A Win for Howard

An unheralded winner in Thursday’s Iowa caucuses was Howard Dean, whose own presidential candidacy died in those snows four years ago.

In 2005, Mr. Dean won the chair of the Democratic National Committee, much to the dismay of the Clinton clique and the Democratic Leadership Council.

Mr. Dean portrayed himself – as a candidate and DNC chair – as a champion of outside-the-beltway politics. He was the one who beefed up the staffs of every state committee, helping the Democrats take control of Congress in 2006, even though Democratic Congressional and Senatorial Campaign Committee chairs Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer did their best to minimize his contributions.

Although Mr. Dean is neutral in party primaries, both Barack Obama and John Edwards have been striking Dean-ish themes in their stump speeches. And both beat Hillary Clinton.

Howard Dean may come to be remembered as a Barry Goldwater figure, who did more in defeat to change the tone of his party than many victors ever did.

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