Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean?

Enough already. Really.

In today's issue of The Hill, Jonathan Kaplan takes a look at Democratic efforts to reach out to so-called "drop-off voters" -- those who vote in presidential years but tend not to during midterm elections. In the course of the article, Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Demcoratic Congressional Campaign Committee, could not restrain himself from making a direct jab at Howard Dean and the efforts at the Democratic National Committee.

"Did they [the DNC] waste a year and a half not targeting drop-off voters? Yes," Emanuel said, referring to voters who cast ballots in presidential years but not in off-year elections. But he said House Democratic candidates would be fine, because, "It's not like we have slouches over there ... they [the DCCC] know what they're doing."

Realizing that voter turnout could determine whether the Democrats control the House or spend another two years in the minority, Emanuel hired Michael Whouley and Jack Corrigan, longtime Democratic field operatives, to implement the DCCC's strategy. The committee has worked with 70 campaigns devising a field strategy; it is helping pay for field programs in several campaigns, said a senior Democratic aide.

Stacie Paxton, a DNC spokeswoman, said, "Unfortunately, the congressman is misinformed. We've been targeting drop-off voters for more than a year and we contacted three million drop-off voters this Saturday at the DNC's third national organizing day."

We are less than four weeks from election day. Is it really necessary to continue to wage the public intraparty battle up until the day voters go to the polls?

I understand the egos are large. I understand that there are real differences in opinion about strategy. I also understand that no one wants to be pegged as the scapegoat should the party fail to pick up the 15 seats in the House required to take control of the chamber. And I understand that the post-election storyline is already being formulated today. But, seriously, can't these guys just keep it together for another 27 days and refrain from tarring one another in the press? It really makes the Democratic Party seem like amateur hour. And, perhaps more importantly, it runs the risk of decreasing the excitement within the base -- which could seriously undercut the party's ability to get out the vote and thus win on November 7.

Tags: dccc, Democrats, DNC, Howard Dean, rahm emanuel (all tags)

Comments

52 Comments

Oh, Rahm

"It's not like we have slouches over there ... they [the DCCC] know what they're doing."

Yes, Rahm, your weekly mailings pleading for money still go in the trash. In a weak moment, I feel a tiny pang of guilt.

Then I read crap like this, and I forget all about you, the DCCC, and why I ever bothered to feel anything at all.

Thank you, ActBlue, netroots candidates, Eschaton, et al.

Oh, and Rahm? Fuck you.

-GFO

by GuyFromOhio 2006-10-11 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, Rahm

why can't these guys just keep it together for another 27 days and refrain from tarring one another in the press?

In all fairness, When has Dean publicly criticized Rahm, Chuck, or any other Democrat since his 2004 presidential campaign?

It certainly isn't fair to paint Dean with the same brush as they.

by Sitkah 2006-10-11 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, Rahm

Hehehe. I don't think the point of the post was to criticize Dean, but you are right; Dean isn't a part of this problem.

by msnook 2006-10-11 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, Rahm

Really? 2.4M to elect Congressionals...total? And Senator Clinton has done more than that....and I don't like Clinton.

Dean has a long term strategy in a short-term climate.

by BigDog 2006-10-11 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, Rahm

well, let's look long-term.  What if we do control the house for the next two years. Wouldn't you rather have organized precincts in all 50 states with precinct officers (who are neighbors) who can counteract the GOP spin on that boogeywoman Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the san francisco (read Gay) Libruls ruining our country?

Dean's strategy is good not just because it gives us a presence down the road. It allows us to defend against the absolutely ferocious attacks that will be waged over the next two years until 2008. And those attacks will be fended off by the people that have the most impact, our neighbors.

by adamterando 2006-10-11 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, Rahm

They don't have the Database capapcity nor the organizational skills to do that....and I say that as someone who interacts with one of their organizers on a very close basis. Not a chance.

by BigDog 2006-11-10 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, Rahm

If Democrats can't handle long and short term needs at the same time they might as well fold up the tent.

