I'm very excited about the prospect of Howard heading up the DNC. Frankly, I didn't know enough about the other candidates to have a well grounded opinion on who would be best.
But this I do know: We need to change the status quo, and no one can question that Howard is a step in that direction. Anything that is a departure from Reid and Polosi is a step in the right direction.
A while back Kevin Drum made a good case for Howard as DNC chair:
He's a well known figure, which means he'd automatically get more attention than any of the other candidates. There's no substitute for the kind of charisma he's got, and it's
something Democrats desperately need. With all due respect, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid just aren't going to get the kind of face time that Dean can get.
He's not afraid to speak out. He'll beat up on the opposition, he'll stir the pot, and he'll say interesting things. He's also shown that he's willing to say things to Democrats that they need to hear too, whether they like it or not.
Despite his reputation, his policy preferences are pretty centrist. That means he can appeal to both the reformist wing of the party and the DLC wing.
I'll bet he's a pretty good fundraiser. Like it or not, the DNC chair needs to raise money from big donors, and I think Dean can do that. But he also has a proven ability to raise money fromnontraditional sources.
In this morning's WaPoDan Balz gives a nice run-down of what Howard faces.