Does Howard Dean even want to beat John McCain?

I’m just having a hard time understanding why Howard Dean seems more interested in sucking up to Hillary than beating John McCain in the fall. Today we have definitive proof, again, of how Hillary is literally and quantitatively hurting our battle to win the White House, and Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid – and the superdelegates – aren’t doing nearly enough about it.

From today’s Washington Post we learn – as I’ve been saying for weeks – that Hillary’s insistence to stay in the race, even though she’s already lost – is hurting the DNC’s fundraising in their efforts to take on John McCain.

From today’s Washington Post:

In a banner fundraising year for Democrats, the struggles of the Democratic National Committee to stockpile cash are frustrating party leaders and complicating efforts to define Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee….

[A]s of the end of April, the DNC had collected $22.8 million this year and had $4.4 left to spend; the Republican National Committee finished April with $57.6 raised and $40.6 million in its accounts.

DNC supporters say several factors have contributed to the shortfall. Among them, they say, are that the protracted race between Obama and Clinton has soaked up funds that would otherwise go the party committee…

One longtime party strategist familiar with the inner workings of the DNC went further, acknowledging that although raising money is always “a difficult thing during a primary” for the DNC, “there is serious concern about their complete lack of fundraising success.”…

A high-ranking DNC official who spoke with The Washington Post on the condition he not be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation said he worries that the party’s impaired financial condition is leaving it powerless to help define McCain.

“Both campaigns have expressed a desire for us to attack McCain,” the official said. “We made a small media buy. But we simply cannot sustain the kind of advertising we need right now. We can’t even sustain even a national cable buy for a month.”

But hey, Hillary has a bruised ego, and she’s now hell-bent on convincing her supporters that the election was stolen from her by misogynist voters and superdelegates and mathematicians, so what’s a lost presidency compared to Hillary’s fragile emotions? Yes, Dean and Pelosi and Reid have talked to Hillary privately. That’s nice. It clearly didn’t work. Then again, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that Dean, Pelosi and Reid never exacted a “no assassinations-talk” promise from Hillary, so technically she may not have breached their agreement. (Never get into a land war in Asia, and never get into a parsing contest with the Clintons.)

Everyone in the party is afraid of the Clintons. Far too many superdelegates are still not picking a side because they don’t want to offend either Hillary or Obama. Take Rep. Clyburn. He’s African-American and a superdelegate, and this weekend he expressed outrage at Hillary’s assassination comments. But even so, he’s still “undecided” as to who should be president. Apparently, hinting at the assassination of a black presidential candidate isn’t enough to tip the scales for the most senior African-American member of the House. Maybe he’s waiting to hear Hillary’s position on slavery.

The superdelegates, our party leaders, are more interested in not offending Hillary than they are in winning the White House in the fall. So, we’ll continue talking about “white Americans” and “assassinations” all the way until the convention, ripping our party in two, and defunding the effort to beat John McCain in the fall, because Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest of the superdelegates don’t have the backbone to tell Hillary that it’s over.

And these people wonder why we lose.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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