Monday, May 22, 2006

Is Howard Dean Out of His Mind?

Could this story be true? Does Matt Drudge really have his facts straight?:

“The Democratic National Committee (DNC) secretly placed political operatives in the city of New Orleans to work against the reelection efforts of incumbent Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean made the decision himself to back mayoral candidate and sitting Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (D-LA), sources reveal.

Dean came to the decision to back the white challenger, over the African-American incumbent Nagin, despite concerns amongst senior black officials in the Party that the DNC should stay neutral.”

This is among the strangest stories I’ve read in a long time. It makes no sense whatsoever. Why in hell would Howard Dean get involved in a mayor’s race? What does the national Democratic Party gain? What is it that I’m not getting? If this report is indeed accurate---it could severely damage the Dems in November with the usually loyal black vote. Could this be the proverbial straw that finally breaks the camel’s back? Will Dean be fired?

I can readily understand Mitch Landrieu’s sense of desperation. The New Orleans mayor’s contest might be his last chance to survive politically. Louisiana will probably be a statewide Republican stronghold for at least the next ten years. But why should Howard Dean care about Landrieu’s troubles?

Update: “The DRUDGE REPORT takes chairman Dean and his spokesman at their word.”

Matt Drudge is now backing off from his earlier allegations. This is a sad day regarding his credibility. It appears that Drudge may have made a fool of himself. He should have never ran with this story unless it was thoroughly verified.


chuck said...

Paul at Wizbang puts it this way:

Drudge just got wind of what he thinks is a scoop. In 1 inch type Drudge has "DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE WORKED TO DEFEAT NAGIN" (With no link yet.)

My reply? Duh!

Of course they did. If you've read my posts you know why. It ain't that complicated. The best thing for the party was for Mitch to win.

That's why I laugh at the people who bash New Orleanians for electing Nagin. It might be paradoxical but he WAS the reform candidate.

Confused yet? ;-)

In case you still don't get it: It is basically a given that the Dems lost a seat in the Senate last night.

I don't quite see the senate connection myself, but I assume Paul knows what he is talking about.

Barry Dauphin said...

Let me first say that I think it was a stupid move on Dean's part, in fact it ends up being reckless.

I think, if the report is true, that he felt that if Landrieu could win it, the Democratic Party would be able to hammer Bush relentlessly on Katrina. Also if Landireu got in, they'd be able to keep him in and secure the New Orleans vote for his sister Mary when she runs again for the Senate. The rumor is that she won the first time because of bogus votes out of New Orleans (think Cooke County, Chicago-like).

I say it was reckless because the potenital losses far outweighed the potential gains. It seems quite silly to risk alienating the African American voters on the basis of political cronyism. Nagin apparently praised Bush after he won re-election, alluding to how unpopular both of them are and what bad press they get and that Bush had kept the promise he made in Jackson Square. Hmmmm.

Glenmore said...

Maybe Mitch can get Bill Jefferson's seat this fall?

David Thomson said...

This story is so weird that I’m having a hard time believing it’s true. I guess I trust Matt Drudge. Still, I would feel better having more evidence. Could Howard Dean truly be this stupid? Is it possible that he thought nobody would reveal the truth? Yes, this alone could virtually guarantee a Republican landslide victory in the next statewide contest. It’s one thing to want Landrieu to win. But to try and do so discretely is utterly senseless.

I hope Howard Dean is not fired. He is Karl Rove’s best friend. With enemies like him, Republicans don’t need many friends.

Rick Ballard said...

I'd like to see a bit of confirmation on this. I'm not sure exactly how a "secret" operation will be confirmed but I'm sure Drudge will come up with something.

Rigth now I'm more concerned as to whether the Ospring I was booted from his nest, and, if so, whether lift off was achieved. Hopefully Ospring I has not returned to the eternal natural cycle via buzzard.

cf said...

I think there may be something to the story--Nagin wants to reform NO(whether he's competent enough to do so is another story) and he began as a Republican.

If the story is true, it would have been done in the DNC shop Brazile runs, so two Dem operatives, Dean and Donna, will soon be seeking other employment.

Mehlman has been doing a brilliant job with Black Republicans--urging Swann to run, backing Steele and Blackwell and really reaching out. If this story is true, his efforts may pay off big time.

Unknown said...

I can see this happening. The Demcorats wanted to make sure the right Democrat won.

And things can turn on a dime. After Eisenhower got about 40% of the black vote and Goldwater got 6% of the nonwhite perceptions matter. Big changes can occur.

David Thomson said...

It would not surprise me in the least if the Democratic Party establishment desired the election of Landireu. Still, this is not the same thing as actually doing something about it! That would be utterly reckless and stupid. I doubt that if even Howard Dean is that dumb. No, it now appears that Matt Drudge likely goofed up big time.