• comment on a post ASDC Chair Meeting over 9 years ago
    Matt,

    Please enlighted us on who you think will endorse Simon Rosenberg this week.

    What's going on with Rosenberg and the ASDC ... do they perceive Simon as too much inside the beltway and not enough outside the beltway in the states?

    Are you content to let Donnie Fowler do an early flameout?

    Simon is an inside the beltway guy ... who you going to get to come to your 1/31/05 fundraiser in DC?

    Answer the questions or I am going to keep coming at you.

    Democratic Dad

    Democratic Dad

  • Matt,

    Matt ...  Who 'Could'  Kerry Support  As DNC Chair?

    I reviously wrote:

    "Kerry ... like many of the Democratic Party faithful realize we need more of a Modernizer like Simon Rosenberg than a devisive Spokesman like Howard Dean."

    Democratic Dad

  • Kerry only said that Dean was qualified to be the DNC Chair ... However Kerry did not endorse Dean.

    Kerry says we don't need the DNC Chair to be a spokesperson (aka Dean) but a Modernizer (aka someone like Rosenberg)

    Read between the lines ... Kerry does not want Dean as DNC Chair .... and neither does inside the beltway Dems of any flavor.

  • I am a supporter of Simon Rosenberg.

    Rosenberg is a smart cookie is already courting African American DNC voters.

    As an example, Rosenberg did lunch this past Saturday in NYC with Al Sharpton.

    Also, Rosenberg has the stealth backing of Big Labor, Big Politicos for 2008 (Bayh, Kerry, H Clinton, etc)

    In other words ... Rosenberg knows how to build coalitions and he will win 2/12/05 and help us win in 2008.

    Democratic Dad

  • Matt, I really want to know what you think about why John Kerry did not endorse Howard Yeeeah Dean when Tim Russert asked the question today on Meet The press.

    Don't you think that Kerry is telegraphing you guys a message here?

  • Hey ... I was aking Matt (The Rosenberg Guy) to opine on this. Can you understand that?
  • Hey ... I was aking Matt (The Rosenberg Guy) to opine on this. Can you understand that?
  • comment on a post Executive Committee of the ASDC Picks Donnie over 9 years ago
    Matt,

    Who Cares What The ASDC, SpongeBob, Etc. Think?

    Sure ... in a way I do ... but the bigger question is who do you think John Kerry really would like to be DNC Chair.

    And since you work for Simon Rosenberg are on the inside ... let's be intelectually honest. Also, tell Simon to redouble his efforts ... he can win!

    Matt, I really want to know what you think about why John Kerry did not endorse Howard Yeeeah Dean when Tim Russert asked the question today on Meet The press.

    Democratic Dad believes John Kerry is not in favor of Howard Dean being the DNC Chair.

    See the actual words Kerry spoke today on NBC's Meet The Press.

    Kerry ... like many of the Democratic Party faithful realize we need more of a Modernizer like Simon Rosenberg than a devisive Spokesman like Howard Dean.

    Tim Russert Interview Excerpt With John Kerry From Sunday 1/30/05 NBC MEET THE PRESS Concerning DNC Chairman http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886726/

    **

    MR. RUSSERT:  During the campaign you said that Howard Dean did not have the credibility or judgment to be president.  Do you believe he has the credibility or judgment to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee?

    SEN. KERRY:  Sure, absolutely.

    MR. RUSSERT:  Do you support him?

    SEN. KERRY:  I think Howard Dean proved during this campaign that he was really a loyal and go-to person.  He campaigned his heart out for me.  He wanted us to win.  And I'm very grateful to him for that--as did every other member who's running, incidentally--every other person running for the chairmanship.  They worked hard.  They're capable people and I think any one of them would be able to lead our party and be helpful.

    And, you know, we're not looking for a spokesperson in the chairmanship.  I think if you talk to any of my colleagues or any people in the House or Senate or others, what we're looking for is somebody who's going to help the party modernize and do the things we need to do in order to be able to technically, organizationally, structurally be able to catch up to the Republicans.  We're behind.

