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A Door Ajar

Feb
7
2005

Notice a difference in style and tone between the endorsements that Simon Rosenberg and Donnie Fowler made of Democratic National Committee Chairman-to-be Howard Dean?
One’s an insider’s message. That’d be Fowler. His formal statement withdrawing from the race and endorsing Dean has all kinds of nice words from Dean. That’s a good sign Fowler’s gonna get a nice job with the DNC. Rosenberg’s statement of withdrawal ain’t as warm and cozy.


It’s interesting only because it might be an indication of where Rosenberg will take his New Democratic Network. It’s an organization with what you might call an “interesting” history. At one point, currying favor with Silicon Valley – hey, that’s where the money is – NDN was a big supporter of Sen. Joe Lieberman’s, the man TechNet wanted for president. Then it was backing Dean; not exactly an obvious political segue. Then, Rosenberg said in his various statements about the DNC Chairmanship, Dean wasn’t the man to unite the party. Now he is.
Rosenberg could – if his political skills were a bit sharper – be the man to really grow and nurture Progressive libertarians and keep them in the Democratic Party. Rosenberg’s got a great eye for talent. He’s backed – with fundraisers — California Controller Steve Westly and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. More recently, he’s been hanging around with San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris and city attorney Dennis Herrera. In their own ways, each of these pols is working to fuse the social Liberalism of the Democrats with a new kind of responsibility: civic, financial and social. You want to be a hopeful Democrat you can talk to any of them and feel better about the party’s future.
They are all under 40 so they speak naturally the language of young, well-off, tech-savvy Democrats who, more and more, make up San Francisco and California’s new politically aware class. They are socially liberal (pro-choice, yes on gay marriage, no on the death penalty) but fiscally conservative (no federal deficits, no tax cuts for the very wealthy, ). Of course this is the same crowd that hates the unions, wants stock options treated as deductible expenses on corporate taxes, favors a very low capital gains rate and looks at a class action lawsuits with a horror that borders on the comical.
If that description doesn’t make you think this crowd’s political loyalty is up for grabs, it should. Here in California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is working hard to turn these folks into Republicans. And Howard Dean is going to have to work hard – and possibly work against the causes so dear to his most Liberal supporters – to keep this crowd in the party. That’s an opening for Rosenberg if he’s clever enough to take it.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:11 AM | Permalink

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