By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor
Howard, Howard, Howard. You're doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Don't go over to the dark side with Arlen Specter and Crazy Joe Lieberman.
Undoubtedly, Dean coming out against the health care plan, while intellectually and politically grounded, had something to do with his cavalier treatment at the hand of Obama and his henchmen. My biggest question for President Obama is: why did you give Joe Lieberman the red carpet treatment, and ignore a Yellow Dog loyalist like Dr. Dean? What were you thinking?
NBC's Mark Murray thinks it does, too:
"Here's something else to think about: In retrospect, was Barack Obama's conspicuous snub of Howard Dean a big mistake, given the former DNC chairman's opposition to the Senate health-care bill moving through Congress?
"Remember that when Tim Kaine was tapped to be the new DNC chairman, Dean wasn't at the Obama-Kaine press conference announcing the move. Instead, he was in American Samoa, but his allies maintained he would have canceled that trip had he been given a heads up about the press conference.
"What's more, Dean never got a plum position in the Obama administration. Possibly adding insult to injury, few DNC aides who worked for Dean initially got top jobs in the Obama administration."
Whatever the case, Howard Dean still has a lot of pull in the party ('though some think this is debatable), and this was a boneheaded mistake by an administration scrambling for every single vote it can find. To alienate one of the most passionate national advocates for health care reform? Not so smart.