    And I think that--you know, if you figure--I mean, Karl Rove really had six years to prepare for Election Day.  We in many ways had only a few months, notwithstanding the outstanding work that Terry McAuliffe did, but Terry McAuliffe was struggling uphill.  We didn't have a president, we didn't have a House, we didn't have a Senate.  He did an amazing job of raising money, getting voter lists, putting the committee in the best position possible.  But he'd be the first to tell you, we still have a distance to travel in order to catch up.  And I think whoever is chosen as our new chairman, we're going to have a united Democratic Party that is working overtime to put those pieces in place

    ***

    Kerry is being cryptic here:

    He says we don't need a SPOKESMAN (he's probably alluding to Dean here)

    He says we need a MODERNIZER (he's probably alluding to Rosenberg here ... or at the worst ABD .... anybody but Dean)

    Matt ... why don't you guys (Theo etc) go for the Gold and get Kerry / Clinton / Bayh etc. all on the same day endorse Rosenberg.

    Democratic Dad ... I only can father Democrats ... but I wouldlike to rear a few Republicans

  • on a comment on Lil' old me at the DNC over 9 years ago
    I believe John Kerry is not in favor of Howard Dean being the DNC Chair. See the actual words Kerry spoke today on NBC's Meet The Press.

    Kerry ... like many of the Democratic Party faithful realize we need more of a Modernizer like Simon Rosenberg than a devisive Spokesman like Howard Dean. What do others on Kos think?

    Tim Russert Interview Excerpt With John Kerry From Sunday 1/30/05 NBC MEET THE PRESS Concerning DNC Chairman

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886726/

    MR. RUSSERT:  During the campaign you said that Howard Dean did not have the credibility or judgment to be president.  Do you believe he has the credibility or judgment to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee?

    SEN. KERRY:  Sure, absolutely.

    MR. RUSSERT:  Do you support him?

  • comment on a post Oklahoma, Mississippi and Utah Endorse Dean over 9 years ago
    Dean? -- Rosenberg? -- Frost?
    OR
    Left? -- Center? -- Right?
    OR
    Liberal? -- Moderate / Pragmatic? -- Conservative?
    OR
    Extreme Democrat? -- Moderate / Independent? --Extreme Repunlican?
    OR
    Blue Minded -- Open Minded -- Red Minded
    OR
    The Simple Have's -- The Have's -- The Greedy Have's

    The DNC Chairman race has narrowed to three persons for DNC Chair and basically three sets of choices as shown above. It's that simple.

    The one central question the blogosphere and the 447 DNC Delegates should be asking at this time is: Who best can make us the MOST WHOLE PARTY and eventually the MOST WHOLE COUNTRY?

    Is it Howard Dean? I think not. The 2004 Primary Election Cycle shows that. He lost because he wanted TOO MUCH REFORM. The DEMOCRATIC AND INDEPENDENT voters did not buy into that and I do not thing the DNC Delegates will either. Howard Dean is more of a power consolidator than a power sharer. Being a power sharer is the true hallmark of a good leader. He will never unite the Centrists Democrats and the Conservative Democrats.

    Is it Martin Frost? I think not. He is TOO CONSERVATIVE AS A DEMOCRAT. Why in the heck did Martin Frost try to buddy up to George Bush and the Republicans in the last election he lost? That is unforgivable and shows his true character as a person and his lacl of loyalty to the Democratic Party. He will never unite the Centrists Democrats and the Liberal Democrats.

    Is it Simon Rosenberg? I think so. And while we love all fellow Democrats, Simon is the one guy who can bring all the parts of the party together. He, as Bill Clinton can attest to, knows that the smart strategy to win races is to lead from the middle. Call him a Centrist or New Democrat if you must. But he will be the uniter to make us a WHOLE PARTY and help bridge the gap in all fractions of our Party.

    If you to compare the whit/brainpower/strategic wisdom of Simon Rosenberg to somebody ... look no further than Barack Obama. Barack will be President one day for one simple reason ... his ability to make us a WHOLE PARTY and a WHOLE COUNTRY united for all of our common good.

    I am proud to have supported Barack Obama and I am proud to support Simon Rosenberg.

    You see my reasoning for supporting Simon ... let me hear from you why I should think otherwise.

