Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean sits down for a conversation with attendees of the Monitor Breakfast to discuss the departure of senior members in President Barack Obama's administration, the Tea Party and more.
Howard Brush Dean III is an American politician and physician from the U.S. state of Vermont. He served six terms as Governor of Vermont and ran unsuccessfully for the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination. He was the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009.
Before entering politics, Dean received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1978. Dean was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1982 and was elected lieutenant governor in 1986. Both were part-time positions that enabled him to continue practicing medicine.
In 1991, Dean became Governor of Vermont when Richard A. Snelling died in office. Dean was subsequently elected to five two-year terms, serving as governor from 1991 to 2003, making him the second longest-serving Governor in Vermont history, after Thomas Chittenden (1778–1789 and 1790–1797). Dean served as chairman of the National Governors Association from 1994 to 1995; during his term, Vermont paid off much of its public debt and had a balanced budget 11 times, lowering income taxes twice. Dean also oversaw the expansion of the "Dr. Dynasaur" program, which ensures universal health care for children and pregnant women in the state.
An early front-runner in the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination, Dean denounced the 2003 invasion of Iraq and called on Democrats to more strongly oppose the Bush Administration. Dean showed strong fundraising ability, and was a pioneer of political fundraising via the internet; however, he eventually lost the nomination to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Dean formed the organization Democracy for America and later was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee in February 2005.
Dean was named "chairman emeritus" of the DNC upon his retirement. He was mentioned as a possible candidate for Secretary of Health and Human Services and Surgeon General under the Obama administration.