Thursday, November 19, 2009

Should Dickie Cranwell Resign As Chair of DPVA?

Even before Election Day there were some discussions about whether McDonnell's landslide victory would result in Dickie Cranwell resigning as Chair of DPVA. There have been rumors about various people who might be interested in taking over the position and earlier today Lowell provided some updates on who is rumored to be potential contenders. The list of names who he says have been mentioned in discussions include Brian Moran, Terry McAuliffe, Del. Jennifer McClellan, Jody Wagner, and Mike Signer.

What I think needs to be thought about in this discussion isn't just whether we should have a new chair, but what we need to learn from 2009 in order to move forward and be more competitive in future elections. What stands out to me, and what polls suggest, is that Democrats need to have a grassroots campaign that isn't afraid of standing up for Democratic values. We therefore need people in leadership positions who are willing to make sure that this is done and it certainly would be great if they also could inspire people to get involved at the grassroots level.

I know there are many dedicated Democrats who are serving on local committees and/or are volunteering for campaigns or causes whenever we get a chance. As we move forward, it's critically important that these folks have their voices heard. If we can do that with Dickie as chair and develop a strong grassroots oriented program, then I have no problem with him remaining chair. After all, this shouldn't be about the person at the top of the Party but rather the spirit of what Democrats stand for both in regards to policy matters and civic engagement.

According to the list of people whose names are being tossed around as potential replacements, I don't see a clear front runner (though I personally think Brian Moran or Mike Signer would be great for the position). This is also something to consider as whoever would take over if Dickie resigned would have to act quickly in putting together a program that could truly inspire the grassroots in time to protect some of our Congressional seats in 2010.

So with all that being said, do you think Dickie should resign and, if so, who should replace him?


  1. If I remember correctly, when Brian Moran was the caucus chair in the House he was very successful in increasing our numbers while he was in that position so that is a definite positive on his part. I supported Mike Signer during the primary and thought he was exactly what the party needs as a good progressive candidate to get people motivated and out to work for candidates, especially young voters. I personally think we need a Chair who isn't going to be afraid to really go after the GOP the next few years because the odds are really stacked against us and I know Brian is a fighter and given his track record from the House I think he would be a good fit.

    Although, I know there is a lot of grumblings as to Brian being the chair given the fact that there are still some sore feelings from the primary from McAullife supporters! I don't think that would really make a major difference in selecting a new chair! Either way, all the choices on your list would be solid.

    Regarding Cranwell's possible stepping down. Being in a leadership position you ultimately have to be responsible for what happens underneath you. I think one major failure on his part is the fact that we never anticipated a special election in 37 which should be an easy pick up for Democrats even though it has been held by Cooch. Even though he believed Shannon would probably win as a leader you have to be ready for all possibilities and given the organization of the Republicans with three candidates all capable of running, we have to move someone into the district to run. Is he considering who would replace Marsden if he win's the Senate seat or will we not have someone to run and eventually have to have someone move it. This is something that irks me the most about Cranwell not being fully prepared for instances like this.

    I actually Tweeted last night about someone no one has mentioned and although he's not interested I was 100% serious when I mentioned his name but I'll leave it at that!

    Sorry for the length but I wanted to get all my thoughts out there!

  2. I agree with your Daniel that Brian's experience as caucus chairman tends to suggest that he'd make a good DPVA chair. I know his message about standing up for working families will also speak to many of the core values of the activists who dedicate so much of their time to helping elect candidates who would support policies in the general public's best interests.

    I also think you bring up a very interesting point about there not being a significant amount of advance prep for who'd be replacing Cuccinelli.