    Democratic Dad

  • comment on a post My take on DNC Regional Caucus/Forum in St. Louis over 9 years ago
    My litmus test picks Simon Rosenberg as the best DNC Chair Candidate.

    I am glad you grasped some of the essence of my earlier post about Simon Rosenberg and am glad to continue this disscussion and hope to persuade you and others (specially DNC Delegates)that Simon Rosenberg is the best person for the DNC Chairman slot AND OUR PARTY.

    A strong DNC Chairman has to wear many different hats. The salesman hat is an important one ... but only one hat or skill that a DNC Chair Candidate must have.

    The DNC Chairman also has to put together a strong and winning USP - Unique Selling Proposition for the Democratic Party and the 2006 Democratic Senatorial Candidates and the 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate and the Democratic Governor races AND A HELL OF ALOT MORE! This is about WINNING RACES and PUTTING A NEW AND MODERN FACE ON THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

    A USP is a marketing concept ... but also a powerful political concept. Democratic Pollster s like Mark Penn (helped Bill Clinton win twice) understand it. Keen Political Strategists also understand it. Keen Elected Political Officeholders also understand it.

    So I think the DNC Chair should have both solid SALES and MARKETING skills. Not just a strong salesman, but more ...

    But more so a MARKETER. (Good marketers are usually good at sales, advertising, product management, marketing research, setting selling features/ benefits, repositioning/rebranding, extending and building the brand etc) THE DEMOCRATIC VALUES ARE A BRAND and Simon Rosenberg grasps that and know he has to build a machine to push it just like Karl Rove and the Republicans have done since 1994.

    In other words, the DNC Chairman must be pretty good at marketing like a VP of Marketing or CCO Chief Customer Officer is. An old USP is from MM candies (I use to work with the CEO!) "MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH -- NOT IN YOUR HANDS". The USP instills trust and I bet many of the bloggers here like MMs!

    Rosenberg knows marketing but I bet you will still see him hire a skilled CVO (Chief Voter Officer)who has both Traditional Marketing and Internet Marketing skills from Madison Ave. or a large Advertising Agency.

    This is a TV / Net message game to go after niches like marketers do. An example is: Independent / Housewife / Southern / MidIncome voters and non traditional voters. I think Rosenberg is smart enough to get a Presidential Candidate that has good female appeal - good values appeal that can knock the Republicans macho block off.

    The DNC Chairman also has to be a CFO (Chief Fundraiser / Financial Officer) skilled type person. Look for Rosenberg to bring that person to his team also. Somebody that can help the Dem Party raise 1/2 $BILLION PLUS for the 2008 Presidential Election Cycle. You are going to have to tap many differnet constituent groups to raise that money including: Businesses, Investment Bankers On Wall Street, PACS, UNIONS, Dem Activists and yes plain ole voters like Dean showed us how to do with Joe Trippi who is now on Simon Rosenberg's TEAM.

    In otherwords ... Simon Rosenberg has the tremendous skills of: strategic vision and a designer / builder of a strategic organization.

    I know Simon Rosenberg is light years head of Donnie Fowler as a Democratic ORGANIZER & LEADER. Donnie is more of a carpenter / mechanic type than a designer or leader. Donnie should fold his tent and endorse Rosenberg now. Donnie can always comeback later when he gets more seasoning.

    Simon knows this secret of leadership: to gain power you have to empower others on your TEAM. I don't think Donnie Fowler is a power sharer ... he is a power consolidator and will fail crucial leadership tests because he does't have the keys to the secrets of leadership.

    So there are my reasons for supporting Simon Rosenberg and how I look at the qualifications / skills / integrity that a DNC Chair and our party needs.

    The BlogSpace Community should support Simon Rosenberg and I know that others will come to the same conclusion as I have if they seriously look at what a DNC Chairman needs to be skilled in.

    Here's Rosenberg's site:  http://www.simonforchair.org/

    I don't feel like being sick as hell again like I was in November 2004 when Bush and Rove and the RNC beat our brains out.

    Go with Rosenberg ... he won't let out Ass get kicked by the Elephant.

