Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment at Family Research Council. This article appeared in Patriot Post on November 8, 2014.
When former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) ran for President in 2004, he liked to joke that his campaign was pitched to “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” It was a jab at his rivals, whom he charged with being too cozy with Wall Street, too popular in corporate boardrooms. Long before there was an Occupy Wall Street movement, there was Howard Dean.
That was then. Now, Howard Dean is endorsing Hillary Clinton for President. Despite the fact that Hillary went from being “flat broke” in 2001 to co-owner today of a $105 million fortune, Dean says “I’m ready for Hillary." In an op ed piece for Politico, the left-leaning former chairman of the Democratic party writes:
I have known Hillary for almost twenty-five years. We first met when I was the governor of Vermont and she was the First Lady, giving us the opportunity to work together in various capacities, particularly on expanding health care access. During those years, I have learned that she is one of the most conscientious and competent people I have ever met. She has an enormous capacity to analyze and solve problems. She has a work ethic that drives her to persist until the job is done and done right
This is not just pro-Hillary, it’s pro-hillarious. If Hillary Clinton as First Lady was so conscientious and so competent, why isn’t the government takeover of Health Care called HillaryCare? Has everyone forgotten that she produced a monster of a health care bill in 1994? Her bill never even got to the "disastrous rollout” stage.
Why did the Democratic-controlled Congress in 1994 reject Hillary Clinton’s health care proposal? Simple: Those Democrats read the bill.
In 2010, the reason the Democrats on Capitol Hill passed what we have come to know as ObamaCare is also simple. They didn’t read the bill. In fact, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a virtue of blind obedience. “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.”
Americans have been ruing the day their representatives passed that bill. And voters aren’t the only ones who regret that Congress passed ObamaCare. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke out in the wake of his party’s Election Day debacle and said Democrats should have concentrated on jobs for the middle class instead of ramming through ObamaCare.
It’s especially noteworthy that Howard Dean is on record favoring socialized medicine. (As a retired physician, he knows he will never have to practice medicine under it.) It’s also worth noting that Howard Dean is “ready for Hillary” at a time when his previously-endorsed candidate, Barack Obama, has not even reached the meridian of his second term.
The President still has two years to go. He may be able to make frequent fliers of the remaining terrorists detained in Gitmo in those two years, but he still has a lot of work to do to get those pesky oceans to cease rising.
With all these left-wing Democrats telling us they are “ready for Hillary” or, perhaps, ready for Elizabeth Warren, doesn’t it seem they are abandoning Mr. Obama when he needs them most?
Are they as disappointed with Barack Obama as TV’s Barbara Walters is? She moaned as she mourned: “We thought he would be the next Messiah.”
How is he going to shred the Constitution’s requirement that “the laws be faithfully executed” without the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party on board? Aren’t they afraid they’ll look like Democrats deserting a sinking ship?
Perhaps Howard Dean is just covering his bets. He may endorse Hillary now and then endorse someone else later. He has done it before. In 2007, Dr. Dean managed the neat trick of endorsing two candidates for the same position. He explained it thus:
“I told Brad [Lander] that I would not endorse [anyone] before I realized that this was Josh [Skaller’s] race,” he said, later adding that he did not have a plan to campaign with Lander as he did with Skaller on Tuesday. “Brad is a perfectly good candidate. He’s a progressive. Most people like him. So I tried to do what I think was the fair thing, which is to endorse both.”
That’s one way you can be sure you have a friend on the New York City Council: endorse two rivals.
And it might just work for the 2016 Presidential Race. When Howard Dean lost the Iowa Caucuses to John Kerry in 2004, he let out a whoop and a holler. The media dubbed his performance the Howard Dean Scream. A decade later, it seems Howard Dean is still a Scream.