Whatever did happen to Gov. Howard Dean? Dean is an interesting case because he was one open mic from being the Democrat nominee in 2004. Karl Rove even wrote up 'the book' on how the beat him. Dean was far more eloquent and stronger than Kerry, and could've beaten Bush. Dean's '04 campaign was the official start of Internet politics as well as the beginning of the liberal '60s echo we're in now. Sadly, Ted Kennedy saved Kerry in Iowa, and Dems gave in to momentum voting. I firmly believe Dean in front of a laser focused OWS would have given it legitimacy and made waves this year on the left. The problem was that OWS quickly devolved (plus the other items I cited). Dean has rehabilitated his image from shouting flame out, but there has been one obstacle since 2008: he wasn't part of Obama's gang.
Consider every book about 'O' now, how insular Obama's world is and how self centered Obama is. Before the GOP started their Tea Party cycle, there was the '04-'08 post-68 echo cycle for Dems. Obama is the black Adlai Stevenson certain Dems have longed for years to have in charge. The civil war in the Democrat party that has gone on since the 2008 election has narrowed down to the Obama Chicago crowd vs. everyone else. Part of the DNC identity politics crap wasn't just because identity politics is the party (coalition of victim groups), but also because Obama hasn't unified the party around a party wide idea or concept. Debt relief for all would be a winner, but Goldman Sachs won't allow it. This development hurts them with statewide office candidates. Getting back to the Dem civil war, Clintonites have not forgiven the caucus behavior of the Chicago crowd (buses of Chi-town volunteers that called Clinton-Edwards voters racist). Caucuses are open and more vulnerable to public shaming. Look at Obama's record in caucuses in '08 compared to primaries or his primary season popular vote total if you pull out just Cook County (he falls behind Clinton). Dems also not implementing 'winner takes all delegates' after a set date killed Hillary. Plus, Clintonites were frozen out of many admin positions. Years later, Gov. Rendell (Clintonite) floated out primary challenger talk in 2011. Many Dems feel they have been sacrificed at the altar for St. Obama. Consider the lack of star power at the convention. Bill Clinton and a motley crew of smurfs spoke. Part of this is payback as Obama has not campaigned for candidates, and when he has, he is the kiss of death.
Obama's core crew hates Dean, but not for his ideology. Pushing Dean out was about power not ideology. Dean provided an alternative power, favors, fundraising and publicity source for Democrats. Dean's success in 2006 as well as his appeal to '60s echo liberalism would create an alternative power base vs. the Obama crowd. His beliefs were similar to Obama's supposed beliefs, which made him even more of a threat. That is why they pushed him out. They isolated Dean. A campaign manager like Axelrod has more visibility and comments on policy more than Dean. Instead of viewing DC politicians as part of a power pyramid, consider DC as a power archipelago. How big is one's island? Are you an island creator or seeker? The Obama crew destroyed a potential rival by isolating and shrinking his island.
People don't see the details, but this was a problem for Rahm as well. Rahm was a reason for the '06 sweep (as well as Howard Dean + Hurricane Katrina), and he is a Clinton guy who disparaged progressives and black politicians despite being 'from' liberal Illinois. Rahm and Val Jarrett did not get along, and in retrospect, we now know how much control she has over Obama. When he saw how insular Obama was already becoming with his Chicago crew, Rahm bugged out. He'll be back as a US Senator in '16 with his power base. Similar to Rahm + Dean, Sen. Schumer is a problem for Obama as Schumer's PAC has contributed significant dollars to many Senate campaigns, creating a pool of support + power. When Sen. Reid retires or is forced down, the fight for Dem Senate leadership will be Durbin (his PAC has been effective) vs. Schumer. If Obama is still in office + has juice left (juice seems unlikely), Obama will push for Durbin instead of Schumer. Dean is on the outside looking in as long as Obama is POTUS. He is yesterday's news. A old professor once stated that a politician gets one shot at the presidency, which is why Richard Nixon being nominated by the GOP and winning in '68 is so special. Howard Dean still is a great package, but he lost his chance. People may not see it now, but the same goes for Hillary Clinton.
Now that I think about it, Obama : Rahm/Clinton/Dean is very Stalin : Lenin/Trotsky/Zinoviev.