And then there were none (others) - Roemer bows out of race for chairman of DNC.
Roemer, a former congressman from Indiana and a member of the September 11 commission, said Democrats must be more inclusive in their outreach to fast-growing parts of the country.
"I got into this race five weeks ago to talk about the devastating loss we experienced in November," Roemer said in an interview. "It was not about 60,000 votes in Ohio. It was about losing 97 of the 100 fastest growing counties in the country. If that's a trend in business or politics you're in trouble."
Republicans are in the strongest position they've been in since the early 20th century, Roemer said.
Roemer, who said top Democrats in Congress encouraged him to enter the chairman's race, said he wants to strengthen Democrats' position on national security.
"If there's one reason Senator Kerry lost the presidential race, it was because he failed to make the American people feel safer," Roemer said, adding that he also wanted to encourage talk within the party about developing a stronger position on values.
Roemer said he hoped to make the party more inclusive, especially on the issue of abortion. He opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the health of the mother.
His opposition to abortion rights sparked early opposition in the race from abortion choice advocates.
Dean has said he will focus his efforts as chairman more on building the party at the local, state and national level, raising money and winning elections, while elected officials will be more responsible for policy positions.
(excerpts from 2-7-04 AP.)
And a few excerpts from the 2-7-05 ajc:
Democrats lining up with Dean
The likely chairman: The fiery politician holds the edge as Saturday's vote approaches.
[W]hile some view Dean as an odd choice because of his reputation for left-of-center views and temperamental quirkiness, others see in his feistiness the fire the Democrats need. They also see in his organizational skills the talent to set the party right again after [recent] electoral setbacks.
With the Republican Party controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, the next DNC chairman will automatically become one of the party's prominent spokesmen, even as he works to raise money and provide technological and organizational support to the 50 state parties.
And therein lies the worry for some.
Georgia House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin), said, "The only positive thing I know of is: I heard Dean say in an interview that Democrats can't win the White House without the South.
"I don't know that the people of Georgia were very comfortable with him in the primary, but at least he acknowledges what the Democratic Party has got to do, and that is get more in tune with the Southeast and with Georgia."
Said Porter: "I'd still rather have somebody I could take fishing in Laurens County."
Former Georgia House Speaker Terry Coleman of Eastman said he spoke with Dean by phone Friday.
"I think if the Democratic Party is going to change their batting average, they've got to do something different. And he's an outside-the-box thinker," Coleman said. "Maybe he can bring some vim and vigor and change the direction of the party."
"Howard's biggest challenge will be to understand that he is not a governor, not a presidential candidate," Harold Ickes, the former Clinton White House adviser, told The Associated Press.
"He's quick to take a position. He will have to slow that down."
Dean has already crossed paths with Democratic congressional leaders, recently criticizing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada for suggesting that he could vote to confirm anti-abortion Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as chief justice.
And House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California told reporters recently she expects Dean to "take his lead from us" on issues.
But others believe the party chairmanship, not the White House, is where Dean belongs and where he will be most effective.
In fact, Dean reportedly views the grass-roots, disciplined GOP revolution led by Newt Gingrich and Christian Coalition strategist Ralph Reed as a better model for a Democratic comeback than the approach taken by Bill Clinton.
Fox television's Major Garrett quotes Dean in his book, "The Enduring Revolution: How the Contract With America Continues to Shape the Nation," as saying Gingrich and Reed "created a real success for the right wing," while Clintonism led the Democrats into complacency and defeat.
"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization," Dean said at a DNC forum earlier this year.