August 22nd, 2010
11:02 AM ET
4 years ago

Dean: Obama political advisers have 'misjudged'






Washington (CNN) – Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean said Sunday that President Obama's political advisers are suffering from an inside-the-beltway mentality, but that Democrats will retain majorities in the House and Senate.

"I think the people around the president have really misjudged what goes on elsewhere in the country other than Washington, D.C.," Dean, also the former governor of Vermont, said on CNN's State of the Union. "I don't think this is true of the president, but I do think his people, his political people ought to go out and spend some time outside Washington once in a while."

Dean has, at times, been a voice of dissent within the Democratic Party and has disagreed publicly with the Obama administration on key issues, including health care reform legislation, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and, most recently, the construction of an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero.

But despite his criticism of Obama's political team, Dean told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that Democrats could retain control of the House and Senate.

"I'd bet money on the Senate for sure. The House is much tougher, I think at the end of the day, we are going to win in the House, and we are going to have a majority. It'll probably be reduced ... perhaps as small as a five or ten seat majority. We simply have better candidates," Dean said.

With the November midterm elections now just months away, Dean said the time has come for Democrats to put aside their policy differences and focus on electoral success.

"We've got to win this election, and after the election is over we can go back to having our policy fights. But this is about winning. You can't get anything done unless you have a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House," Dean said.


Filed under: 2010 • Howard Dean • President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Is it the presidents staff giving bad advice or is it the president just making bad decisions .

    August 22, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. vic

    Democrats time to swallow it we had best candidate in 2008 democrats didn’t give the nomination to her

    August 22, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Dean is right. Obama's advisors are still trying to appease the right wing and it will be at The President's peril!

    August 22, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. bernice

    We have the most intelligent president EVER in the history of our country..Shut up & let him work...If you weren't raised with respect & manners then you probably aren't a true American..
    If you can't say something nice about our president, then shut up & stop embarrassing the rest of our country with your ignorance...

    August 22, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. James

    So it would be a strange situation in u.s history if democrats control senate and republicans dominate the house ..

    August 22, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. WIlly Brown

    Buh bye democrats.

    August 22, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Dragonfire

    No, Mr. Dean, this isn't about winning. It is about representing the people which the Obozo administration has NOT DONE> The Obozo Admin. has made it very obvious that our wishes are not imprortant, e.g., passing the Obozocare Health Care Program when more than half of the people said they did not want it passed. If Gov't run Health care programs are sooooo great, then maybe you can tell me why the doctors in Canada are establishing member-only health care clinics!?!?!? And why Canadians come here for their health care?

    Also, I love the fact that we are seeing the real Obozo and not the choreographed puppet that was presented to us for his campaign.

    August 22, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. mdyer

    As a lifelong Democrat until 2 years ago, I just think they are on the wrong course. They (Pelosi, Obama, etc) do not act like public servants. They no longer listen to the people and blaming Bush makes them look even more arrogant.

    August 22, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Bill

    If I am the president of the country and am getting and taking bad advice, is that not my fault? How is this different? The bucks stops where?

    August 22, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Gil

    Yes, when the other party, The Party of No, gets kidnapped by the right wing nut case conservative extremists it will make it easier to hold onto the majorities, but then the Robert's court has ruled about unlimited spending. That should make it easier for the No Party to buy the elections!

    August 22, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. 12457

    Keep in mind the president hand picked these advisors.

    August 22, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Bill in CA.

    That and a 20% congressional approval rating may give them pause for thought...

    August 22, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. William O'Connor

    Just imagine how bad off the country would be in the hands of a woman who didn't believe in evolution and a man who was there when it started.

    August 22, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. rdepontb

    Rahm should have left months ago; he's in way over his energy level at this point, having called in so much direct and indirect fire to his office with his methods and mouth. That seems to have scared every one else around the poor Prez that the "emperor's new clothes" has been too much the order of the day.

