leader] Harry Reid [Nev.] and [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi [Calif.], [Senate Minority Whip] Dick Durbin [Ill.], myself, chairs of the committees, the governors. … They are the people who have been elected to make policy,” Hoyer said. “My belief is the party chair’s job is to organize the party to support policymakers and the policies they promote.”

The Hill also has a nice summary of Howard Dean’s lackluster fund raising efforts:

“Dean faces other problems besides criticism of his rhetoric. DNC fundraising in the first four months of 2005 lagged behind the Republican National Committee by a margin of $24 million. The Republicans raised $42.6 million to the Democrats’ $18.6 million.

Three top DNC fundraisers recently resigned, The Hill reported yesterday, prompting concern in some Democratic circles that Dean’s fundraising operation is troubled.”

Put it all together and you’ve got to think there are more than a few Democrats wondering if Howard Dean was actually a downgrade from perennial loser Terry McAuliffe. Fortunately for Republicans, the Dems do appear to have replaced McAuliffe, their buggy Windows Millennium version of a chairman, with Dean, the disastrous Windows 3.1 of the Democratic Party.

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