DNC Chair Cattle Call, Week One
by Chris Bowers, Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 11:14:43 AM EST
Cobbling together as much information as I can, right now I think the battle for the next chair is basically a four-way race. There are 440 members of the national committee, and they will elect a new chairman early next year.
The Big Four
- 1. Harold Ickes. If he is the choice of the Clinton people, as is the rumor, he must have the inside track right now.
- 2. Simon Rosenberg. He is interested, or is at least floating a trial balloon (my apologies to Rosenberg fans who will certainly dislike the link I produced--it was the most recent one I could find). With centrist and insider cred, coupled with respect among the netroots, he might be able to emerge as a compromise figure between the Clinton and Dean people.
- 3. Howard Dean. If people like Breaux are warning about Dean, then our Internet polls and netroots are not the only people pushing for him to become the next chair. And yes, he is interested.
- 4. Jean Shaheen.Seems to have emerged as the favorite of the Kerry people, and is supposedly "testing the waters." Hard to know how much having Kerry's backing will help her now. Pelosi also seems to be backing her, which could quickly allow Shaheen to move up in the rankings.
- John Edwards. Would he really want to? It would keep him from running in 2008. Also, with all the other southerners being floated, why is he so rarely mentioned if he is a serious contender. Still, his uncertain immediate future and prestige within the party prevent from entirely scratching him off the list.
- Tom Vilsack. Much like Edwards, I really don't see Vilsack going for the job because he is certain to run in 2008. In Democratic circles, if you came as close to the VP nod as Vilsack is, that means either that you already ran for President (Vilsack hasn't), or that you have not only indicated that you want to run for President, but that you have been given the green light to do so by the party powerful. Further, would he really want to leave office right now? Then again, he could use the DNC position as a means of setting up a run sometime after 2008.
- Brad Carson. A longshot. Rumored to be the favorite of some southern Democrats (I suppose those southern Democrats not directly allied with Clinton). An aide of his recently either popped the trial balloon he was floating, or at least attempted to end speculation while Carson tests the waters.
The former African-American mayor of Dallas got trounced in his Senate race in 2002. But he was a popular figure in Republican Dallas and has had some crossover appeal. A good public speaker. An intriguing possibility.
I know very little about this former Detroit mayor.
I know even less about this former Denver mayor.
Villaraigosa is a former speaker of the California Assembly and failed Los Angeles mayoral candidate. He's an old school political machine type of politico. I want someone more innovative.
- Roy Barnes: The Southern wing seems to have their man in Brad Carson, should Harold Ickes fail or drop out.
- Inez Tenenbaum: See Roy Barnes.
- Mark Warner: Warner will (justifiably) receive a lot of pressure to run against Allen for Senate in 2006, or at least complete his only term as Governor. This pretty much puts him out of the running.
- Bill Clinton: Three words: not gonna happen. Anyway, why would he supposedly be backing someone else if he wanted the job? All he would need to win the job is to ask for it.
- Donna Brazille: Hotline claims she is out. Gore's people never achieved anywhere near the same level of prestige within the party as Clinton's people anyway.
- Leon Panetta He was mentioned at first, but I haven't heard anything about him since. With Ickes receiving so much attention, and with Panetta being Ickes boss at one time, it is hard to imagine that he is in play.
Update: Apparently, Vilsack might be interested after all. It is a qualified sort of interest that might merely be playing to Iowans. Keep your eyes open...