LA TIMES UPDATE: MoveOn.org Joining DNC Chair Battle

Update [2005-1-26 7:56:1 by Fiat Lux]: Ron Brownstein gets the MoveOn scoop in this LA Times piece that explains MoveOn's plan for "state-by-state endorsements from its nearly 3 million members."

Firmly planting its flag in the race as a prime mover to ramp up public interest and turn up the heat on the DNC, MoveOn is taking indirect democracy to a new level.

MoveOn's political action committee will ask its members to suggest questions for the candidates in the DNC race. Within a few days, it expects to forward the most commonly requested questions to the candidates. After posting the answers on its website, the group will ask its members in each state to vote on their preference for the party chairperson. Then it will send the results to the DNC members.
If you think MoveOn's involvement is a net positive in influencing DNC members (if not the mainstream media), then this obviously helps Howard Dean. But MoveOn's plans may pale in comparison to the other news mentioned in this article. And, if what Jerome surmises is true, this development could help put Dean over the top:
Another key party group is also planning to jump into the DNC race with a high-profile endorsement. A group of about two-thirds of the state party chairs plans to endorse a single candidate Sunday after meeting with the contenders in New York City, said California Democratic Chairman Art Torres.
More on the flip...
The original post follows...

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From a Washington Post article ("Prominent Black DNC Members Back Dean for Chair"):

In another development, MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group, announced plans to get involved in the race for DNC chair. The involvement of the group, which mounted an active Internet and grassroots effort during the presidential campaign, initially would seem to help Dean -- with the organization calling for election of a chair who will express "strong opposition to Republican extremism" -- though it also could help build opposition from the moderate wing of the party.

The battle has been joined. I don't think MoveOn would be getting involved if it didn't think Howard Dean needed a left flank.

Good move? Bad move?

For MoveOn? For Dean? For the Party?

What say you?

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Comments

24 Comments

Not to mention that those endorsements...
... from "prominent" black DNC members can't be ignored, especially with Wellington Webb in the race.
by Fiat Lux 2005-01-25 12:17PM | 0 recs
You mised the biggest endorsements
Joe Cari, Bob Farmer and former DNC chairs Wilhelm and Grossman backing Dean means far more to party insiders, who are the ones that vote for chair, than anything MoveOn can do.  Really there's not much MoveOn can do, this election is going to be won by personal contact, which means either Dean or his high profile endorsers calling DNC members they know.  If MoveOn attempts to contact DNC members they don't have relationships with, it will most likely only annoy them.
by AnotherUnemployedDNCStaffer 2005-01-25 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: You mised the biggest endorsements
Didn't miss them at all. Just thought this was an interesting development worth discussing.
by Fiat Lux 2005-01-25 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: You mised the biggest endorsements
I think that MoveOn knows that blasting the DNC Members would be counter-productive. I look for them to pressure the House and Senate members to get behind Dean or stay aside as the things in motion take place, or some other pressure tactic; like a pledge for financial support to the DNC if Dean wins the DNC Chair-- yea, that's the ticket, I'd spot $100.

Besides, as you point out, Dean is already inside the citidal, and has been given keys, now he just needs to have the forces come in behind him to corner off any opposition, before taking hold of the crown, as Terry gets out the back door before the mob hits the town.  

The visualization sorta reminds me of when Jackson became President (yea, I love the comparison, to hell with the detractors), and after the inaugural, the middle class rebels stormed the White House for a huge party.  It would have been better if it was the White House for Dean, but at this point, the DNC is what's needed to be onboard the reform.

by Jerome Armstrong 2005-01-25 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: You mised the biggest endorsements
I think that MoveOn knows that blasting the DNC Members would be counter-productive.

No, they don't.  

by CentrismIsForLosers 2005-01-26 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: You mised the biggest endorsements
Yeah, that's the problem. MoveOn has a severe lack of media savvy.
by owillis 2005-01-26 05:33AM | 0 recs
Outstanding!
I think Move On may be more influential than the Democratic party soon. If nothing else they may be able to compel the Democratic party to take some sort of a stand on at least a few core issues. Move On looks like the political organization that can vocalize the grassroots message and move it into the media spotlight. Finally, a voice for the common man ...  er, ah woman ... ok, person.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-01-25 12:28PM | 0 recs
if it's not Dean...
I'm leaving the party.
by CentrismIsForLosers 2005-01-25 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: if it's not Dean...
There's no reason to leave the party if Dean loses. In fact, this is a WIN/WIN for Dean Dems. It only strengthens the movement for reform and the 2008 presidential election becomes the ultimate battle. Stick with him until then and then make a decision.

