Homeboys in Atmospheric Space (noshootingstars) wrote in ripplesofhope,
Homeboys in Atmospheric Space

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Howard Dean News | March 4 2009

Howard Dean's found himself a new job.

McKenna Long & Aldridge’s GOP ties boosted its influence in Washington during the Bush era.

Its hiring this week of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, should help the law firm’s government affairs practice during the Obama administration.

The practice’s focus is on “the intersection of business and government,” says senior managing director Eric Tanenblatt, “and having someone like Gov. Dean, who’s been in the political environment like he has, will be an invaluable resource to us.”

Dean will guide clients on health care and alternative energy matters.

McKenna Long is known for Republican insiders like Tanenblatt, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s former chief of staff. But it’s also home for Democrats like former U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden.

“Our firm,” states Tanenblatt, “is bipartisan.”

Press Release from the firm.

I've got to say, as a student of paralegal studies and someone toying with the idea of law school somewhere down a road of undetermined length, Howard Dean in a law firm tickles me. I now have more fodder for meeting or working with Dr. Dean in the future.

I'm also proud at how swiftly the man found a venue for his new direction and how he's still working in areas he made promises to in his presidential campaign.

But at the same time, this news is like a knife to the heart. I feel very disheartened that a man as clever, industrious, and effective as Howard Dean has no place in Washington or within the new administration. To me, Dean is one of the faces of the Janus-like future of the Democratic party. I am constantly inspired by his ability to get things done, his foresight in politics and policy, and by the fact that the man gives a damn and doesn't give up. Barack Obama may have inspired me to give voice to my political opinions in 2008, but it was Dean's work that allowed for their to be a local outlet when I needed one.

This is just a new step for the man, I know. We may see great things arise from his position at McKenna, Long & Aldridge. I certainly hope so. Yet, it seems so odd that Dean should have to go looking for a place to work from rather than be shoved into a demanding and rewarding position from within Team Obama because of his resume.

Still, I hope Howard Dean continues to make news with his progressive activities.
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Howard Dean's absence from the Obama cabinet is puzzling, to say the least. He was passed over for HHS, despite being a physician and his proven organizational skills. Surgeon General is still open (?). Party Democrats owe Dean a tremendous debt for his key role in expanding Democratic majorities in the House, Senate, and governorships. President Obama's advisers credited Dean's 50 state strategy and pioneering Internet fundraising with informing their winning campaign strategy.

So why is Dean being shunned? Could it be Rahm Emanuel's spitefulness over past public differences with Dean on tactics? He claims he's over his childish antics. Still, when the President mildly rebuked Rahm for loudly cracking his knuckles at at meeting, the brazen Chief of Staff placed his hand next to the President's ear and continued cracking them. :)

BTW, I like your RFK quote. It's my favorite. RFK was my political hero. I still get a lump in my throat when I listen to Ted Kennedy's eulogy for his brother, in which he read the speech with this passage.
Dean not being inside the Obama administration is something that has puzzled me ever since November. For a period of time, I wasn't following his cabinet choices and weeks later when I read over his choices I was shocked that Howard Dean wasn't among them. After all of his work at the DNC as well as him freeing himself up by resigning as Chairman I expected him to be a shoo-in--but it didn't strike me as so enormously odd until Daschle stepped down. Then, I felt as though we had entered the twilight zone and Team Obama was on a mad Secretary Hunt when the perfect candidate was being (willingly) thrown at their doorstep by the public and Democratic leaders.

I know people have laid a lot of credit over Dean's exclusion at the feet of Rahm drama. To some extent, I think that's true but in a more overarching way. Just recently, Obama defined himself as a New Democrat. This shouldn't have surprised me as it fits certain puzzle pieces together, such as many of his Cabinet choices and Rahm's appointment as CoS as well as his moderate stance on social issues. But it did surprise me (and disappoint me slightly) even as it answered why Dean would never have been chosen. He's such a progressive and so adamantly left within the Democrat Party that I don't think Obama ever viewed him as a person who would take *his* stance on what needed to be done for health care and persuade Republicans and Democrats to act on it. Additionally, Dean is no friend to the Clinton Democrats and Obama seemingly has become one.

