Donnie Fowler got the nod from the executive committee of the Association of State Democratic Chairs to become chairman, dodging, for now, the Howard Dean bullet that was coming straight at the head of the Democratic Party. The nomination will be voted on today by the full Association.
The executive committee voted to recommend Fowler for the chair position that will be voted on next month. He has worked on several campaigns and was forced out of the Clark campaign just before the General's short-lived candidacy crashed, burned and left no survivors. Fowler was lucky to get out, kind of like being kicked off the Titanic just before it set sail. He went on to run the Kerry campaign in Michigan, not exactly a battleground state.
By the way, did anybody catch Clark on the tube over the weekend? Other than the odd spectacle of wearing more makeup than Michael Jackson and looking a little like a fair Barnabas Collins, Clark told Tony Snow that the US should enlist Syria and Iran in helping Iraq after the elections. Snow was a little surprised at the idea, calling it "interesting" and reminding the general that those two countries weren't exactly filled with joy over free elections in Iraq. Clark responded that one should talk to people before you hit them.
Back to Fowler: I suppose to some in the party he is seen as the anti-Dean, less ideological in ways, coming with a ready party pedigree and not as down right crazy. This from the NYT, however, suggests that the nomination was a gesture of respect for Fowler's father, Don Fowler who was DNC chairman who was under the gun after some fund raising shenanigans in the '96 election and was not necessarily a favorite of Clinton henchman Harold Ickes.
Fowler may be a more palatable choice than Dean and much more energetic than Martin Frost. But, as far as I know, Fowler hasn't worked on a winning campaign yet. So I guess that makes him perfect to run the party. Then again, the Dems haven't been very successful lately, have they? So Fowler may at least pose a modicum of hope.
He is tech-savvy, which is what people who aren't tech-savvy call other people who know html. Kind of like Al Gore with credibility. He's seen as a bridge between the old and new and actually may bring some youthful wisdom to a party that has abdicated the highest posts to aging leftists. Maybe we can get back to the party that brought us FDR, Truman and JFK and move forward.
He has a lot of work to do if he gets the job. He has Teddy and Kerry and Boxer to deal with. It won't be easy, if he's serious about getting the party back into American politics. If he ends up being a toady of the Lefty Lobby, he'll just end up working on yet another failed campaign.