    I think Democratic Dad makes a strong argument for Simon--and I think he is terrific. I hope that nothing in my post indicated otherwise. I went into the caucus with a pretty open mind, I think. I was more impressed by Dean than I thought I would be--after all, I did NOT support him in the last election. I continue to have concerns about how well he will play in places like Kansas--but I also see a big potential upside in terms of the public face and excitement he might generate. And a big potential downside, too, I suppose. I really haven't made up my mind on that--I just know he would be light years better than the Roemer/Webb/Frost insider status quo approach.
    My ONE concern with Simon vis a vis Donnie is that "public face" aspect of the job. Especially now, I think the chair is likely (or needs to be) the public face of the party, and I think Fowler MAY be more compelling in that regard.  But I also think Rosenberg has a great vision (and great practical experience) for party building.  I think the car designer/car mechanic analogy is a well turned phrase, but I wonder if the role of DNC chair might not be one where you also need a strong car SALESMAN in the public eye? Is that Rosenberg? or Fowler? or Dean?  I think it comes down to what we think the most important role of the DNC chair is--and frankly, I am not sure of that yet. I just know we need a change from the way we have been doing things--and these three all offer that, I do believe.

  • comment on a post My take on DNC Regional Caucus/Forum in St. Louis over 9 years ago
    Fantastic post by Radiobob!

    I think Radiobob has got it right ... but only partially when he says: "... Having said all that, I would be thrilled with Dean, Rosenberg or Fowler ..."

    I suggest that Radiobob and fellow bloggers take a closer look at Simon Rosenberg and back him vs Dean, Fowlers, others.

    Simon Rosenberg is the person WHO CAN HELP THE PARTY RAISE 1/2 $BILLION for 2008 Race. Rosenberg is the person who can lead the rebuilding of our party at the national, state, and local levels.

    He's that person who can help position QUALITY / WINNABLE Dem Candidates for President in 2008 like Evan Bayh of IN.

    I don't think Donnie Fowler has the talent or skills to do that and the Deaniacs certainly ain't going to do that big of fundraising at $10 a clip. Rosenberg is a Car Designer while Fowler is a Car Mechanic. Donnie should do the right thing for the party now and go in with Rosenberg. Rosenberg can then appoint Donnie to lead what he is best at GOTV and Field Campaigning.

    Joe Trippi (ex Dean Campaign Manager) went with Simon Rosenberg last week. Here's what he says about Rosenberg below and at  http://www.simonforchair.org/endorsements/endorsements_full_list.html#Joe_Trippi

    "If our party is to win in the 21st century, we have to have a strategist who knows how to practice 21st century politics.  That means expanding participation, embracing technology, and building an apparatus that can counter the Republican machine.  Simon Rosenberg was among the first in politics to acknowledge the power of the movement we built with Dean for America  and he wasn't afraid to speak up about how we were fundamentally changing politics.  He knows that in the age of the Internet, our politics must be interactive and participatory to engage citizens.  He knows the Internet is not just an ATM for candidates and parties, but a tool for bringing in millions of Americans who want to be a part of the political process.  For Simon, building a new progressive politics for our time is not just lip service, it is a passion backed up by his record.  I'm backing Simon for chair because I know I can work with him to help build a modern, winning Democratic party."

    Well, Dean ain't going to happen. The vast majority of the DNC Delegates are non Deaniacs and would never vote for him. They know if Dean gets in that 2008 will bring along another Republican Presidential Term UNTIL 2012 ... God forbid!

    Tim Roemer is not going to be there either. Radiobob says Roemer has the "wrong way".  See the article below by James Wensits of the South Bend Tribune as another source on Roemer.

    *********

    Roemer strategy could work -- if he gets chance, bigger bus. His platform includes addressing abortion issue.

    ANALYSIS

    By JAMES WENSITS 1/17/05
    South Bend Tribune Political Writer

    Tim Roemer believes the way to future Democratic victories is to steer the party's bus right down the middle, neither farther to the right nor farther to the left.

    It is a strategy that the moderate Democrat from South Bend employed with success in six congressional campaigns.

    And it just might work, if Roemer gets a chance to try.

