Clinton may have lost this fight as early as Feb. ’05 with the election of Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Dean’s election was a clear break from the past, and from the Clinton way of running the DNC. In hindsight, it was a mistake for a political family which believed it controlled the Democratic Party to have allowed Dean and his grassroots followers to take over.
Perhaps the Clintons believed they couldn’t stop Dean, but this early sign of weakness led to an unfriendly primary calendar. And that included the punishment of Florida and Michigan and the decision to put South Carolina and Nevada before Clinton’s preferred early states of Alabama and Arizona.
While tiny decisions at the time, all resulted in huge ramifications for Clinton’s candidacy.
The '06 factor
One other factor folks may overlook in the Clinton obits is the role of ‘06 Democratic successes in the downfall of the Clintons.
The midterm elections taught many Democratic activists (including those superdelegates) that they didn’t need the Clintons to win elections anymore.
The Democrats won Congress and a majority of governorships without substantial help from the Clintons. Sure the two raised money for the party and for candidates whenever asked, but it wasn’t Clintonistas or Clinton’s Democratic philosophy or ideology that was helping these candidates win. ....
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