Sunday, May 22, 2005

Russert and Dean

I'm bad about sleeping in on Sundays now, and missing the morning political talk shows. But according to this transcript of Tim Russert's probing of DNC Chairman Howard Dean on Meet The Press there was a telling exchange:
MR. RUSSERT: Newt Gingrich [said], when you were elected chairman of the party, said the Democrats must have a death wish. The hotline did a survey, The Political Hotline published by National Journal, and of the 17 states that you went to, a Democratic governor or Democratic senator has not appeared with you in those states. Are people running from you?

DR. DEAN: I doubt it. When I went to Mississippi, all four former governors showed up. You know, I stayed over at the governor's house in Kansas. I mean, I think when you go into a state, and you're there for four or five hours, it's pretty hard for governors to change their schedule and suddenly decide they're going to have to be by your side. I've raised over $1 million for state parties, including places like Arizona and Oklahoma.

MR. RUSSERT: Republicans say January through March, they've raised $32 million, double what the Democrats have raised.

DR. DEAN: Well, that's--I think that's fine. You know, Republicans have always been better at raising money than we have. But don't forget, I've only been in office for 100 days. We're still raising money at twice the rate we were in the first year of McCain-Feingold, which was 2003, and we're raising $1 million a week.
True, and it only adds up to $15 million, which is half of the Republican total, as Russert just said. See how you can manipulate numbers?

Anyway, does any reader have subscriber access to the National Journal and can they forward on the relevant excerpt from the Political Hotline? If true, it would be amazing, especially in light of this:
MR. RUSSERT: The USA Today on Friday had a big piece. "A Dam Sure Based GOP Goes Rating." [sic] They compare your schedule to that of Republican chairman Ken Mehlman. He's going the Hispanic route, Catholics groups, reaching out. Your schedule is primarily with Democratic activists, labor unions, gays, the core, the base of the Democratic party.
Parties that claim to speak for a majority don't usually have to do rebuilding efforts, do they?

Maybe Howard Dean is part of a typically Clintonian strategy aimed to make the Democrats want Terry McAuliffe back? He waltzes in with Hillary and Bill and they all trumpet a "return" to something or other, in a PR strategy to make folks nostalgic for the "Clinton era." After the change and tumult of the Bush years, the Dems might try "simpler, safer times" themes, no?

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE Well, ask and you shall receive. Got an email this very morning from the National Journal itself. Out of the blue. My deep thanks for the notice and the help.

From the source, here's the passage I was asking about:
SPOTLIGHT: Meet The Dean

National Journal Group, Inc.

Quite a few Dems and GOP research operatives will be glued to the tube this Sunday when DNC chair Howard Dean makes his nat'l debut, of sorts, as the face of the Dem Party. Choosing to spar first with "Meet"'s Russert shows he's certainly confident of his standing these days.
-- To date, Dean's been incredibly low-key, popping up with a quotable every now and then that basically shows the worst he can be accused of is doing his job as a partisan Democrat. His lack of visibility may be the reason the DNC's efforts to tie Jack Abramoff to the WH have gotten crickets treatment from the press.
-- Still, red state Dems aren't rushing to be seen with him. Since becoming DNC chair, by our count, Dean has visited the red states of AZ, AR, KS, MS, NV, OK, and TN, all (save MS) with a Dem GOV or SEN. As far as we can tell, none made a public appearance with Dean (That streak gets broken next week in WV with Gov. Manchin). How he handles himself Sunday could go a long way to seeing if Dean continues to be ducked by red state Dems or if, like Terry McAuliffe, he begins to quell their worries.
That's seven states, folks; a mighty long string of schedules not being changed for the new DNC chair. And in the case of Tennessee, if memory serves, Governor Bredesen was only across town that day. Can't say Nashville is so large you can't make the drive....

ANOTHER UPDATE LATER More thoughts from the Conservative Zone.

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