    Whether he will actually end up with that chance is a big IF, especially given the reaction so far to Roemer's candidacy.

    When Roemer declared his candidacy for chairman of the Democratic National Committee last weekend, his forum was the "This Week" national television program hosted by George Stephanopoulous.

    His message was that the party needs to have a "bigger bus," that is, be more inclusive, if it is to have a shot at winning back the White House.

    Among items Roemer hopes to pack aboard that bus is a discussion regarding both sides of the abortion issue.

    Roemer is a Catholic who personally opposes abortion. The party he hopes to lead is overwhelmingly pro-choice.

    "I respect that," Roemer said on the television program, adding that he also believes Democrats need to talk about the issue.

    Roemer's personal views on abortion have the potential to short-circuit his candidacy and override any other ideas he might bring to the table.

    Newspapers around the country carried the Associated Press story of Roemer's announcement, which led with the prediction that Roemer's candidacy will "spark a heated debate about the abortion issue."

    It went on to say that, "Roemer, a Catholic who opposes abortion, wants to lead a party whose platform supports abortion rights."

    Kate Michelman, a leading pro-choice advocate, was quoted by the AP as saying that "the election of such a staunchly anti-choice leader would signal that the Democratic Party is retreating from one of its core principles."

    The AP also quoted Phil Johnston, chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, as saying, "It would be extremely foolish if the DNC were to be led by a chair who agrees with the Bush administration's position on abortion."

    Abortion is undeniably an important issue to many Americans, but if Roemer is unable to lay to rest fears that he would try to impose his own views on the party as a whole, he probably won't get the chance to go on to other issues.

    Roemer knows that abortion is a major issue with a large number of Americans, and one in which there can be little compromise from either side.

    He is also astute enough to know that other issues need to be part of the national debate, including the war in Iraq, the economy, the federal budget deficit, proposed changes in Social Security and many others.

    Those problems were all problems during the last presidential election, but somehow the issue that kept rising to the fore was yet another hot button, the debate on gay marriage.

    The gay marriage question became the classic wedge issue in a campaign that should have been about everything but.

    Obviously, that issue wasn't the only reason George Bush won and John Kerry lost, but the fact that Democrats let gay marriage become such a key get-out-the-vote measure indicated that they had a serious lack in the strategy department.

    Going further to the left is not a strategy likely to ring up more blue states, nor is moving more to the right.

    That's why Roemer wants to go right up the middle and reach out to as many people as possible.

    It is an approach that stood him in good stead during his six campaigns for Congress, an approach he learned growing up in a state that reflects the values of middle America.

    "You always have Indiana in you," Roemer said of his upbringing. "I was born and raised in Indiana. Indiana is what I am."

    Roemer faces stiff competition in his bid to replace outgoing chairman Terry McAuliffe.

    Among the best known are former presidential candidate and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, former Denver mayor Wellington Webb and former Texas congressman Martin Frost.

    Former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard had been mentioned as a possible candidate, but has reportedly pulled out.

    The vote will be Feb. 12 in Washington, D.C.

  • comment on a post More on that Jan Poll of the DNC Members over 9 years ago
    Posted on Sun, Jan. 16, 2005  

    Sylvia Smith (reporter)

    Does Roemer have a chance with DNC?

    WASHINGTON - Democrats have to pick a strategy and do it quickly.

    The 400-some members of the Democratic National Committee will meet in Washington early next month to select a chairman from among seven announced candidates, including former Hoosier congressman Tim Roemer.

    The key decision the committee members need to make is whether they want the DNC chairman to function as a shadow president, articulating the party's position on a host of issues President Bush will push or resist in the next few years.

    Or do they want a guy (it's only men in contention at this point) who is skilled at the mechanics of running a party: the fund raising, the technologies?

    These aren't mutually exclusive talents, of course, but it's the rare person who is brilliant - or even skilled - at both. No one has made the case that Roemer or any of the other top-tier candidates is that unusual blend of policy-articulator, prolific fund raiser, technological geek and loyalty-inspiring manager.

