Picking Up Where Ron Brown Left Off
One was a snazzy dresser, a major African-American force who thrived on the Washington social circuit. The other is a buttoneddown white Vermonter, an excitable but nerdy med school kind of guy. But there's something about the similarities between the late Democratic National Committee Chairman Ron Brown and current DNC boss, Howard Dean, that has folks talking--even Dean. "My model is Ron Brown," he says flatly. Don't laugh. Sure, their personalities and styles are radically different, but party insiders and friends of both say Dean has attacked his job of reforming the party just as Brown did--with similarly winning results.
Some examples: Both entered the job as outsiders under fire from moderates who worried that they were too liberal. Both surprised the establishment by raising tons of money. Both took a shattered party and built a national organization geared to winning a presidential election. "He was incredibly inclusive, and he was an outsider, of course," Dean says," so I identify with him that way." And both focused on the key Democratic demographic-- blacks. Brown brought African-Americans to the table. Dean, who's studied Tracey Brown's bio of her dad, wants more: putting more blacks on the ballot. "It's going to be about opportunities and a place on the ticket," says Dean. "Ron Brown was really the beginning of that."
Why Not Impeach Bush? Dick Cheney
The degree to which the new Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill despises Vice President Dick Cheney is a big plus for President Bush. Consider why incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scrapped an idea to impeach Bush: "Two words: Dick Cheney," he says, joking that it would vault the veep into the Oval Office.
Globe-trotting to Iraq Hot Spots
The troops in Iraq are about to get their hoops fix, thanks to the storied Harlem Globetrotters. The team of roundball magicians departs November 25, visiting Iraq as part of a 21-day trip to 12 bases in the Middle East. And, yes, owner Mannie Jackson and his 10 stars will return in time for the 193-city U.S.-Canada "Nothing Like It" tour opening December 26.
These Marines Forgive and Forget
It was party time for Sen. John Kerry's staff and alumni from his 2004 presidential campaign last week at the Democrat's favorite Capitol Hill hangout across from the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks and HQ when a group of marines approached him. But they didn't scold him for recently suggesting that the military attracts mediocre students. Instead, they yukked it up and even bought the vet a shot of tequila--which he downed.
Score One for the Airport Ziploc Rule
Kip Hawley is a rarity among federal execs: He relishes the chance to experience their own onerous security rules. While traveling, the head of the Transportation Security Administration has been looking to see if the new rule requiring that small amounts of liquids be put in zip-top bags is a good one. With stops in St. Louis, Orlando, and even Brussels, he finds it A-OK. "It's great to see [our screeners] doing such a top-notch job," says Hawley.