Dean Can Talk After All

The main criticism of Howard Dean since he took over as head of the DNC has been his silence . (First he was too loud , now he’s too quiet.) So now anything he says, however off-the-cuff, gets amplified to 300 decibels.

Sirens wailed, therefore, when he told CBS (you break that news, CBS!) that he’d like to see the nomination wrapped up by July 1. An aide clarifies to Politico that July 1 is really just a ballpark date, but it’s still a big deal that Dean is weighing in. In a separate interview with the Associated Press, Dean says :

“There’ll be some nasty fights if it goes to convention, and people will walk out,” Dean said. “But I’ve also been talking to a fairly significant number of, by and large, nonaligned people about how we might resolve this.”

Contrast this with Hillary Clinton’s recent statement that she’s ready to take this to the convention, and you’ve got two very differing views of reality.

Dean stops short of favoring either candidate—that’s not part of his job description—but there’s a Pelosi-like quality to his statements. In the AP interview, Dean addresses Clinton’s recent claims that pledged delegates don’t have to vote as directed. Dean charitably calls that “a very technical argument” and adds, “You aren’t going to get pledged delegates to move unless something really shocking happens.” He also told the AP that he doesn’t think superdelegates would support the candidate who doesn’t win the pledged delegate count. Given the numbers we’ve been looking at for weeks now, that’s tantamount to saying he thinks Obama has it wrapped up. But, of course, he can’t say that.