    Roemer left Congress in 2002, he said at the time, because he wanted to devote more time to his young family of four children under 8. The fact that a fierce Republican competitor, who had held Roemer to 52 percent of the vote in his South Bend district in the 2000 race, was planning to challenge Roemer again surely didn't influence his decision. Yeah, right.

    Roemer's re-election in 2002 would not have been a sure thing in part because Roemer was never fond of aggressive fund raising. He raised enough to win his races, but not enough to scare off potential challenges. So when millionaire Republican Chris Chocola decided he'd like to be a congressman, Roemer did not appear invincible.

    That less than wholehearted interest in asking people for money is not a characteristic you'd think would be cherished in the chairman of the DNC. The party did a bang-up job of raising money in the 2004 presidential race, and the shift to online fund raising has somewhat replaced the hat-in-hand variety.

    Nevertheless, although the emphasis on personal fund raising by the DNC chairman may be somewhat muted, now is not the time to backslide.

    Although John Kerry lost the 2004 race, the Democratic Party had some real successes in raising money, both as a party and within the 527 organizations, and in getting out the vote. In each case, taking advantage of the Internet culture helped the Democrats' success. The next chairman must not just tread water in those areas. The party may not need a technogeek to head it; those sorts can be hired. But the leader must have a vision and thorough understanding of the potential of the arena. If this is Roemer's forte, it's a newly acquired one.

    Part and parcel with money raising is traveling. A party chairman is on the road constantly. Roemer's children are only a few years older than when he said he needed to be around more and that the life of a congressman was incompatible with his desire to "be a T-ball coach" and be more involved with his young'uns.

    Another reason Roemer gave for leaving Capitol Hill was the "atmosphere of partisan rancor and bickering." He was active in creating a centrist coalition, bipartisan group in the House of moderate Ds and Rs who said there were some areas (such as education) that they could work on together. A party chairman is, by definition, not someone whose modus operandi relies on reaching across the aisle.

    Where Roemer might excel in the nuts and bolts of being party chairman is candidate recruitment. He is evidence that the Democratic Party has room for anti-abortion, pro-trade, tax-cutting candidates. If you subscribe to the theory that the Democratic Party is doomed unless their candidates come from the more conservative wing of the party, you might conclude that Roemer would be a good image to project. But not everyone in the party agrees with that approach.

    But I suspect the appeal of being DNC chairman, for Roemer, is the idea that he could be a player on national policy. While having a single voice and a single leader might make the Democrats a stronger foil for Bush until a 2008 nominee emerges, it ain't going to happen.

    If Roemer is chairman and Howard Dean is not, will that make Dean shut up when he disagrees with Roemer's view? Will Hillary Clinton or Ted Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi take their cues from the DNC chairman, whoever he is? Hardly.

    Roemer has already demonstrated why the DNC chairman should not be a policy setter. His anti-abortion views make for excellent big-tent chatter, but the fact remains that Roemer will hit a firewall of women's groups who think his would be the wrong face to put on the national party. If he puts forth the argument that his high-profile 9/11 Commission work helps make the case that the Democratic Party is just as strong on national security as the GOP, then he has to accept that his anti-abortion views would also be a reflection on the party if he were its chairman.

    The head of any national party needs to be a great political strategist. Roemer is telling folks that one of his credentials is that he won six congressional races as a Democrat in a Republican state. Roemer won in 10 percent of Indiana; he never ran statewide. So to say he knows how to turn a red state blue isn't a claim any of the 447 Democratic National Committee members is likely to put much stock in.

    Surely all the other candidates for the DNC chairmanship - Dean, Rep. Martin Frost and Simon Rosenberg are the other front-runners - have flaws. There is no ideal candidate, and a column picking apart Roemer just because I know him better than the others does not negate the good qualities he has to offer his party.

    But the questions remain, and as the Democratic National Committee members evaluate the candidates, no doubt they'll be asking them.

  • on a comment on Midwest DNC meeting over 9 years ago
    My fellow Bloggers ... Roemer ain't happening.

    Here's what a 31 year vet of news reporting in Indiana has to say about local Native Tim Roemer who is running for DNC Chairman. I would rather listen with someone of her exp. and skills than some idle twit blogger.

    She looks at things objectively .... and for her and fellow Hoosiers she says no for Roemer at the DNC.

