Howard Dean: “We’ll Know Who Our Nominee Is” by the “End of June”

Today, Democratic National Committee Chairman and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean appeared on MSNBC’s Today Show, where he was interviewed by Meredith Vieira.  He discussed the current situation between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as well as what role the Superdelegates will play in the nomination process.  The following is a video of the interview, and I have typed a transcript below it:

Meredith Vieira: Howard Dean is the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former Governor of the State of Vermont.  Doctor Dean, good morning to you.

Dean: Thanks for having me on.

Meredith: Thanks for being here.  You just heard that Reverend Wright is making headlines again.  How much does he complicate your efforts to eventually bring this party together?

Dean: Well, you know, I—I’ve made it a point not to comment on either of the campaigns, so I’m not gonna comment on Reverend Wright, which is all about—in this campaign.  My focus is John McCain.  Uh—John McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years.  He thinks the economy is the problem of the mortgage holders, and not the mortgage lenders.  Uh—he thinks that we ought not to have health care for our kids.  Uh—there’s a big difference between both Hillary—Clinton and Barack Obama.  On the one hand and John McCain on the other, so I—I’m not gonna get into the Obama versus Clinton stuff.

Meredith: But race has certainly become a key element in—in this campaign, on both sides.  You can’t ignore that.

Dean: I—I’m not totally convinced that it is a key element, uh—[unintelligible].  I think that people make up their minds on a variety of issues and I think they’ll continue to do that.  But again, I—there’s a big—the biggest difference on this campaign is not between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  It’s between John McCain, who’s a candidate of the past, a candidate that offers us four more of George Bush—uh—and either of our two candidates, who are really gonna be agents of change.

Meredith: But first you have to have somebody nominated, and you’re hoping to see this nomination wrapped up by June.  How optimistic are you that that will happen?

Dean: I think it will happen.  Um—I think—we—we got nine more primaries.  I think we’re gonna get through those.  Uh—we’ve got two really big ones coming up a week from tomorrow.  Uh—and then—uh—the—there’s 500 of the 800 unpledged delegates have already said who they’re for.  I think the remaining 300 will do that by the end of June and we’ll know who our nominee is, and that’s what we need to do.

Meredith: But if you listen to Senators Clinton and Obama over the past few days, they’ve been arguing over what criteria the Superdelegates should use to make their selection, and Clinton is suggesting that it’s the person who has the most votes, popular votes, and she has those if you count Michigan and Florida.  Barack Obama is saying, “No, no, no, it’s the person who has the most pledged delegates.”  But if I understand the rules right, the Superdelegates don’t have to abide by any of those criteria.

Dean: Uh—the—the rules say that the delegates can vote their conscience, and they—they’re Superdelegates—and they will vote their conscience.  Most of the time, and in fact, all of the time in my personal experience, they have voted for the person with the most pledged delegates, but there’s—that’s not in the rules, and they can do—I—I think what they’re gonna do is vote for the person they think can beat John McCain.  Look, we’ve just got a new ad out on the—on McCain’s position on the war.  It’s so far away from where Americans want to be, that I just can’t imagine how they’re gonna elect John McCain.  The only way that John McCain wins this race is if Democrats are not united.  We need to be united in order to win.  We need a new direction for this country, and again, John McCain offers the—the past.

Meredith: But right now you are not united, sir, that’s very clear.

Dean: Well, we’ve got a race going on, and as soon as we finish that race, we’ll be united.

Meredith: But what—what—you—you talked about the Superdelegates following the will of the pledged delegates.  If they don’t do that this time, and as you said, they don’t have to, there is the possibility of a perception that the race was stolen.  How do you ensure that it was not, to the person who loses?  How do you ensure that it was fair?

Dean: That’s exactly what I’m doing.  I stand up for what the rules of the party are.  You may or may not like the rules, but both candidates knew what the rules were when we started—uh—they both have campaigns among pledged and unpledged delegates, and my job is to uphold the rules—without fear or favor of any candidates.  Look, somebody’s gonna lose this race with 49% of the delegates.  We can’t win the Presidency without those 49% that represent the candidate that doesn’t win.  And so, I need to make sure that whoever loses feels that they’ve been treated fairly and respectfully, and that’s what my—that’s my job and that’s what I’m gonna do.

Meredith: Have you spoken to the two candidates, taken them aside, and said, “Look [unintelligible] if you lose, I expect you to go out there and campaign vigorously,” for the other one?

Dean: I don’t think I need to do that.  Look, when I lost to John Kerry, I didn’t need to be told that this was about something that was greater than—than me, this was about the country.  And I worked very hard for John Kerry, and it took me about three months to get my folks to change their position and not support me, but support John Kerry for the Presidency, because it was about what was good for America, and I think either of these candidates are experienced public servants and they know, without being told by me or anybody else, that their obligation is to their country, and I think that they will do that very thing.  As soon as they know that they aren’t gonna win, they’re gonna support the other candidate.

