Howard Dean on Wednesday blasted the way the White House has been run and said the housecleaning currently under way is a much-needed overhaul.
The former Democratic National Committee chairman, who is frequently called on to speak for the party’s left wing, said President Barack Obama has thus far been ill served by “a group of senior advisers around the president who’ve been here [in Washington] for 20 years and thought they knew everything and we knew nothing.”
Without naming names — “I’m not talking about anyone in particular,” Dean said, “it’s the whole mind-set” — Dean said Obama has been surrounded by a gang of Beltway insiders whose style and actions reeked of business as usual. As a result, those who voted for Obama’s promise of changing the ways of Washington have been disappointed.
“They thought they were going to get a fundamental cleanup of Washington, and they didn’t get it,” Dean said. The desire to change the capital’s old way of operating “is what the left has in common with the tea party,” he said.
In 2012, he said, the tea party will continue to be a factor. But he was optimistic about Obama’s reelection chances and said he does not anticipate the president facing a primary challenge.
“I think it’s incredibly unlikely,” he said, adding that he hopes nobody is considering it, “and I certainly won’t.”