    I only wish reporters with similar skills in Texas would report on Martin Frost .... is he a yes or no for DNC Chairman? IMO ... Frost is a no as is the shallow Donnie Fowler.

    Dean ... is the worst choice of the lot. He didn't get the Dem nomination because he has character flaws and non-supportive wife. He would bring more polarizing views to himself versus the Democratic Party.

    It appears that Simon Rosenberg is the best qualified. I suggest you Google him and see for yourself.

    ****

    Posted on Sun, Jan. 16, 2005  

    Sylvia Smith The Journal Gazette

    Does Roemer have a chance with DNC?

    WASHINGTON - Democrats have to pick a strategy and do it quickly.

    The 400-some members of the Democratic National Committee will meet in Washington early next month to select a chairman from among seven announced candidates, including former Hoosier congressman Tim Roemer.

    The key decision the committee members need to make is whether they want the DNC chairman to function as a shadow president, articulating the party's position on a host of issues President Bush will push or resist in the next few years.

    Or do they want a guy (it's only men in contention at this point) who is skilled at the mechanics of running a party: the fund raising, the technologies?

    These aren't mutually exclusive talents, of course, but it's the rare person who is brilliant - or even skilled - at both. No one has made the case that Roemer or any of the other top-tier candidates is that unusual blend of policy-articulator, prolific fund raiser, technological geek and loyalty-inspiring manager.

    Roemer left Congress in 2002, he said at the time, because he wanted to devote more time to his young family of four children under 8. The fact that a fierce Republican competitor, who had held Roemer to 52 percent of the vote in his South Bend district in the 2000 race, was planning to challenge Roemer again surely didn't influence his decision. Yeah, right.

    Roemer's re-election in 2002 would not have been a sure thing in part because Roemer was never fond of aggressive fund raising. He raised enough to win his races, but not enough to scare off potential challenges. So when millionaire Republican Chris Chocola decided he'd like to be a congressman, Roemer did not appear invincible.

    That less than wholehearted interest in asking people for money is not a characteristic you'd think would be cherished in the chairman of the DNC. The party did a bang-up job of raising money in the 2004 presidential race, and the shift to online fund raising has somewhat replaced the hat-in-hand variety.

    Nevertheless, although the emphasis on personal fund raising by the DNC chairman may be somewhat muted, now is not the time to backslide.

    Although John Kerry lost the 2004 race, the Democratic Party had some real successes in raising money, both as a party and within the 527 organizations, and in getting out the vote. In each case, taking advantage of the Internet culture helped the Democrats' success. The next chairman must not just tread water in those areas. The party may not need a technogeek to head it; those sorts can be hired. But the leader must have a vision and thorough understanding of the potential of the arena. If this is Roemer's forte, it's a newly acquired one.

    Part and parcel with money raising is traveling. A party chairman is on the road constantly. Roemer's children are only a few years older than when he said he needed to be around more and that the life of a congressman was incompatible with his desire to "be a T-ball coach" and be more involved with his young'uns.

    Another reason Roemer gave for leaving Capitol Hill was the "atmosphere of partisan rancor and bickering." He was active in creating a centrist coalition, bipartisan group in the House of moderate Ds and Rs who said there were some areas (such as education) that they could work on together. A party chairman is, by definition, not someone whose modus operandi relies on reaching across the aisle.

    Where Roemer might excel in the nuts and bolts of being party chairman is candidate recruitment. He is evidence that the Democratic Party has room for anti-abortion, pro-trade, tax-cutting candidates. If you subscribe to the theory that the Democratic Party is doomed unless their candidates come from the more conservative wing of the party, you might conclude that Roemer would be a good image to project. But not everyone in the party agrees with that approach.

    But I suspect the appeal of being DNC chairman, for Roemer, is the idea that he could be a player on national policy. While having a single voice and a single leader might make the Democrats a stronger foil for Bush until a 2008 nominee emerges, it ain't going to happen.

    If Roemer is chairman and Howard Dean is not, will that make Dean shut up when he disagrees with Roemer's view? Will Hillary Clinton or Ted Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi take their cues from the DNC chairman, whoever he is? Hardly.