Meredith: Alright, Howard Dean, thank you very much.

Dean: Thank you.

Now, let’s look at some parts of Dean’s interview.

First, I have to clarify a statement that Dean made:

Uh—John McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years.  He thinks the economy is the problem of the mortgage holders, and not the mortgage lenders.  Uh—he thinks that we ought not to have health care for our kids.

Yeah, that’s blatantly untrue.  Nowhere has McCain said that he WANTS to spend 100 years in Iraq, but that we should stay there that long if necessary.  He never said that we shouldn’t have health care for kids, but that the government shouldn’t be buying health care plans for them.

Meredith: But race has certainly become a key element in—in this campaign, on both sides.  You can’t ignore that.

Dean: I—I’m not totally convinced that it is a key element, uh—[unintelligible].  I think that people make up their minds on a variety of issues and I think they’ll continue to do that.

Dean, buddy, where’ve you been?  Of course race is a key element – this is America.  It’ll be a key element for another 50-100 years.

Meredith: But first you have to have somebody nominated, and you’re hoping to see this nomination wrapped up by June.  How optimistic are you that that will happen?

Dean: I think it will happen.  Um—I think—we—we got nine more primaries.  I think we’re gonna get through those.  Uh—we’ve got two really big ones coming up a week from tomorrow.  Uh—and then—uh—the—there’s 500 of the 800 unpledged delegates have already said who they’re for.  I think the remaining 300 will do that by the end of June and we’ll know who our nominee is, and that’s what we need to do.

I honestly don’t see Clinton as giving up by then.  If she’s behind, she’ll take it to the convention floor and fight for every last delegate to come over to her side.  The only way she’ll win it is if Florida and Michigan are seated, and Obama wouldn’t allow that, and even if he did, his supporters wouldn’t, and the future of the Democratic party would be bleak at best for the next 20+ years.

Meredith: But what—what—you—you talked about the Superdelegates following the will of the pledged delegates.  If they don’t do that this time, and as you said, they don’t have to, there is the possibility of a perception that the race was stolen.  How do you ensure that it was not, to the person who loses?  How do you ensure that it was fair?

Dean: That’s exactly what I’m doing.  I stand up for what the rules of the party are.  You may or may not like the rules, but both candidates knew what the rules were when we started—uh—they both have campaigns among pledged and unpledged delegates, and my job is to uphold the rules—without fear or favor of any candidates.  Look, somebody’s gonna lose this race with 49% of the delegates.  We can’t win the Presidency without those 49% that represent the candidate that doesn’t win.  And so, I need to make sure that whoever loses feels that they’ve been treated fairly and respectfully, and that’s what my—that’s my job and that’s what I’m gonna do.

Right on.  If the Democrats don’t unite (and they won’t!!!) it pretty much gurantees McCain the win.

Meredith: Have you spoken to the two candidates, taken them aside, and said, “Look [unintelligible] if you lose, I expect you to go out there and campaign vigorously,” for the other one?

Dean: I don’t think I need to do that.  Look, when I lost to John Kerry, I didn’t need to be told that this was about something that was greater than—than me, this was about the country.  And I worked very hard for John Kerry, and it took me about three months to get my folks to change their position and not support me, but support John Kerry for the Presidency, because it was about what was good for America, and I think either of these candidates are experienced public servants and they know, without being told by me or anybody else, that their obligation is to their country, and I think that they will do that very thing.  As soon as they know that they aren’t gonna win, they’re gonna support the other candidate.

But you and Kerry didn’t fight NEARLY as much as Obama and Clinton are.  And you and Kerry didn’t go through all of the primaries before you knew who the nominee was.  The two are VERY different, and althouigh the 2 candidates may APPEAR to get along, they won’t, and Americans will see this.  In addition, the supporters of the loser won’t all go over to the other side, and many of them will stay home, ESPECIALLY if Obama loses.  All those young people who got involved will suddenly become apathetic again.

I honestly wonder if Dean really believes what he’s saying, whether or not he truly believes that everything will work out alright.

Frankly, I don’t see how the Democrats could pull off a win, unless the Republicans and/or McCain screw up big before November (Mark Foley, George Allen, etc…).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Howard Dean: “We’ll Know Who Our Nominee Is” by the “End of June””

  1. Ben K Says:

    Will we though?

  2. inkslwc Says:

    Of course we won’t.

  3. John McCain Releases New Ad and Gives Speech: Health Care Action « Republican Ranting Says:

    […] Republican Ranting A blog that I post on whenever I see something that makes me want to go off on a Republican (Libertarian every once in a while) rant. I will cover stories from all over the nation and world, but I will try to cover as many stories about my home state of Michigan as I can (I’ll also talk a lot about Texas, because Texas is awesome!). Note, all times are for the Eastern time zone, daylight savings time when applicable, so stop leaving comments that it’s only noon in California and I said 3:00 P.M. « Howard Dean: “We’ll Know Who Our Nominee Is” by the “End of June” […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: