The Corner

Dean: Gov’t Shutdown Would Be the ‘Best Thing in the World’

Howard Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, finally admits what has been plainly obvious to those following the ongoing budget debate in Congress: Democrats are rooting for a government shutdown.

“If I was head of DNC, I would be quietly rooting for it,” said Dean, speaking on a National Journal Insider’s Conference panel Tuesday morning. “I know who’s going to get blamed – we’ve been down this road before.”

The former Vermont governor and presidential candidate was alluding to 1995 and 1996, when two government shutdowns under a Republican Congress helped improve President Clinton’s reelection chances. The scenario could repeat this year as budget negotiations continue to falter, and Dean said he thinks the public will blame Republicans again.

“From a partisan point of view, I think it would be the best thing in the world to have a shutdown,” said Dean. He added that as a statesman, he is not rooting for a shutdown because of its harmful effect on the country.

So which route do you think Democrats will take — the “statesman” route for the good of the country, or the “partisan” route? Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has the answer . . .

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...


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