by Sitkah 2006-10-11 05:01PM | 0 recs
Send the DCCC an email

Send an email condemning this idiotic behavior and explain why you quit sending these people money:

http://www.dccc.org/action_center/contac t/

by Tboy 2006-10-11 10:41AM | 0 recs
Send the DCCC an email

Sent. Thank you for the link. I hope everyone else sends one, too.

by BingoL 2006-10-11 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Send the DCCC an email

Oh, and Singer: why not  update with the link?

by BingoL 2006-10-11 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Send the DCCC an email

thanks for the link.  i just sent a message saying, basically, (1) there is a time and a place for debate and dialogue about internal procedures, but in media interviews is NOT IT, (2) my donations will not be going through any Rahm-related entities unless/until he stops the backstabbing.  

by chiefscribe 2006-10-11 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Send the DCCC an email

Backstabbing?  Isn't this basically frontstabbing?

by mattfwood 2006-10-11 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Send the DCCC an email

Frontstabbing is what Democrats and Republicans do to each other, Backstabbling is what DCDems do to Democrats who aren't in their club.

by Sitkah 2006-10-11 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Send the DCCC an email

Sent...

"Your attack of Howard Dean and the DNC is one of the reasons that Dems are still in the minority.

It is also why I don't send your organization any money."

Thanks for the link.

by DrWolfy 2006-10-11 11:59AM | 0 recs
Rahm Still Trashing Howard

I bet Rahm's going to leave a flaming bag of dog poop for Howard on Halloween, too.  What an ass.

Thanks for the link.  I'm going to use it too.

by KimPossible 2006-10-11 10:52AM | 0 recs
Sauce for goose

Don't call him an ass.

by stevehigh 2006-10-11 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Sauce for goose

Don't call him an ass.

Just be glad he left off the "hole".

by Sitkah 2006-10-11 05:04PM | 0 recs
Leadership Anyone?

Pelosi, and to a lesser extent, Reid, need to sit Rahm down and get him to knock it off.  It's their job.  This abdication on their part does not bode well for what we can expect from them when we're in the majority.

Pelosi in particular needs to start demonstrating that she understands what it is she has stewardship of.  She's not just up there to win debate points, or even elections.  She and the other party leaders are responsible for the future of the oldest political party in the world.

by gas28man 2006-10-11 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Leadership Anyone?

Other way 'round.

Pelosi and Reid can't stop Rahm because of Hillary's tremendously meddlesome influence. The bottom line is that no one is really sure what the logic is...if the Dems don't retake Congress Rahm and Hillary are supposed to argue that Pelosi and Reid and ineffective as leadership...and if they do win they are supposed to argue they are ineffective as leadership.

Hillary's Grand Plan is to have Emmanuel be her speaker of the House in '09 when she is inaugarated. He's simply positioning himself to get that far. It's true that such a thought is news to many liberals and Democrats...but the fact is that Dean is already concerned about a front-loaded primary (i.e. Hillary having a ton of cash and winning the nomination so fast that no messages or themes are road-tested and we get beat again by some schumcuk Republican.)

by risenmessiah 2006-10-11 03:46PM | 0 recs
Clarification please

But, seriously, can't these guys just keep it together for another 27 days and refrain from tarring one another in the press?

I can't seem to remember Dean trashing the DCCC - please provide links.  It seems that all of the trash talk has come from Emanuel not Dean.

by Destiny 2006-10-11 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Emmanuel is precisely wrong.  In my state, the DNC's paid "50-state" organizers have been exactly targetting the drop-off voters--in conjunction with legislative campaigns and the governor--for the last year.  It's just that they've been talking to them person-to-person rather than blasting them with media.

Let's just assume that everything Rahm is saying is completely correct.... What would he ever accomplish for Democrats by whining about it in public?  It couldn't be more clear that these statements are motivated by his personal ambition over any strategic partisan concerns.  

You know, I think that Democrats--grassroots and operatives alike--can put up with a lot of ego and personality nonsense in general.  If Emanuel could just lower his tone a little, he could continue attacking his friends and nobody would even pay attention.  The idea of Emanuel leading the House Democrats next session is as laughable as the idea of Lindsay Graham leading the Senate Republicans.

by Patton 2006-10-11 11:58AM | 0 recs
Exactly, my state too...

there's been a big push to reach drop-off voters.

by northcountry 2006-10-11 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

while I agree with the public comments, Patton, and you know I hold you and your experience in high respect...I've dealt with some of the DNC 'organizers' and.....they needed to be sent back to school. More than one's a great person and fine elementary school organizer but can't take the bull by the horns when necessary and bang heads to get a better campaign or region going. It's a function of youth. Little pay=Little experience.

