Howard Dean on Obama, Michael Steele, and the Path to Real Healthcare Reform

Howard Dean speaks with U.S. News about more than just his new book.

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No. And right now they have no interest, obviously. They're using it as a political cudgel against Obama, but they have no interest in the substance of the bill. The Republicans aren't interested in this. They weren't interested in Medicare 45 years ago. And they're not going to be interested in this. We should just pass it and do the right thing.

So will Democrats be blamed if nothing passes?

Well, obviously the Republicans are doing everything they can to kill it. I mean, look, the Democrats are ultimately responsible because we have huge majorities, and if you can't get a program through when you're a huge majority, that's a big problem. And that's not going to be very helpful to the Democrats in 2010 or 2012.

What do you think of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele?

I like Michael Steele personally. He's probably not suited to be chairman because he wasn't able to stand up to Rush Limbaugh. And you can't be pushed around by a talk show host if you're going to be the chairman of the Republican Party. Or the Democratic Party, for that matter.

How would you take on Steele if you were still head of the DNC?

I would ignore him.

What does the future look like for you?

Who knows? I really want to do everything I can to get a decent healthcare bill passed. And then who knows what's next?

Might you run for office again?

Probably not.

But the option is open?

All options are open in politics.

What do you think?

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