Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, who rose to national prominence during a failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, will not seek a second term as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, clearing the way for a loyalist of President-elect Barack Obama to be named to the soon to be vacant post.(...)
"At this point he has said that he doesn't intend to run again," said a DNC source granted anonymity in order to speak candidly. "He has said so publicly for a while. He has not said what he will do next."
And, confirming earlier reports, the nearly 200 locally based organizers who form the core of the fifty-state strategy have all been fired (more in the extended entry):
I've been checking around, and what I'm hearing from reliable sources is that this report is true.
A rumor at this point (or rather, someone unwilling to go on record) but what I'm hearing is that the DNC organizers who implement the 50 state strategy are about to be let go. Apparently they will be laid off at the end of the month, and the new DNC chair will decide whether he or she wants to continue the 50 state policy.
Basically, what's happening is that 50-state organizers like Susan Mariner (Hampton Roads) and Joe Montano (NOVA) will be let go at the end of this month, the program "suspended" and subject to "reevaulation" (excuse me, but don't you usually reevaluate first, THEN decide to "suspend" or not to "suspend?").
Dan U-A points to an email from the Obama campaign as an encouraging sign that the fifty-state strategy will continue, but I am not optimistic. As Lowell said in the above quote, you don't fire everyone, suspend the program, and then "re-evaluate." Further, Rahm Emanuel has long been the most outspoken opponent of the fifty-state strategy, and now he is Obama's Chief of Staff. So really, given the amount of say Emanuel will have over this, kiss the fifty-state strategy goodbye.
Right now, the strategy means handing over large grants to state parties from the DNC, and also paying for local organizers in the state. It was effective both as an organizing strategy (see the DNC memo on the subject) and as a political strategy for Howard Dean, as state parties hold large numbers of votes in the DNC and like receiving lots of money and free organizers from the DNC.
This was a program for which the netroots fought hard the past several years. Now that it seems to be over, I hope that our opinion of the fifty-state strategy doesn't take the same route as our opinion of the utility of appearing on Fox News, including telecom immunity in FISA, or elevating Rahm Emanuel to positions of extreme power. It isn't right just because Obama did it, although I fear many people will say so.