``I think all the candidates who are running have strong attributes, but Dean has more of the attributes than the others,'' said Ickes, who considered running for chairman himself before dropping out in early January. ``Many people say Howard Dean is a northeastern liberal, he is progressive, but his tenure as governor of Vermont was that of a real moderate.''
Ickes, who heads the political action committee of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton....While Ickes would not comment on the Clintons' preferences, he is a close ally and would not be endorsing Dean against their strong objections."
To be sure, their fear of Dean was different than say, Al From's. The Clintons liked the old chair, not because of his ideology, but because he was their guy. Having a wide-open race for DNC chair meant that they had lost their control over the party to a degree.
It reality though, it could have been a smart vote. Howard was on the cusp of winning for sure, but he was also "a lock" about this time of year for the Nomination too and look out that worked out. Now, in theory, the good doctor "owes" the Clintons for his victory.
The timing of Ickes was impecible, just before the ASDC was about to endorse on Monday, which might or might not of sealed the deal for Howard anyway. This way, the Clintons can at least claim they influenced that outcome.
This is all very bad news for people like Frost or Roemer, who had hoped the Clintons would endorse them in the last minute and save their candiacy from an uncertain (Frost) or certain (Roemer) fate.
All the wannabes like Rosenberg and Fowler must be quite dissipointed too. They will never know if their complex strategies for taking down Dean without attacking Deanism would have worked.
Now the real question is, who will this help in the 2008 primaries? Certainly not Kerry or Bayh or Biden, maybe Boxer, maybe Clark, Clinton if she gets in, I doubt it would help Edwards, and rest of the cast of characters have yet to emmerge.