Dean had been invited to the meeting before his last public embarrassment, when he claimed the Republican Party was nothing more than a bunch of Christian, white males, and while he expected some kind of a tongue lashing from his Democratic colleagues, he also had come prepared to lecture them on party communication and coordination.
“He hasn’t been happy with the support the DNC has been getting from the Hill,” says a DNC adviser to Dean. “He feels he and the party are being given short shrift.”
Dean never got the chance to unload.
Democrats privately have been happy with Dean’s red-meat-but-no-brain comments, which have given the mainstream media plenty to report on, while allowing them publicly to disavow Dean’s dementia.
“You have to understand the relationship between the Democrats and the mainstream media,” says a Democratic political strategist. “Dean says outrageous things about Republicans, then the MSM reports on that crazy Howard Dean, then, being mainstream media, they report on Tom DeLay or something. On some level, there are a lot of Democrats who think that Howard Dean is helping us, if only because it disguises the fact that our House and Senate guys have nothing to say and no ideas.”
That’s not what House and Senate Democrats necessarily believe. Last week, when Senate Minority leader Harry Reid called a press conference to discuss the Dems’ legislative agenda, he could barely get a word in on policy, and in the end deflected and disavowed Dean.
“It’s getting to the point where Dean may be just a two-year, transitional party leader,” says a senior Democratic Senate leadership aide. “He might stay in place, but there would be another, more ideologically centrist figure there to overshadow him. Dean thinks the party needs to talk tough, there are a lot of us who think the party just needs to talk sense.”p> BOXER GETS LOOSE
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