Thursday, June 05, 2008

Howard Dean to Remain as DNC Chair

Just noticed this, and I'm a bit relieved. From The Fix blog at the Washington Post:

Dean Stays at DNC, Tewes Joins

Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) is moving quickly to put his imprint on the Democratic National Committee, offering a vote of confidence in current chairman Howard Dean while also installing one of his most senior political deputies in a leadership role at the party committee.

In the days since Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday night, there had been speculation that Dean might be removed in favor of a party chairman of Obama's choosing.

Obama put that speculation to rest this morning.

"Senator Obama appreciates the hard work that Chairman Dean has done to grow our party at the grassroots level and looks forward to working with him as the chairman of the Democratic Party as we go forward," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton in a statement.

Although Obama is keeping Dean, he is also ensuring that one of the main pillars of his campaign is installed at the DNC. Paul Tewes, a longtime party operative who managed Obama's Iowa caucus effort, will take over the general-election strategy at the DNC, according to several officials briefed on the decision.

Dean will announce Tewes to the DNC staff this afternoon. No title for the nomadic political operative, who served as political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the 2004 cycle, has been chosen.

Those close to the DNC's operations insist that no wholesale changes will occur at the party committee. Instead, the current staff will stay intact while a number of Obama loyalists are added to bolster the committee's general election operation.

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