Can Howard Dean Save Us From a Brokered Convention?

Following up on yesterday's reports hinting at the likelihood of a brokered Democratic convention in August, it's worth keeping in mind that DNC Chairman Howard Dean apparently has some kind of plan to intervene.


The narrow margin in delegates, and the growing likelihood that it will remain close, prompted concern on Wednesday from the chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean, who said Tuesday night that Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton should avoid taking the nominating fight all the way to the party convention in August.
"I think we will have a nominee sometime in the middle of March or April," Mr. Dean said Wednesday on the NY1 cable news channel, "but if we don't, then we're going to have to get the candidates together and make some kind of an arrangement. Because I don't think we can afford to have a brokered convention; that would not be good news for either party."
An adviser to Mr. Dean said Wednesday that he had not discussed the idea with either candidate.
"He was essentially laying down a marker that if need be, he is prepared to step in and try to help resolve the situation," the adviser said.
Dean added, "The idea that we can afford to have a big fight at the convention and then win the race in the next eight weeks, I think, is not a good scenario."

That certainly sounds right to me, but I haven't the foggiest idea what Dean could do.

This is not to say the DNC chair is some kind of figurehead; he's not. In fact, I think Howard Dean has done a great job implementing an important 50-state strategy, raising lots of money for the party, helping recruit some great candidates, etc.
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