Howard Dean

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Howard Dean
79th Governor of Vermont
From: August 14, 1991 – January 8, 2003
Lieutenant Barbara W. Snelling
Douglas A. Racine
Predecessor Richard A. Snelling
Successor Jim Douglas
75th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
From: 1987–1991
Governor Madeleine M. Kunin
Richard A. Snelling
Predecessor Peter Plympton Smith
Successor Barbara W. Snelling
50th Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
From: February 12, 2005 – January 21, 2009
Predecessor Terry McAuliffe
Successor Tim Kaine
Former Member of Vermont House of Representatives
From: 1983–1986
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Judith Steinberg Dean
Religion United Church of Christ

Howard Dean (born November 17, 1948) nearly became the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party for the 2004 election; he was governor of Vermont and served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005–2009. He was not given a position by the Obama Administration.


Dean received a medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1978. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Vermont in 1986 and became governor in 1991 upon the death of Richard A. Snelling. During his governorship, he balanced the budget, cut taxes twice and fought to keep socialized health care. In 2004 he ran for President of the United States on a very liberal platform. While he was the front runner for a period of time, he lost to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. After his third-place finish in the Iowa caucus, Dean quickly gained notoriety as an internet fad of sorts, due to his "unconventional" concession speech. Especially notable was the "Dean Scream" which has been parodied countless times on the internet. Many say this scream led to his drop as national front-runner. On February 12, 2005, Dean was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), despite opposition by prominent Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Howard Dean stepped down from his post when his term expired in January 2009.[1]

Medical Doctor

Howard Dean, in addition to being a governor, started his career in medicine. He supports abortion.

Same-sex Civil Unions

On April 25, 2000, Governor Howard Dean signed the law HB 847. In the bill's title there is no mention of the term marriage, but the law does offer a non-exclusive list of twenty-four legal benefits and protections for spouses of civil unions.[2]

DNC Caucus Meetings

On February 11, 2005 a series of special interest group meetings took place at the Hilton Washington. Seven separate groups in seven meetings the same day had their agenda made known to the Democratic party and specifically DNC chairman Howard Dean.

  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus: "You are among the most persecuted people in the history of mankind," said Dean
  • National Seniors Coordinating Council: "Democrats have a lot of work to do among seniors," said Dean
  • Women's Caucus: "Women are not an interest group, they are a majority," said Dean
  • Native Americans: "I'm sick of the DNC treating Indians like an ATM machine that has to be courted every couple of years," said Kaylin Free of Oklahoma. Dean replied, "yes, this has to stop."[3]
  • African American caucus: Dean addressed 150 members, saying, "we're gonna need lots of help from y'all," and, "we Democrats don't pay enough attention to our core groups.... You think the RNC could get this many people of color into a single room? ... Maybe if they got the hotel staff in there."
  • The Asian Pacific Islander American Caucus, a subdued gathering of 15 members disputing quarter vote representation instead of full votes. Dean said he would look into it without any promises.
  • Hispanic Caucus: Dean lamented the a loss of support from Hispanic voters. He took a question from the audience. Before Dean could finish, an insight to the man emerged: Vice chair of the Transgender Caucus, Gloria Nieto, explained to the Hispanic Caucus about her female partner that she wed in Massachusetts of the prior year. Gloria said that "she hopes that her community will always be respected within the Democratic Party." Dean walked from the podium to embrace the women in an affectionate hug, crying.[4]
    "That's why I'm a Democrat,"

2004 Presidential Primary Campaign

When Dean was asked in a debate to name his favorite book of the New Testament, he answered "The Book of Job." Not only was he unable to articulate at the time why he favored it, he could not even come up with the name of a single actual New Testament book.

2006 Congressional Races

By blaming Republicans for all the problems in America,[5][6][7] with emphasis on ending the Iraq war, the Democratic Party gained the majority in both the House and the Senate.

2008 Presidential Race

Under Dean's direction, along with powerful allies, the Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama succeeded in defeating the Republican candidate John McCain for the Presidency. Congress maintained and slightly enlarged its Democratic majority party status.


Dean made it known that he wanted the top post of the Health & Human Services, he was denied an offer.[8] Dean is campaigning for MoveOn and is now a commentator for the financial news network CNBC. He recently said "I think we had quite enough capitalism in the last eight years and I think we need some regulation now." [9]


Dean is considered to be the first presidential candidate to make heavy use of social media and blogs as part of his campaign. This same strategy would later be made popular by Ron Paul and Barack Obama.

2016 Election

Howard Dean says he is considering a bid for the 2016 presidential election.[10]


  • "I think with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, you can't play, you know, hide the salami, or whatever it's called."—urging President Bush to make public Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers's White House records.
  • "You know, the Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. Pretty much, they all behave the same, and they all look the same. ... It's pretty much a white Christian party. --speaking about the lack of outreach to minority communities by political parties.
  • "I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks."
  • "We've gotten rid of (Saddam Hussein), and I suppose that's a good thing."
  • "The idea that the United States is going to win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong."
  • "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for..."[11]
  • "Now that we're on dog pee, we can have an interesting conversation about that. I do not recommend drinking urine…but if you drink water straight from the river, you have a greater chance of getting an infection than you do if you drink urine."
  • "Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House, Yeeaaaaaargh!"—The notorious 'Dean Scream' from Howard's concession at the Iowa caucus.
  • "The demographic trends favor the Democrats because we are an inclusive and accepting party. If you look at folks of color, even women, are more successful in the Democratic Party than they are in the white — excuse me [giggles] — in the Republican Party."[12]
  • "If Bill Clinton can be the first 'black president,' I can be our first 'gay president.'[13]


  1. Howard Dean to Step Down as DNC Chairman AP, November 10, 2008
  2. Vermot Civil Union Facts
  3. The Special-Interest Group Hug, February 12, 2008
  4. [1], The Special-Interest Group Hug, February 12, 2008
  5. Boehner: Let's not blame Iraq woes on Rumsfeld CNN, November 1, 2006
  6. Catastrophic Failure The Atlantic, September 20, 2005
  7. Situation Room CNN, October 13, 2006
  8. Dean wanted HHS job Fox News, march 2, 2009
  9. CNBC Contributor Howard Dean: 'I Think We Had Quite Enough Capitalism', May 8, 2009
  11. Guest: Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic Party MSNBC, May 22, 2005
  13. Howard Dean Meets Democratic Caucuses February 12, 2008