The Case for Frost

[Disclaimer: I posted this on dKos last night, but some people over here had also been pressing for an argument FOR Frost (rather than against someone else) so I thought I would repost it here...the link to the dKos diary is here].

So you want the case for Frost:

Here is a man who shares our core Democratic values*, understands how to organize and win*, and is a phenomenal fundraiser**.  And as a REFORMER, Martin Frost is the ONLY individual in this race with a record of taking the reigns of a moribund political operation (the post-1994 elections DCCC), turning it on its head, and guiding it to clear and decisive victories over the course of two election cycles.

There's more...

Dean: Drag on Dems???

Someone sent me some data today suggesting Howard Dean is a drag on Democratic candidates.  I am not sure if that can be proven from the data, but it does surprise me that in his home state of Vermont he had a history of running behind other Democrats.  

Regardless, does this suggest Dean as the party leader will be a good thing for Democrats running in Vermont or New York?  Or how about Texas and Florida?  Just something to think about.

Numbers:

1998 Leahy---72%
         Dean---55%

2000 Gore-------51%
         Dean------50%

DEAN: Something to think about

Howard Dean inspired me.  He was the first candidate I EVER opened my checkbook to.  I couldn't give much, but he made me feel like I was part of a movement, and he helped engage me in the process (or at least in different parts of the political process) than I had been before.

That said, I cannot support him for DNC chair, and as much as the vast majority of those on this blog admire and respect this man, I think it is important that a few things are kept in mind.

Howard Dean is a polarizing figure.  His name alone invkes rage on the part of conservatives.  I like that, because I tend to enjoy angering that group.

However, this visceral reaction many conservatives have to him is shared by independant voters, those our party will have to convert in 2006 and 2008 should we hope to win seats in Congress and, hopefully, the White House.  The fact, then, that our titular leader would be found anathema by not only many Dems (a fact which cannot be disputed based on the "LAST CHOICE FOR CHAIRMAN" question asked by the Hotline poll) but also swing voters leads me to question whether Dean can lead us to victory over the next four years.  Though I understand he is the unabashed leader and voice of the progressive movement, I am of the belief that a moderate VOICE pushing a progressive AGENDA will win far more acceptance among the electorate.

Futhermore, I question his managerial skills.  First, I am offended by people who say that without Dean they will abandon their activism.  Dean inspired people, but his absence should in no way deter you from fighting to restore a Democratic majority.  Ultimately the party is not about a person; it is about ideas.  What we all need is someone willing and, perhaps more importantly, able and adept at channeling these ideas into action.  What we need is a fighter...and a winner.

And this, the ultimate goal, mission, and job of the next DNC Chair must be placed in the hands of a savvy, skilled, tenacious political hand.  The fact of the matter is, Howard Dean spent $50 million and whittled away the biggest lead in the history of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.  Where did this money go?  How was it spent?  Why did he not get any results?  The DNC Chair must be accountable to the party's donors, and based on his record Howard Dean was too far removed from the process to really know what was going on.  

We can't afford such a malady again.

The DNC Odd Couple

I think I am one of the few people here that thinks the DNC Chair's political ideology matters far less than his organization savvy and tenacity.

Let's be honest, with the exception of Roemer these are ALL good Democrats.  

But they are not all good for the job.  I think the DNC has two options in the race: Howard Dean and Martin Frost.

Each of these men combine real political skill with a fighter's heart.  And though I am not convinced prowess on a Sunday morning talkshow should be a vital part of the DNC members' decision, not only CAN these take on Ken Mehlman but these two will--and with gusto.

But I think the truest mesure of these two men is each of their respective records:

Howard Dean ran one of the most significant campaigns of the last 50 years--only JFK's 1960 run measures up in terms of ingeniuty.  I have every belief if he is elected he will bring similar dynamism to the party.

Martin Frost ran one of the bravest campaigns of the last 50 years, staring down Tom DeLay and Karl Rove and the rest of their thugs.  He has a proven record of running smart campaigns, surrounding himself with superb staff, raising huge sums of money, and taking on the hardest of fights.

And unlike Fowler and Rosenberg these men understand how politics works outside of DC.

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