Sunday, January 23, 2005

Politics: Howard Dean must be stopped the sequel. Howard Fineman, who has no love for Dean and his band of Deaniacs writes about the panic that Dean could become chairman of the Democratic Party. So far, they can't find a way to stop him. " In the meantime, with the DNC meeting approaching on Feb. 12, party insiders have been conducting an urgent, so far fruitless, search for a consensus Dean-stopper. The Clintons don't like Dean on substance or style, seeing him as too left and too loose-lipped. But they're being careful. Hillary, already eying a presidential run in 2008, doesn't want to alienate the possible winner; she's leaving DNC maneuvers to Bill, whose answer last month was to sound out current chairman Terry McAuliffe about remaining in the job. (He declined.) The Clintons are said to have encouraged a good friend, veteran organizer Harold Ickes, to enter the chairman's race, but he begged off, too. Party leaders approached former senator Bob Kerrey, but he told them he would rather keep his job as president of the New School University. " " Last week the search for a surefire Dean-stopper (if there is one) reached new levels, NEWSWEEK has learned, with several governors—among them Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Bill Richardson of New Mexico—trying to gin up a last-ditch plan: let Dean be chairman, but confine his role to pure nuts-and-bolts duties by layering him with a new "general chairman" spokesman for the party. They abandoned the idea after realizing that they didn't have the votes to change the rules—and because the person they wanted to take the new role, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, told them she had no interest. "

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