Why is Rahm Emanuel Still Trashing Howard Dean?
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 10:21:33 AM EDT
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.