    Roemer has already demonstrated why the DNC chairman should not be a policy setter. His anti-abortion views make for excellent big-tent chatter, but the fact remains that Roemer will hit a firewall of women's groups who think his would be the wrong face to put on the national party. If he puts forth the argument that his high-profile 9/11 Commission work helps make the case that the Democratic Party is just as strong on national security as the GOP, then he has to accept that his anti-abortion views would also be a reflection on the party if he were its chairman.

    The head of any national party needs to be a great political strategist. Roemer is telling folks that one of his credentials is that he won six congressional races as a Democrat in a Republican state. Roemer won in 10 percent of Indiana; he never ran statewide. So to say he knows how to turn a red state blue isn't a claim any of the 447 Democratic National Committee members is likely to put much stock in.

    Surely all the other candidates for the DNC chairmanship - Dean, Rep. Martin Frost and Simon Rosenberg are the other front-runners - have flaws. There is no ideal candidate, and a column picking apart Roemer just because I know him better than the others does not negate the good qualities he has to offer his party.

    But the questions remain, and as the Democratic National Committee members evaluate the candidates, no doubt they'll be asking them.

  • comment on a post Midwest DNC meeting over 9 years ago
    I am from Texas and Martin Frost is a good person but not the right leader for the DNC. So there I agree with Joyce. I also think Donnie Fowler is a No-No and that Roemer should fold his tent asap.

    Democrats wrote off Texas this election. In my opinion this was a mistake.

    Looking back on the Democrats in Texas, they laid down while Tom Delay came in and redrew the districts to insure that the GOP would have control of Texas.

    During the 2004 election, Democrats were left to run their own campaigns with NO HELP from the DNC.

    The Democrats in Texas have been split into different camps ever since Betty Denton ran against David Sibley for State Senate. Out of pure dislike for Betty Denton Democrats in Texas brought in a young man from Waxahachie to run against Betty Denton which resulted in a run off between Denton and Sibley. Sibley won and the party began to splinter off into small groups, all of which have their own agenda. When questioned as to why these Democrats were acting this way their only response was their personal dislike for Betty Denton.

    Thanks to this group the Democrats lost that seat. All over personal views and that is unacceptable.

    When Democrats refuse to support the state ticket in a national election it is time for new leadership of the party.

    Martin Frost was taken down by Delay's redistricting. Where were the Democrats, like Martin Frost when this was taking place?

    Instead of hiding in a hotel room out of state they should have taken off on a bus tour holding town hall meetings all over the state to educate the people about redistricting. Martin failed here. He is not a strategic thinker.

    If the voters had really understood the issues I feel we could have shut out Delay.

    Instead our Democratic Legislature Members were lead to Oklahoma and New Mexico to avoid the vote on redistricting. A cheap media trick, which came back to bite them in the 2004 Election. What a stupid move. And yes, Martin Frost was there.

    When the people understand the issues they will react. We live in Frederisckburg, Texas and our U.S. Senators office is in Midland.

    How can the people get the support they need when their representatives are spread out so far.

    These Democrats like Frost let Tom Delay have his way and most of those Democrats were shut out in the 2004 Election, including Martin Frost.

    We as Grassroot and Loyal Democrats need to decide on a DNC Chairman Candidate and then lobby like hell our State & Local DNC Members who will vote in Feb 2005.

    We need to put all of our support behind the ONE candidate we thank can be best for us as Loyal Democrats, leave our own agendas at the door and work as hard as we can to to help win in February.

    The only way to rebuild our party is to have a new voice, if these so called Democrats who refuse to help fellow Democrats during an election do not want to play ball then let them go off and do their own thing.

    But, I have personally witnessed in Texas Democrats who have purposely shut out candidates because they were not part of their "click".

    Hey, we have allowed this to happen, we are all responsible and we need change.

    Martin Frost is unable to fight the GOP. We must regroup and get back on track.

    I have carefully looked at all the DNC Candidates and for me the best choice for the Dem Party and our fellow Democratic neighbors is Simon Rosenberg.

    That's where I think we should put our money.

    http://www.simonforchair.org/

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