Yeargh! Howard Dean ponders 2016 bid?

Look, if Joe Biden can come back from plagiarizing Neil Kinnock’s speeches and end up a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, surely Howard Dean can come back from this:

Want to know who else believes that? Howard Dean, apparently:

This week former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will speak at an event in Iowa. And next month Dean will be talking about health care reform in New Hampshire, WMUR Political Scoop has learned.

A decade after Dean’s last presidential campaign began, is another one about to begin?

The Daily Caller takes a closer look at it:

The Daily Caller asked former Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi for his thoughts on a potential Dean campaign. Trippi emphasized that he does not know Dean’s thinking on a run, though predicted the Democratic Party base would be excited about it.

“I think many on the left would rally to his candidacy should he decide to run,” Trippi told TheDC. “I do not know how serious he is though. I think Hillary Clinton casts a shadow over any potential Democrats including Dean if she decides to run in 2016. If she doesn’t run Howard Dean would be a very strong contender for the nomination.” …

In June, Dean told CNN he was open to another run.

“I am not driven by my own ambition,” Dean said. “What I am driven by is pushing the country in a direction that it desperately needs to be pushed; pushing other politicians who aren’t quite as frank as I am who need to be more candid with the American people about what needs to happen. I am not trying to hedge, it’s a hard job running. It’s really tough. I am doing a lot of things I really enjoy. But you should never say never in this business.”

It might be fun to snark at the idea, but don’t laugh too hard … at least not if you’re a Democrat.  Dean may have imploded on his first attempt — and it was the debate before the scream that did him in, not the lame attempt to jolly up his Iowa loss — but most presidential nominees take a couple of attempts to really become effective.  Obviously that wasn’t true of Barack Obama, but I’m not sure that wasn’t the original intent when Obama kicked off his campaign in 2007, either, with Hillary Clinton looking like a lock on the nomination.  The only Republican nominee in a generation not to need two tries before winning the nod was George W. Bush, for example.

Furthermore, Dean represents a real threat to Hillary Clinton. He served three times as governor of Vermont, and also successfully led the Democratic National Committee to recapturing control of Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008.  Dean has the executive experience Clinton lacked before becoming Secretary of State, where her record will be a burden rather than a boon on the resumé.  As DNC chair, Dean made connections with all of the state party organizations and donors on a level that Clinton may not be able to duplicate — plus proved that he could build a national organization without those connections, too.

Dean’s problem in a general election will be that he will need to run to Hillary’s left to win the nomination.  It’s also going to be tough to win in the general after eight years of Obama and no particular compelling narrative for continued Democratic governance, especially with the way ObamaCare is rolling out. He’s also going to be 68 years old at that time, and almost all of the Republican potential nominees will be much younger and more a part of current politics than past — a problem Hillary will also have.  However, Dean may be exactly the kind of candidate who can derail Hillary a second time on the way to the nomination.

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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023