by Peter Freyne
Hey, remember this guy?
Howard Dean M.D. has called Burlington home for almost 30 years. And for more than 11 of those years he was beating the path back-and-forth to Montpelier where he was Vermont's governor.
Hey, it's his name that's attached to the first-in-the-nation law extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.
No photo of the signing exists, however.
Today Ho-Ho's the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the guy most people credit with the Democrats' successful 50-state strategy that took back Congress in November 2006. I caught him this afternoon in the lobby of Burlington, Vermont's newest hotel - the Hilton!
Well, it may have been built in the 1970s, but it was called the Radisson back then. Then it became the Wyndham [in the 90s?] and just this week, I'm told by the cashier in the gift shop, they celebrated the name-change to Hilton.
The Hilton! The name always takes me back to the Conrad Hilton on Michigan Avenue in Chicago - August 1968 and the Democratic National Convention. A Chicago "police riot," said the Kerner Commission, with more blood, bandages and tear gas than you could swing a billy-club at.
According to the official press release put out by the DNC HQ in DC this week, the official event is only happening on Saturday:
The Democratic National Committee today announced that it will host a joint meeting of the DNC's Executive Committee and the Executive Committee of the Association of State Democratic Party Chairs (ASDC) at the Hilton in Burlington on Saturday, August 11 at 11:00 a.m.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean will deliver remarks highlighting the success of the DNC's 50 State Strategy in the Democratic victories last November and provide an update on the DNC's State Party Partnership. Dean will discuss the DNC's new national voter protection effort, an unprecedented initiative that would not be possible without the SPP staffers employed by state Democratic parties, and outline the Democratic Party's plan for keeping its majority and taking back the White House in 2008.
In addition to Dean's update, the meeting will also include an update on 2007 governors races by Nathan Daschle, Executive Director of the Democratic Governors Association, and an update on the 2008 Democratic National Convention by Leah Daughtry, DNC Chief of Staff and Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee.
We will also be joined by the Honorable Madeleine Kunin.
Actually, folks started arriving this afternoon. Ho-Ho announced to a few other Ds in the lobby that I was the Vermont political columnist to watch out for. I took it as a compliment.
Then he had to dash out to the airport to pick up his lovely wife.