I've worked with TOO many campaigns, this cycle, for free since they'd had NO help with fundraising or classes, that had been left to die on the vine because they didn't fit a numeric model. And that's true of both DCCC and the DNC.

DCCC and DNC need to get it together. But it's my conviction that won't happen completely until we have a unified leader (ie: candidate or symbolic leader) that fosters a vision of hope and optimism for the future.

That person will also challenge the Party and the American people to be greater than they are today.

Then perhaps the insane bickering will stop as will the death-spiral of insisting on single-issue politics as the framework for decision making.

with respect...

by BigDog 2006-10-11 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Answer: Because he's an idiot.

Agreed that Pelosi as the de-facto leader of the party, should have a sit down with him to shape him up.

Or maybe even send the Big Dog after him.

by DrWolfy 2006-10-11 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

My first thought was doesn't Emanuel want to win? These statements are counter productive. I would think he could spend his time on more important things ... like taking back the House.

by misscee 2006-10-11 12:14PM | 0 recs
incentives

Well, if the Democrats still don't get the House, there will be pressure on Pelosi to give up the leader's post, which would make Rahm the front-runner for minority leader.  Even though he's really the one in charge of winning the elections.  

Talk about your corrupt, jacked-up accountability mechanisms.  Personally, Rahm is incentivized to lose the elections so that he has a shot at the minority leadership.  Great.

by Simplify 2006-10-11 01:26PM | 0 recs
my e-mail

Hey Rahm -- There are 27 days to go.  Can you lay off the "Dean sucks" bullshit in public for a month, you freaking egomaniac?  I have been a Democrat for all 55 of my years and you can kiss my ass on contributions to the DCCC ... until you get a grip that our party is supposed to STAND TOGETHER.

by tuffie 2006-10-11 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel ...

The "longtime Democratic field organizers" would be the people who have lost consistantly since 1994, right?

by rich kolker 2006-10-11 12:09PM | 0 recs
What you mean "seem"?

The contrast with the message discipline the Republicans reoutinely maintain is striking.  (Although they're having a little trouble with this Foley business.   That's because they have no good message.)

by jayackroyd 2006-10-11 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Still Trashing Howard Dean?
I sent this email to the DCCC:
It seems like the best thing that has happened for the Democratic Party is Howard Dean's 50-state strategy.
More candidates are running and the Democrats now have a chance to make a difference throughout the country.
I'm 63 years old and it's plain to me that this is making the positive difference for the party --
I'd like to see Rahm Emanuel acknowlege that publicly.  Dean is making a huge positive difference.
I am continually disappointed by the failed politics and the washed out values that have resulted from the marriage between the Washington power Democrats and the big money contributors and the corporations. That is the group that has --although perhaps unwittingly--destroyed the meaning in our politics -- and its usefulness to us citizens. Many of you are the guys who have sold us out.
I look particularly in vein for some real action from the power Democratic group in Washington to reform, to police our elections-- to keep the Republicans from disenfranchising us, and from stealing yet another election.  And what happened?  Absolutely nothing for a couple of years. As an election integrity advocate and a Democrat, I find that beyond shocking.  I think it is evidence of collusion to sell out the elections and to keep the Republicans in power.  I say that, because I think anyone can see how corrupted the electoral process has become.  WHY ISN'T IT THE DEMOCRATS BUSINESS TO FIX IT?
The fifty-state strategy gives us some hope, that with more Democratic infrastructure on the ground, we will be able to teach this next generation to do what Washington Dems neglected-- fix the election process, make it honest again.
I hope that Rahm Emanuel gets on board with the positive energy we are creating all across the country.
by syolles 2006-10-11 12:29PM | 0 recs
Still Trashing Howard Dean?

