NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A visit to Louisiana demonstrated the difficulties Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean may have in getting his message across in the so-called "red" states.
Dean's appearance Thursday drew a light attendance and none of Louisiana's leading Democrats was there for the message - not Gov. Kathleen Blanco or Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, or even the chairman of the state party, Jim Bernhard.
Dean afterward attributed the absences to "schedules," but his selection as DNC chairman earlier this year was opposed by many conservative Democrats, and they continue to express dismay over the Vermont governor's tough words for the party in power.
Thursday's no-shows underscored the challenge Dean faces in "red" states - particularly as it concerns what he calls Democrats' "50-state strategy" of fighting for every state, and rebuilding grassroots parties, partly by doling out national funds to the local branches and insisting they hire additional staff. He's already given more than $1 million to the state parties.
In a press release, state Republicans mocked the DNC chairman, welcoming him to Louisiana and saying he was "the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since Jimmy Carter."
Entire article at the Bennington Banner.