Here's what I wrote in another thread, projecting ahead should Dean lose:


  1. 2005: Dean loses DNC Chairmanship, but as he did after Iowa, keeps DFA going as a force for socially progressive, fiscally responsible candidates across the country. And his supporters stick with him, because their loyalty is non-negotiable.

  2. 2006: DFA is credited for contributing to several congressional victories and Dean... sets his sights on a presidential campaign.

  3. 2006-2008: DFA, now holding significant power within the party but ostensibly working outside of it,  mounts a smart and savvy insurgent campaign that rolls to the 2008 nomination amidst the wreckage of Dem candidates who voted for the quagmire in Iraq (30% support of Americans) and Bush's tax cuts now blamed for a two-year recession.

#1 and #2 are very likely to happen with #3 depending on a variety of factors far too volatile to predict.

Bottom line: DFA is alive and well, no matter what. And your support is important to it.

The DNC? They're the ones who will take a hit if they derail Dean.

You can leave the party, but don't leave Dean. He'll need you back in 2008.

by Fiat Lux 2005-01-25 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: if it's not Dean...
Interesting analysis Fiat Lux. If the DLC blocks Dean from becoming DNC Chair he becomes the number one contender for Democratic Presidential nominee. hmmmmm.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-01-25 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: if it's not Dean...
Why even be in a party anyway? It's nice to be able to vote in everybody's primaries.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-25 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: if it's not Dean...
Good.  Take your ball and go home.  We don't need babies like you in the party.  
by mattgabe 2005-01-26 03:37AM | 0 recs
Member of MoveOn
I am a proud member of MoveOn.  I give money to them quarterly and anytime they ask me to contact someone with my opinion, I do it.  We are force in the Democratic Party.

The Repubs are scare of us.  How do I know?  Because they spend so much time trying to reframe us as crazies.

by SRconbio 2005-01-25 06:27PM | 0 recs
Rosenberg ABD?
One reason that MoveOn may have decided to jump in to the race is to stop the ABD movement (again).  Here's a blogoshpere pretender and DNC chair candidate that is on the attack (Rosenberg) ...

Old Woes Surface as Dean Seeks Dem Chairmanship
By E.J. Kessler  /  January 25, 2005
Forward Magazine

As the Democratic National Committee gets set to pick a new chairman, the party is experiencing déjà vu all over again ...

Once again, Dean's critics tend to come from the centrist, Bill Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ... Once again, those critics are trying to torpedo Dean's candidacy by highlighting some comments that Dean made during the primaries about Israel and national security ...

"The prospect of Howard Dean's chairmanship must have folks at the Republican Jewish Coalition licking their chops," said Kenneth Baer, a Democratic strategist who is supporting Rosenberg. While acknowledging that Dean's campaign brought many innovative fund-raising and organizing techniques into the party, Baer contends that Dean's statements on Israel and "the other crazy statements he's made... should be a disqualifier."

"He's just flat-out wrong on foreign policy," Baer said. "The pro-Israel community would be very worried if Dean became DNC chair and the Republicans would exploit it."

Consultant Dan Gerstein, another Rosenberg supporter who worked for Lieberman, echoed Baer's comments.  "We're in a real hole regarding national security," he said of the Democrats. "The last thing you want to do is keep digging." Dean "made multiple comments" on Israel and national security during the primary that "call into question whether he's the person to lead the party," Gerstein averred, adding that in his view, Dean's campaign-era comments showed he was "pandering to the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel wing of the Democratic Party ...