    Overall, the staff have been swinging back and forth like an out of control pendulum-overly left, overly right, a little tremblor in the middle for a drie-by...way off consistency for way too long.

    Time to marginalize some of the key folks, let them sit a few out and re-energize. Not all, mind you, as we need some institutional memory, but they shouldn't automatically be able to blur out what new pairs of eyes see.

    August 22, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Dean like all others is just having his say but BIG CORPORATIONS have the final say.

    August 22, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. SkiDoc

    News Flash......Too late, Dean. They stopped listening to the people long ago. In November, it's GOP all the way!!

    August 22, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Karen

    A good visit with the people in this country who are having a very hard time living day to day. Jobs, economy, healthcare..........find out what the real people think about these issues. Money to every country, what about the people devasted by floods in America, what about the starving children in America, what about the orphans in America? Oh I know it "looks better" to adopt from another country.

    August 22, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Pragmatic

    The only people who don't make mistakes are those who do nothing ... and only the foolish & simple-minded don't learn from those mistakes.

    ... and the really foolish post silly spins on the President's name ... mistakenly thinking that name-calling and labels add to the discussion!

    I'm listening ... still don't hear anyone stating that McCain/Palin would be doing a better job! As for blaming "Bush" – the GOP still blames Clinton and Carter! What a hoot!

    August 22, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Chipster

    Democratic leaders need to show more courage and commitment to the constitutional principles of liberty, justice, and equality. This politically motivated nonsense about a Community Center (not a Mosque) several blocks away from (not at) ground zero should be revealed for what it is. It's a political campaign and assault on the constitutional rights of American people who happen to be Muslims.

    Democratic voters are desperate to see a little courage and commitment from our leaders. Republicans have ripped our Constitution to shreds by using fear and anger. It's a shame that Democrats can't show more passion to defend it.

    August 22, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Kenneth Close

    Somehow I hear this a lot. The advisers to the President make all the mistakes or give him misinformation. I wonder when Carvelle said president Obama was cutting the Deal with BP that protects BP from lawsuits by the affected parties if they take a settlement was misinformation?

    August 22, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. 31mMD

    I would like to know what all the Superdelegates think now of Obama. Remember in 07-08 how they all flocked toward Obama even though Hillary had won the popular vote. They must be kicking themselves now.

    August 22, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Jeff in Houston

    I tend to agree. I keep wondering where the man I voted for has gone. There are days I really wish i had voted for Hillary. I hope this is a case of being surrounded by idiots and not a complete cave-in of character.

    President Obama, you are running out of time AND support.

    August 22, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. jim

    Once again this couldn't be Obama 's fault.He's getting bad advise from his advisors.Some people will believe anything !!!

    August 22, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Sorensen

    Not only have they totally misjudged what goes on in the country,
    but more impotantly, they have totally and completely mismanaged
    the objective, strategy, plan, execution and control of Obamas
    precidency over the last 18 months.
    Emanuel, Axelrod, Jerryd, etc. have obviously lost all strategic sense
    (to the extent they had any) in the "bubble of perceived power" in the
    White House.
    Anyway, no matter what the reason for their terrible performance, they
    should all be let go immediately.
    This of course is very hard for Obama, since they were all close
    friends for a long time.
    However, if Obama is a real leader, (and there is no excuse for not
    being just that, since he is responsible for the american people)
    he must fire them all.
    If he cannot do that, well, Farewell democrats and hallo Sarah Palin,
    Gingrich. Boehner and the rest of the GOP clowns.

    August 22, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. MARKPAIN

    I did not vote for Obama in the primary or general election because he was not the best person for the position. He sounded like a left wing version of GWB (all nice sounding words with no substance) and so far has basically done a "not so good job" that if given time will be a bad job. I agree with Dean that he has loads of bad advisors but he did choose them and I don`t believe he was forced to so but is simply in over his head. I hope he does not run for re-election but if he does I will not vote for this gop crowd but will vote third party or independent again

    August 22, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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