Dean Lambastes Clinton-Obama Tensions The Democratic party chairman urges everyone to stay calm. News analyst Juan Williams breaks down the comments and the latest campaign endorsements.
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Dean Lambastes Clinton-Obama Tensions

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Dean Lambastes Clinton-Obama Tensions

Dean Lambastes Clinton-Obama Tensions

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Two politics in this country now. In Pennsylvania, Senator Bob Casey today endorsed Barack Obama. Casey's endorsement can make a difference for Obama in the state where he is trailing Hilary Clinton by double digits.


Joinging this week for politics is NPR News analyst Juan Williams, a regular Friday guest. Juan, welcome back.

JUAN WILLIAMS: Good to be with you, Alex.

CHADWICK: So, today the chair of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean went on many morning talk shows and put out the word. Everybody stay calm. Calm the rhetoric. I want a resolution of things between Senators Clinton and Obama. Here he is on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Former Senator HOWARD DEAN (Chairman, Democratic Party): I think it would be nice to have this all done by July first. If we can do it sooner than that, that's all the better. We don't want this to have - to generate into a big fight in the convention.

CHADWICK: Juan, I have been reading analysis and opinion pieces for the last couple of weeks saying Senator Clinton really can not win in the delegates and the popular vote, and I wonder if this is the beginning of the party elders saying it's over.

WILLIAMS: Well, it is a good case to make, Alex because what you've seen in the last few weeks is that people ranging from Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico to the likes of Bob Casey, the senator from Pennsylvania are all as party elders siding with Barack Obama, and now you get Howard Dean saying sooner rather than later. And this sentiment is now leading people to have consideration you know, well, what about folks like George Mitchell the former senator from Maine who got involved with the baseball steroids controversy? What about Al Gore, the former vice president? Could it be that these people would step in and somehow settle this issue to stop the kind of infighting that is sapping the enthusiasm that has led to record fundraising and record turnout on the Democratic side and might therefore give John McCain a chance to win the White House in November?

So, that is why it is suddenly critical for Democratic Party leaders to say, we want to calm down this infighting. It may become debilitating.

CHADWICK: Well, a group of Democratic fundraisers who are friendly to Senator Clinton did write a letter to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, saying, we think you are sounding that you might be on Senator Obama's side because you want a speedy conclusion to this thing, and we don't want to hear that from you.

WILLIAMS: Well, the argument coming from the Clinton camp has been that she is more electable, Alex. That if you look at the fact that she has won the big states, California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, whether you count Florida or not, there was a vote there and she won it. And she is making the case that with the controversies that have surrounded Senator Obama, I remember here Bill Clinton's comment just this last week and what she is saying is that wouldn't it be nice if you put all that static aside and had two candidates, who would argue the issues and here of course, he is suggesting his wife and Senator McCain. Then you understand the Clinton argument. But so far, that argument is not gaining traction with people who point out that as you just said, it is likely that Senator Obama would have the lead in terms of both delegates and popular vote although not the 2,025 necessary to win it outright as we go into the convention.

CHADWICK: I wanted to ask you about your best political conversation this week, but then I heard that you had dinner last night at the home of the director of the CIA, Michael Hayden.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know, I - the dinner he said and he had reporters there from AP as well as from the Washington Post and me, and he said that he wanted to get people to know him, to know the agency a little better when there isn't criticism or a hot story in the air and develop those relationships. So...

CHADWICK: Well, it is nice of him to say that he would like to get to know you a little bit better, but something must have come across the dinner table?

WILLIAMS: Well, it did except that it was off the record session, Alex.

CHADWICK: NPR News analyst Juan Williams. I trust that we are hearing the fruits of that conversation in the coming months. Juan, thank you again.

WILLIAMS: You are welcome, Alex.

(Soundbite of music)

CHADWICK: And stay with us on Day to Day from NPR News.

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