January 12, 2005

Delta Force for DNC Chair!

I don't have a lot to add to this whole DNC Chair debate, to be honest. It comes with falling on the wonky side of the pundit sphere—I love talking about the mechanics and pitfalls of, say, the Iraqi Constitution (about which I''ll hopefully have a long post soon), but not so good on figuring out What The Democrats Need To Do. All in all, Tom Schaller's case for Simon Rosenberg sounds very convincing, but these arguments can probably go back and forth all day.

So here's my trick. As a shorthand for having no political sense whatsoever, I'll fall back on asking what the Republicans would do. The GOP, after all, did well in 2004—despite basing their national campaign on a couple of disastrous and unpopular policies (Iraq, Medicare, the economy) they obviously had a good message and a great ground campaign. The RNC was dishonest, steady, evasive, ruthless—in short, stellar. So I would encourage everyone to read this old profile of RNC Chair Ed Gillespie, and at least ask whether Democrats need an Ed Gillespie of their own. Because he seems to know what he's doing.

From the profile, Gillespie seems like a serious backroom kind of guy—knows how to win minor tactical battles, do damage control on the talk shows, wheedle fund-raisers and lobbyists, flit in and out of Congress, get people the positions they want, get op-eds placed at the right time. But he doesn't strike me as a visionary, like Rosenberg, or a party icon, like Dean, or even a great manager. He's just a one-man Delta Force unit. So to tell you the truth, I don't know what Democrat fits this description, but whoever it is, he or she is the person I'll back.

-- Brad Plumer 3:22 AM || ||