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Monday, November 10, 2008

Howard Dean is stepping down as chairman of the DNC in triumph. Steve Benen says perennial favorite Claire McCaskill likely to take up the job. Sam Stein:

Regardless of who takes over, the next chair will inherit an organization far different from the one that existed four years ago. Under Dean's tenure, the DNC implemented the hotly-debated 50-state-strategy, a program designed to rebuild the party into a continental force, one in which Democrats drained the resources of Republicans while simultaneously building up younger talent. Obama's incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and others were critical, believing that the policy wasted valuable resources on impossible races and needlessly forfeited otherwise winnable seats during the 2006 congressional elections. Successes in 2008, however, have largely quieted those critiques.

Indeed, four years later, it seems, Dean's vision is poised to become party orthodoxy. Dean told a Democratic operative that he is hoping to extract promises from all potential replacement candidates to preserve the 50-state-strategy. Other insiders, meanwhile, say that the next DNC chair, regardless of who it is, will build upon the model because of its tangible success.