Howard Dean, watch your back. James Carville wants you out.
Democratic strategist James Carville, in his trademark scorching rhetoric, said Wednesday he wants to dump Dean as chief of the Democratic National Committee.
The reason: Carville said Dean left a $6 million credit line on the table and the Dems could have used the money to pick up even more seats in the mid-term elections as more opportunities opened up late in the game. The House and Senate political operations spent their borrowings.
Carville's candidate to replace Dean is Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) who lost a bid for a Senate seat in the Nov. 7 balloting--but Ford is not interested.
“We did win the Battle of Gettysburg,��? said Carville, but the Dems picking up some 30 House seats, 6 Senate seats, 6 governorships and 9 state legislative chambers is not enough. Carville said the favorable circumstances for Dems won’t come around again until 2038—though it’s not clear exactly how he came up with that exact year. But he made his point.
Karen Finney DNC spokesman said, "It's disappointing that in light of historic democratic victories all across the country, up and down the ballot James would praise the RNC, the outfit behind the racist ad that defeated Harold Ford on the one hand, and simply doesn't know the facts about what the DNC did in this election. The DNC happily did take out a loan because Governor Dean is committed to helping Democrats win. If James is truly interested in knowing more about the DNC's efforts all his has to do is call and ask."
Dean was at odds with House and Senate party political bosses Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) over his long term strategy to use money to grow Democratic organizations in 50 states rather than to focus on the mid-terms. In the end of a nasty public disagreement, Dean did allot $2.4 million to help House contests.
“I have no problem with the fifty state strategy, that’s fine,��? Carville said somewhat dismissively. “The play of a political party is not to hire people, it is to elect people.��?
Last week Dean, asked about the disagreements with Emanuel and Schumer said his job was to deal with long term growth and the lawmakers task was short term.
The Democrats mid-term win was decisive, but Carville takes Dean to task for missing opportunities that could have solidified Democratic control of Congress and pave the way for a Democrat in the White House in 2008. DNC money should have been sent to third tier races, Carville said.
"We should have chased their Army down," said Carville, still on the Gettysburg analogy.
Carville is not a member of the DNC—but his is a very loud and influential voice.
“Democrats’ suffer from timidity, and that does not serve us well,��? said Carville.
Looking ahead, “why not go in with everything you got…that’s not the case right now….
…What I am saying is you got to get money in these campaigns when you are coming down the stretch.��?
Carville appeared with Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg at a briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Democrats won new majorities in nine chambers:
New Hampshire House and Senate,
Iowa House and Senate,
Wisconsin Senate, and