Still, Dean is now back at DFA and sure to get the citizenry moving on affecting this administration from the outside. So I am pleased there.
Obama as a New Democrat is a scary thought. Especially now, when those DINOS/conservaDems broke off to form their own political faction under Evan Bayh's self-appointed leadership. This needs some analysis ...
BTW, I like your RFK quote. It's my favorite. RFK was my political hero. I still get a lump in my throat when I listen to Ted Kennedy's eulogy for his brother, in which he read the speech with this passage.

I always had the most affection for RFK among all the Kennedys but this past year I read The Last Campaign which covers his 1968 presidential campaign and his efforts moved me beyond belief. In reading that book, there were moments when I had to stop and actually question whether I was reading a historical account or a modern day epic about a hero bigger than life. Okay, that might sound a bit melodramatic but I find RFK to be the most inspirational figure in recent history. He was so ahead of his time that we're (the majority/white middle-to-upper class) still trying to catch up today. He lived in a time of rampant racism and not only had he already internally overcome that by his middle age but he knew his own white privilege and actively worked to use his status for good and check that privilege when addressing the concerns of African Americans, Native Americans, the poor, etc.

As much as people say that RFK lacked the oratory skills of his brother, I find so many of his speeches to be filled with lines and ideas that keep rattling around in my head. But, yes, especially the quote I use in this journal.
Sorry, I just plain missed your reply; I don't check my LJ e-mail as often as I should. Before I forget, yes, "The Last Campaign" is a splendid book. If you've not read these, I recommend Jules Witcover's "85 Days: The Last Campaign of Robert Kennedy" and Arthur Schlesinger's "Robert Kennedy and His Times."

I know what you mean. I often think of Bobby as "the last American hero," in the emblematic Time cover by Roy Lichtenstein that perfectly captured for me his "bigger than life" super hero status.


Despite all the revisionist history re: JFK, he was the indispensable president. Would Nixon, who made a career of "red-baiting," have acted with such skillful restraint as JFK and Bobby during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Few people today realize how close we came to nuclear holocaust if not for JFK and RFK pulling us back from the brink of destruction. Simply imagine the foolish bellicosity of McCain or GWB in a similar predicament, and we can all count our blessings that the Kennedys were in charge at that critical moment in history.

And yet, I agree, RFK was the best of all the Kennedys. His appeal was visceral, it came from the heart. It's hard to put into words the greatness of this man, forged as it was in the tragedy of his brother's assassination. He was the only politician of his time, of any time, who could chasten a business class audience for its greed, to a standing ovation, wade into throngs at black urban ghettos to shouts of "make way for the blue eyed soul brother," where no white man dared walk, and get an equally warm reception from conservative hard hats.

In the 60s this was a country deeply divided by war, race, and class. RFK was the only leader who could bridge all those divides. I have absolutely no doubt that this would have been a much better country had RFK been elected president in 1968. Even so, his influence endures: I don't believe Barack Obama would have been possible, at this time in our country's history were it not for RFK. Ironically, it's been said that Obama is the post-60s leader. Which begs the question: without the 60s, a decade defined by MLK and RFK, would Obama be possible today?

JFK was the polished speaker with the lofty rhetoric to match the sense of optimism and possibility of the New Frontier; RFK's prose, though, cut to the bone. His words echoed the moral courage, which he said was greater even than courage in battle, at the injustices of society. He admired Che Guevara, not for his ideology, but for having the moral courage, as an upper middle class asthmatic doctor to act on his convictions and become a revolutionary. When he was in Chile, though communist students spat on him, RFK, repulsed by the appalling working conditions of the miners, said "if I worked under such conditions I'd be a communist too." Imagine a politician today, saying these things! Way ...?

RFK's extemporaneous speech on the day MLK was assassinated is one of the greatest speeches in American history. It's extraordinary that as riots broke out throughout the country, Indianapolis, where RFK spoke, was quiet on that tragic night.

I've go on too long ... Perhaps I should put some of these thoughts in a post on my journal. :) I enjoy reading your posts, BTW. I hope you'll post more often.