Melissa Harris-Lacewell asks Howard Dean if he’s ready to lead
I came across a nice article at TheRoot.com written by Melissa Harris-Lacewell. She challenges Dean to do something to save his party Hillary’s efforts to blow it up. MelissaHarris -Lacewell is associate professor of politics and African American studies at Princeton University.
- Dear Gov. Dean,
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are not tied. You know this. There is little chance of a gracious settlement offer from the Clinton camp. The slim margin in Indiana gives her just enough rationale to stay in it.
Given that she will not voluntarily withdraw, Mr. Dean, I am asking you to take a hard look at the Democratic Party and consider whether you want that party to have a future. If so, now is the time for leadership.
- The party must shore up its strengths. African-Americans are the most consistently loyal Democratic partisans in national and local elections. But the tie between blacks and the Democratic Party does not bind as fiercely as it once did. There has been a notable decline among blacks who call themselves Strong Democrats and a substantial increase in African-Americans who identify as Independents. Also, far fewer black Americans now believe that there are clear differences between the parties.
- Mr. Dean, if you allow Senator Clinton to take the party’s nomination after ruthlessly deploying race in this primary campaign, you will obliterate your base. Despite all the media chatter about white, working class voters, the candidate with a demographic problem is Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama. Obama has developed a national, multiracial coalition, and his vote share among white voters has remained largely consistent throughout the campaign.
- Mr. Dean, now is the time for courage. Your party has chosen a nominee, and he is a capable of creating and shoring up a new and lasting Democratic majority built on a national, multiracial, intergenerational coalition of men and women. Last night Senator Obama said, “I love this country too much to see it divided and distracted at this moment in our history.”
Mr. Dean, how much do you love your party? It is time to start making the call, publicly and privately, for Hillary Clinton to exit the race. Your party needs you. Are you prepared to lead?
Click here to see the rest of the article at TheRoot.com