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Howard Dean, shafted

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Maybe they thought he was gay.

[I]t's hard not to see Dean as a lesson in how political hardball is played in Washington. Never liked by establishment party figures -- Dean publicly feuded with incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) when the latter headed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 election cycle -- Dean finds himself on the outside looking in as a new Democratic administration comes to town....

Dean then made a play to be secretary of health and human services in the Obama administration but was quickly shot down in favor of former senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, a confidante of the president-elect.

Dean's confrontational style and aversion to fundraising led to clashes with party leaders (Emanuel among others) during his four years at the helm of the DNC, but, in hindsight, some of his most controversial strategic moves paid off.

Dean was widely disparaged within the party for his "50-state strategy" -- a plan to put DNC-paid staffers on the ground in every state to ensure the party fielded a competitive slate of candidates. Yet, the 2006 and 2008 elections seemed to justify Dean's decision as Democrats won in such states as North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Kansas and Idaho -- places that, as recently as a few elections ago, were considered impenetrable....

A source familiar with Dean's 2004 presidential campaign and his DNC chairmanship argued not only that the former governor's presidential bid lay the technological foundation for Obama's successes but also that the chairman's unbending enforcement of the primary rules -- stripping Florida and Michigan of their delegates and their meaningfulness -- played a large role in Obama's victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton. "I guess it proves that no good deed goes unpunished," the source said.
Dean joins John Kerry and Wes Clark in the "why aren't they in the administration" category.

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