They're jockeying for position for who got what right...

by lutton 2006-10-11 12:31PM | 0 recs
For what it's worth, here's my e-mail message

Here's what I sent:

I saw Representative Emanuel quoted in a story in The Hill claiming that the DNC has wasted a year and a half by not targeting drop-off voters.  He explained, however, that everything will be okay because the DCCC "know what they're doing."

Unfortunately, it is clear that the DCCC does not know what it is doing.  As a DNC spokesperson explained in the same article:

"[T]he congressman is misinformed. We've been targeting drop-off voters for more than a year and we contacted three million drop-off voters this Saturday at the DNC's third national organizing day."

Will Rep. Emanuel continue attacking the DNC right through election day, or does he have plans to do something else equally as productive -- like, say, shooting himself in the foot, or throwing more of his fellow Democrats overboard?

This type of ridiculous intra-party squabbling is the reason that I give money directly to Democratic candidates rather than giving it to intermediaries like the DCCC.

Can you please send me a response explaining why I should continue to accept your solicitations and subscribe to your e-mail lists?  Or tell me if I make a contribution to the DCCC, what percentage of those funds are spent on opposition research againt Howard Dean?

by mattfwood 2006-10-11 12:33PM | 0 recs
you're being naive

The Hillary partisans are going to make a run to oust Dean as chairman whether we win 10 new seats or 100 new seats. This makes sense when you see the Clinton footsoldiers who are going to fall on their swords to make this happen (and they will pay a price) wind up in a hypothetical Clinton cabinet.

This has very little to do with strategy--Harold Ickes or whichever lesser Hillary sock puppet they stick in there will continue Dean's 50 state strategy, but gravely declaim that, "we're different because we know about managing budgets." It's just about making another cog to limit choices in the 2008 primaries, and they're fearful Dean would be a neutral arbiter.

by KevStar 2006-10-11 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: you're being naive

They're stupid if that's what they do, because if Dean's shaken out of the DNC position he's promised to stay in through the 2008 election, he's going to pop up to the top of the pool of contenders for President. Popular, outspoken and NOT Hillary.

I wonder how hard he'd actually fight to stay at the DNC if they come after him...

by darrelplant 2006-10-11 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: you're being naive
Please don't throw him into that briar patch!
by antiHyde 2006-10-11 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Here's my email:

I got another donation request from you guys today, the same day that I read that Rahm Emmanuel is badmouthing Dean and his party-building strategy again.  Jeezus, can't you people get it together and understand that petty sniping about OTHER DEMOCRATS is not in our interest at this point?  I live in a rural county that has NEVER had any interest from the Democratic Party in the past, and we are increasing our numbers, getting great local media attention, and building an excitement about Democratic politics that I've never seen around here before.

I know the DCCC loves targeted races and has never given a whit about non-urban Democrats, but we've all certainly experienced the outcome of these narrow-minded strategies in the past - losing, losing, losing.  Your strategies HAVE NOT WORKED.  Why the big opposition to trying something new?

Get a grip, save the intra-party strategy sniping for after the election, and stop making Democrats look like pissy amateurs.  I'll be sending my checks directly to candidates.

by travelerkaty 2006-10-11 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

He's my Congressman.  I just told him that he's turned my into a "drop-off" voter.  I won't vote for him as long as he continues to undermine the efforts to build a stronger party for the long term.  Of course, it's easier knowing he doesn't need my vote, but still.

by Seitz 2006-10-11 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean
Thank You! This man is toxic.
by antiHyde 2006-10-11 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

I've been calling drop off voters at Duckworth's campaign (IL-06) for weeks if not months now. I believe that strategy comes from the DCCC, but who knows and who cares? Might I remind people that wasting your time composing emails to the DCCC about how pissed you are for Emanual giving an interview is a time waster. Which is exactly the response Repubs are hoping for.

by markg8 2006-10-11 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean
Don't waste your time calling me. I'll never vote for anyone he endorses.
by antiHyde 2006-10-11 03:44PM | 0 recs
Who would we rather see as DCCC chair?

