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Howard Dean: DNC Needs a Full-Time Chairman

Howard Dean: DNC Needs a Full-Time Chairman

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By    |   Friday, 11 November 2016 11:49 AM

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Friday he doesn't want his old job back because he thinks he's the only one who can fix his party, but because he thinks it needs a full-time leader.

"When I last came in, it was 2005," Dean, an ex-Vermont governor and presidential candidate, told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle. "We didn't have the House, the Senate, or the presidency. And when I left in 2009, we had the House, the Senate, and the presidency. We have a lot of work to do in the Democratic Party."

Dean said his plan is to reach out to younger voters, who are "devastated" by Hillary Clinton's loss.

"I think they now understand that politics matters," said Dean. "They already are the largest demographic group in the country, and they're the group that voted most heavily for Hillary Clinton. So, we have to rebuild this party. I know how to do that."

Dean tweeted Thursday that he's "in for chairman" again, and on Friday told Ruhle that he likes Rep Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, who Sen. Bernie Sanders supports taking over the chairmanship, but maintained one can't hold political office and do the job at the same time.

"Debbie Wasserman Schultz wasn't the only one to do that," said Dean. "This is a full-type job. We have to rebuild from what has been a tragedy not only for the Democratic Party, but perhaps for the country."

Dean said he plans to talk with both Sanders and Ellison, and he considers them good friends.

"They're blinded to the idea that there are some things that have to be done full-time," said Dean. "We have to do this full-time. We don't have the presidency. We need a full-time chairman."

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee made "lots" of mistakes in the 2016 race, said Dean, and he would have permitted them.

"They never should have taken sides in the race," said Dean, responding to leaks showing favoritism for Clinton over Sanders that led to Wasserman Schultz's resignation. "I didn't even vote in my own Vermont presidential primary, because to not tell who you voted for is not the same as being neutral. I had to be the referee between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008.

"I think, and the rule was, if you wanted to support a candidate, that was fine. Leave and go work for the candidate, but you can't do that in the DNC. That's one thing that we have got to get back to.

"We have just got to do some grassroots organizing. We have to get, frankly, increase the number of minority candidates who can compete, not just in minority districts, but in white districts."

However, he disagreed with Ruhle that the DNC "cleared the field" for Clinton.

"The DNC doesn't have the power to clear the field," said Dean. "It was a great race. Hillary Clinton won it for a variety of reasons. Bernie, I think, contributed an enormous amount to the party and I'm very glad he ran. The DNC may have tried to clear the field. They don't have that much clout in the presidential race."

There have been reports of unrest with the DNC claiming staffers were claiming interim chairperson Donna Brazile helped elect Trump, but Dean downplayed them, saying it was just one staffer making the claim.

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Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Friday he doesn't want his old job back because he thinks he's the only one who can fix his party...
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Friday, 11 November 2016 11:49 AM
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