THEY'RE IN THE...

THEY'RE IN THE MONEY... I apologize if my favorite part of the article on Rahm Emmanuel and Howard Dean's recent clashes is the writer's description of Emmanuel, who's "a recreational ballet dancer with the vocabulary of a longshoreman," but c'mon -- that's good stuff. The actual piece is interesting too, chronicling a recent blow-up between the two party poo-bahs that ended with Emmanuel stomping (possibly on his toes?) out of Dean's office, furious over the DNC's rate of spending and concentration on building a national infrastructure.

This was the concern driving Noam Scheiber's recent article on Dean (which I now wonder if Emmanuel didn't help pitch or source), that his determination to create a 50-state structure would deprive the party of crucial resources in an almost historically fertile election year. The issue, to be clear, is not the amount of money raised, which has satisfied even Chuck Schumer. Instead, it's Dean's decision to spend so much of it on field organizers and state parties, which has ensured there will be less for the closing hours of the 2006, and 2008, elections. The DNC, which has raised $74 million, has just $10 million cash on hand. The RNC, with a take of $142 million, has more than $40 million laying around. That'll be $32 million Republicans can spend and Democrats can't. As Garance correctly notes, if that money ends up making the difference, you might see a lot of the blame heaped on Howard.

--Ezra Klein

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