November 05, 2004

New Democratic Leadership Candidates

The Confidence Man has already added his voice to the chorus of catcalls demanding for the heads of Messrs. Shrum and McAuliffe on a pike.

Time to identify some likely candidates to replace McAuliffe as chair of the DNC.

The Confidence Man notes that many proles in Left Blogistan are advocating for Hoho Dean. Nice, entertaining, "revolutionary" idea, and the Confidence Man is a fan of Dean (well, of the "real" Howard Dean, not the mythologized figurehead of the Deaniacs) -- but this just won't work. Dean is indeed a leader, a builder of coalitions, a rainmaker, and an inspiration; what he is not, however, is a deal-maker. A schmoozer. A producer. Plus, Dean has his own bag of tricks to look after, and he's better suited working in common cause with the DNC in that role.

The LA Times this morning suggests Bill Clinton, at least as co-chair. Not a bad suggestion, especially in the figurehead CEO-type role that the LAT implies, with a mover-and-shaker nuts-and-bolts administrator as the COO-type. As others have pointed out, however, the "Hillary-in-'08" Safire-fuelled rumor makes this a bit ... problematic. Clinton also probably still has some legal bills he needs to be paying off and nest eggs to feather. He also might serve better as an independent elder statesman, trotting out occasionally to rally the troops. Quite frankly, Clinton's stage presence is probably his greatest value to the Dems right now -- and DNC Chair is not a front-of-the-stage, hogging-the-mic position.

The split-role CEO/COO leadership model does make a lot of sense, though. Basically, one guy to raise money and focus "message discipline," the other to run things and see that the money is allocated effectively and efficiently.

As "COO," this guy would probably do a great job, as would the first guy listed here. Both of these guys know how to invent, run, and reinvent organizations; how to identify and exploit oppositional weaknesses; how to innovate where and when necessary (and at no other time or place than where and when necessary); and how to marshal resources effectively (i.e., that don't-reinvent-the-wheel thing we just mentioned).

For "CEO," the Confidence Man nominates this fella; if he doesn't take it, the third guy on this list might. Both of these gentlemen know how to build consensus-based organizations, how to lead effectively, how to raise money, how to tell a compelling story -- and, most importantly, how to effectively pitch mainstream, family-friendly Classic Modern Liberal ideas to Red-State American Citizens.

Now, yes, there would be some significant risks involved with any of these candidates -- risks both to the DNC and to the individuals.

But at this point, what do the Dems have to lose?

And all four of these guys are pretty well set, so far as the whole money/power nexus is concerned. Even if they're exposed to some degree of risk in partisan association, the rewards are potentially huge.

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