Wednesday, January 26, 2005
In the Sunday S.F. Chronicle Carla Marinucci had a highly entertaining article about the 600 Democratic party loyalists who gathered in Sacramento last weekend to meet the various candidates angling for the DNC chairmanship (consensus: it's "trending" for Dean, unless the DLC faction can figure out a way to stop him). The following thumbnail sketches of the would-be party chairs appeared as a sidebar:
Donnie Fowler: The former Technology Network vice president urged Democrats to take an aggressive stance, saying, "The new Democratic Party must embrace the new politics while we continue to perfect the old.'' He earned applause when he said he was "tired of conceding to the aristocracy of consultants in Washington ... and to the crazy right wing.''The seventh candidate, David Leland of Ohio, apparently did not rate a profile.
"We're a party who knows how to fight when we're led in the right way ... ask Barbara Boxer,'' Fowler said to cheers. "We need leadership that's going to get us back to the top.''
Tim Roemer: Roemer, a former Indiana congressman who is antiabortion, directly addressed the issue of choice before the many skeptical pro-choice California delegates, assuring them he would stand behind Roe vs. Wade and the party platform. Democrats, he said, must "talk about ways, as the Clinton administration did, to reduce the number of abortions,'' but must also stand united despite their differences on issues.
Roemer said that having been a member of the Sept. 11 Commission, he would ensure that voters know "our message on national security is a better message than the Bush administration's.''
Howard Dean: Dean, former governor of Vermont and a defeated Democratic presidential candidate, said Democrats cannot engage in "woulda, coulda, shoulda'' second-guessing about the 2004 election. But he said that neither can the party concede any ground to Republicans. "My Southern strategy is simple,'' he said. "Two words: Show up.''
Wellington Webb: The former mayor of Denver urged that the party not "take our base for granted,'' particularly African American and Latino voters, who are being wooed by the GOP.
He said grassroots activists deserve more power and more direct say in the party's functioning, and added, "The next chair of this party should not come from inside the Beltway.''
Simon Rosenberg: The president of the moderate New Democrat Network said Democrats are "sick and tired of being sick and tired'' about the state of the party and must remind voters -- particularly Latinos and African Americans -- of the party's strengths in fighting for the causes that families care about.
Rosenberg asked Democrats to "defeat this radical Republican machine making our country less safe and less free every day.'' And, in a statement that brought cheers from Western delegates, he said, "We have to end the monopoly of Iowa and New Hampshire in nominating our nominee. ... I'm going to fight hard to do that as your next chair.''
Martin Frost: The former Texas representative said it was "outrageous" that the Bush team and Republicans were able to seize the issue of national security after Democrats proposed both the Department of Homeland Security and the Sept. 11 Commission in the wake of the 2001 attacks.
"We stand for a strong and safe America and for fundamental values. We are people of faith," he said. But voters bought into the "Republican propaganda that Democrats don't believe in God," Frost said. "We should go after that with a vengeance."