Rosenberg, in a statement to the Forward, said: "I believe that it's up to the members of the DNC to judge the candidates' records. It's up to Howard Dean to explain his statements."

by twyford 2005-01-25 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Rosenberg ABD?
Thanks for pointing out that article, which is pretty ridiculously biased against Dean.  I do think Steve Grossman's endorsement (Grossman is a long time member of the ADL and former AIPAC president) should help mute those criticisms as it did in the primary when Grossman was Dean's finance co-chair and those same criticisms appeared.
by AnotherUnemployedDNCStaffer 2005-01-25 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Rosenberg ABD?
"pandering to the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel wing of the Democratic Party ..."

This Jewish medium sure is grasping to the notion that they are the ones being treated unfairly by Palestine.  oy indeed.

by ZennedJim 2005-01-25 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Rosenberg ABD?
Well maybe it's time to look at the pro-Zionist, pro-corporate, pro-militarism, "Centrist" wing of the Democratic party and see if all that corporate money is worth it, given that the net result is a conservatism-lite that can't compete with the "real" hard line rightist Republicans.
by baked potato 2005-01-26 10:36AM | 0 recs
I think Move On hurts Dean if they endorse him...
because then it brings the he's too left thing front and center. However, if they endorse "reform democrats" as a whole; it could be a good thing because that way Dean isn't the candidate of the left. Actually, I really would like to see more democrats come out and say I am a "reform democrat" because it sounds great.
by tiberius 2005-01-25 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I think Move On hurts Dean if they endorse him
Well Dean governed as a centrist and only recently adopted leftist views. I don't see him as left wing really. He's just a reformist and had enough foresight to oppose the Iraq war. But his years as governor tell me his core beliefs are more mainstream.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-01-25 07:29PM | 0 recs
We should be proud of MoveOn and what it has done.
I worry about a tendency by the party to distance itself and the party voices from groups like this.  When we start apologizing for MoveOn and Michael Moore and ACT and other such groups, we are reacting to the criticisms of the right. That is dangerous, IMHO.

I don't think we need to be apologetic for MoveOn in any way.  We proudly donate and take part.  I was even part of Fox Watch until I found it too hard to watch and critique. They have done some very good things.

One of the reasons given in most every article to avoid our heros on the so-called left is that it will get the "right" angry with us.  We should stop worrying about that.  

Howard Dean pointed this out in his appearance on Hannity and Colmes last week.  The transcript is at the blog.  He used the words Stockholm Syndrome, and he might be right.  

by concerned democrat 2005-01-25 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: We should be proud of MoveOn and what it has d
The ones who are spreading these rumors are the corporations propping up the DLC and NDN.

This is becoming a battle between the Coalition of Willing Democrats (Move On, ACT, DFA, Progressive Majority, Wellstone Action against the DLC/NDN's corporate Coalition of Democrats in Name Only

Coalition of Willing Democrats vs Coalition of Democrats in Name Only

by Parker 2005-01-26 05:03AM | 0 recs
Good for MoveOn
I believe the fact that there is a MoveOn.org with such a broad purpose (almost similar to a political party, eh?) points out that there are a lot of people who believe in Democratic values who do not have faith in the current DNC and state Democratic Party groups.  

Good for MoveOn for stepping up to say "What the regular folks in the party (or even outside of the party but who consider themselves stakeholders) have to say about this DNC Chair race is important - it shouldn't just be decided by Hillary Clinton, the labor unions in the rustbelt, and some party chairs with no ears (so-to-speak).

by ZennedJim 2005-01-25 07:48PM | 0 recs
May be good for Dean
There's another story in today's WaPo by Dan Balz, Making Dean's List, which riffs off the AP story you cite:

Still, several prominent DNC members said they believe the race for party chairman remains an open battle. Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer said in an interview Monday that he believes talk of Dean's momentum is overstated, and Donna Brazile, campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000, left a voice-mail message saying, "This . . . thing ain't over."

Party officials and strategists said former representative Martin Frost of Texas appears to be Dean's principal competition but cautioned that the field is fluid.

I think you're correct in surmising that MoveOn is getting involved to help Dean.  (And would someone please put Donna Brazile out of my misery?)

by KimPossible 2005-01-26 03:57AM | 0 recs
Get people in Congress to make endorsements
If we get key senaters such as Feingold, Boxer, Obama etc. to endorse Dean then that would guarantee us the Illinois, California and Wisconsin delegations.
by sam89 2005-01-26 12:20PM | 0 recs

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