I've heard talk of a primary challenge to Emanuel. I think that'd be a little... erm.. rude? But I certainly wouldn't mind a new DCCC chair. Who would we want if we could have our pick?

by msnook 2006-10-11 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Who would we rather see as DCCC chair?
Rude? Why? He used DCCC money for primary challenges.
by antiHyde 2006-10-11 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Quit complaining and go make some phone calls, place some signs, and knock on some doors.  You think Rahm cares if he loses a 'drop off' voter or that the netroots do not approve of him?  As long as the money keeps on rolling in (and it has thanks to the Red to Blue Program), he could care less about being chummy with Howard Dean.  Frankly, if I had a choice between a Democratic majority Rahm's way and a minority where we all hold hands and work together, I'll take the former.

What Rahm Emanuel says and does has no effect on my volunteer work, nor has it registered at all with the people I talk to during phonebanking.  They don't know who he is, and they don't care.  All they want to know is whether the Dem candidate is going to help clean up the mess left by Bush, their Senator, and their Congressman.

We're 27 days from the election and we're talking about this?!  Lets get to work!

by Southern Blue Dog 2006-10-11 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

I will note that spending 5 minutes dropping a line to Rahm (while I am at work, mind you) is not in any way reducing the number of hours I am spending doorbelling, phonecalling, editing radio ads, writing and designing our local Democratic newsletter and writing letters to the editor for our candidates and issues.  

by travelerkaty 2006-10-11 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Rock on brother, but he doesn't care

by Southern Blue Dog 2006-10-11 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Let me clarify: Until the netroots start winning races that the DCCC ignored (Doolittle, Pombo, CO-5, Cubin, Hayes, etc.), Rahm Emanuel will only pay us lip service.  Wins in supposedly 'safe' districts are the only way the DCCC will start working in tandem with the DNC.

Thanks for the hard work and keep the faith.

by Southern Blue Dog 2006-10-11 01:32PM | 0 recs
my email to Rahm

You know, I just got another DCCC solicitation in the mail yesterday...and promptly threw it in the junk mail recycle bin.  That is where they will continue to go.  Maybe you'd ask why?

Because of b.s. like this:
"Did they [the DNC] waste a year and a half not targeting drop-off voters? Yes," Emanuel said, referring to voters who cast ballots in presidential years but not in off-year elections. But he said House Democratic candidates would be fine, because, "It's not like we have slouches over there ... they [the DCCC] know what they're doing."

What a bunch of whiny, petty, egotistical hooey that does nothing to support a Dem take of the House, but instead undermines the type of party unity that is critical to winning.  That...and trying to set up a scapegoat that is someone other than himself if statements like this actually help to steal defeat from the arms of victory...AGAIN!

I will continue to send my money to the people who are doing the hard work...the campaigns...through direct donations and ActBlue...oh yeah, and I just might even increase my Democracy Bond to the DNC!

by Heather in SFBay 2006-10-11 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

just sent this message to the dccc:

"this election is too f***ing important to waste one second of time pissing on other dems.

rahm, i live in your district. i've voted for you. (i've even shook your hand outside the treasure island on broadway.) you're really starting to piss me off.

by mellowjohn 2006-10-11 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Maybe we should have done a blogswarm on Rahm the way we did for Biden last year. Too late in the campaign season to do it now; but had we jammed his phone lines the first time he pulled this stunt I think he would have backed down.

by Alice Marshall 2006-10-11 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Sent an email a few months ago to Rahm chastising him for a lot of what has been posted above.

However, now I come to think the baiting and competition are not necessarily bad things. Goading the DNC to "do more better." Solidifying the "big-bad" Rahm.

These guys may never be arm-n-arm in public but you betcha if the house gets took the corks won't be aimed at each other.

by tytoalba 2006-10-11 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean

Pfft. The DCCC hasn't done shit for the last twelve years. Screw them and their overpriced consultants - we'll do it ourselves.

by Ghost of McGovern 2006-10-11 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean
I get all the basic Republican party-faithful emails just to stay informed.
I've been getting one or two a week to Get Out The Vote, or to Donate No Matter How Small, for a couple of months.
I haven't gotten anything from the (Washington headaquarters) Democrats.
by Neil in Chicago 2006-10-13 04:29AM | 0 recs

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