Friday, January 9

OBAMA NASTY TO HOWARD DEAN

Politico - The conspicuous absence of Howard Dean from Thursday's press conference announcing Tim Kaine's appointment as Democratic National Committee chair was no accident, according to Dean loyalists. Rather, they say, it was a reflection of the lack of respect accorded to the outgoing party chairman by the Obama team.

Despite leading the party in consecutive triumphant election cycles - as well as through off-year races like when Kaine was elected Virginia governor in 2005 - Dean has become all but invisible since Election Day, passed over for the Cabinet position he coveted and apparently not in line for another administration post.

Indeed, when President-elect Barack Obama introduced Kaine at party headquarters Thursday afternoon, Dean was 7,023 miles and seven time zones away, closer to French Polynesia than Washington, doing party grunt work in American Samoa.

His allies aren't happy about it. "If he had been asked to go to that event, he would have been there," Jim Dean, the chairman's brother, noted twice in an interview.

Dean's reward for the party recapturing the White House, House, Senate, and taking control of seven governor's mansions and eight state legislatures on his watch? So far, nothing.

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