Governor Howard Dean, physician and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaks during the "American Technophile: "How Technology is changing Politics, Governance & Healthcare" panel at the Fortune Tech Brainstorm 2009 in Pasadena, California July 22, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten (UNITED STATES BUSINESS) (© Phil Mccarten / Reuters)

Today's most inane 2012 speculation

Politico's Roger Simon imagines Howard Dean challenging the president

Alex Pareene
November 4, 2010 8:01PM (UTC)

Will Howard Dean challenge Barack Obama in 2012? Politico columnist Roger Simon, who drew Dean from a hat full of cards that he'd written the names of various Democrats on, says probably!

First, Simon lays out the history: Reagan and Clinton were only reelected because they did not face serious primary challenges. But Jesse Jackson almost ran against Clinton, and he would've made Clinton lose, because of Whitewater, NAFTA and Troopergate. Thankfully, Rahm Emanuel and Harold Ickes made Jackson not run, thus saving Clinton from being Jimmy Carter.


But will Howard Dean seriously be Obama's Ted Kennedy? The Speculative 2012 Primary Challenge Column Hat does not lie. Howard Dean is going to run against Obama and lose to the Palin/O'Donnell ticket. Simon proves this with facts:

  • Howard Dean sounded defiant on the phone.
  • "Obama's people have long been thinking -- grimly -- about Dean."
  • "Some of the most influential members of Team Obama do not like or trust Dean and have long feared he would challenge Obama for the presidency if only given an opportunity."
  • Howard Dean has run for president before!
  • "Young people" and "liberals" like Howard Dean, because of "his pioneering use of the Internet as a political tool."
  • Obama wants to compromise, which will make the left mad.
  • Howard Dean hates Barack Obama because he did not get a Cabinet position.
  • Howard Dean himself said no one should challenge Obama in 2012 but on the other hand he also said something mildly critical of the White House.

Bam. QED.

Congratulations to Roger Simon for writing a column about the 2012 race that somehow manages to be even dumber than the hundreds of columns about Michael Bloomberg and Sarah Palin.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Democratic Party Howard Dean Politico War Room

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