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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


Howard Dean for Health and Human Services

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, November 16, 2008 permalink View blog reactions
This is a ridiculous argument:

Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is not a serious contender to be secretary of health and human services in the new Obama administration, sources said.

Dean’s name has appeared on short lists for the Cabinet post circulating throughout Washington, based largely on his party chairmanship and career as a doctor. Dean also passed health care reforms while governor of Vermont. And his allies said the Obama transition team has had some informal discussions with him about the job.

But the chief attributes President-elect Barack Obama is seeking in his HHS secretary will be an ability to work with members of Congress and shepherd reform legislation through the House and Senate.

That job description has turned out to be a particularly ill-suited one for Dean, given his partisan background and lack of congressional experience, sources inside and outside the transition offices say.

Dean never served in Congress and spent his Washington career trying to thin the ranks of congressional Republicans that the Obama White House will need to court during the expected debate on health care reform.

As others have pointed out, the argument is nonsense - after all, Rahm Emmanuel is Obama's Chief of Staff and spent his entire career not just opposing, but utterly reaming the very Republicans he will need to work with to advance Obama's agenda. I think it's likely that Rahm himself is behind this, give his intense animus against Dean for the 50-state strategy. The idea that Dean couldn't be an effective HHS Seretary for partisan reasons is simply ridiculous and transparent.

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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.