Howard Dean & Michael Steele

In a fascinating discussion about what is going on right now in both parties, former national party chairs Howard Dean and Michael Steele bring an inside perspective to tackle the issues shaping the election cycle on a national level and the challenges to both parties in terms of political strategy, fundraising, super PACs, and election reform.   

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Howard Dean headshot

Howard Dean

EXCLUSIVE
  • Chairman, Democratic National Committee (2005-2009)
  • 79th Governor of Vermont (1991-2003)
  • Founder, Democracy for America
  • MSNBC Contributor

Dean’s groundbreaking campaign for the U.S. Presidency and subsequent four years as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee provided him with both an insider's view and a reformer's commitment to the economy, foreign trade policy and international relations. His 12 years as Governor of Vermont and his Chairmanship of the National Governor's Association have given him a vast knowledge of domestic issues.

His skillful stewardship of the party as Democratic National Committee chair began in 2005 and continued through the inauguration of President Barack Obama. As Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Governor Dean made the Democratic Party competitive in every race, in every district, in every state and territory, while integrating national and state party operations and standing up for Democrats' core values.

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Michael Steele headshot

Michael Steele

  • Former Chair of the Republican National Committee
  • MSNBC Political Analyst

As former chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Michael Steele was charged with revitalizing the Republican Party. He is an expert on political strategy, fund-raising, PACs, and election reform. Steele made history in 2003 as the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland, and again with his subsequent chairmanship of the RNC. A self-described "Lincoln Republican," he also served as Chairman of the GOPAC. Under Steele's leadership, the RNC broke fundraising records in the 2010 cycle by raising more than $192 million and Republicans won 63 House seats, the biggest pickup since 1938.

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Biography

Howard Dean's Biography

Howard Dean’s groundbreaking campaign for the U.S. Presidency and subsequent four years as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee have provided him with both an insider's view and a reformer's commitment to the economy, foreign trade policy and international relations. His 12 years as Governor of Vermont and his Chairmanship of the National Governor's Association have given him vast knowledge of domestic issues. His skillful stewardship of the party as Democratic National Committee chair began in 2005 and continued through the inauguration of President Barack Obama. As Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Governor Dean made the Democratic Party competitive in every race, in every district, in every state and territory, while integrating national and state party operations and standing up for Democrats' core values.

Dean currently serves as a Senior Strategic Advisor and Independent Consultant for the Government Affairs practice at Dentons where he focuses on healthcare and energy issues. He is a frequent contributor to MSNBC.

Dean also serves on the Board of the National Democratic Institute, a democracy building organization chaired by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. He has extensive experience in Southeastern Europe including in Ukraine, Moldova, and the Balkans. He has also has an extensive knowledge of Iraqi and Iranian affairs, and has spent time in China and Myanmar as a result of his NDI activities. He has been active in anti human trafficking efforts in Asia and in the United States. He lectures frequently in Europe, and is currently teaching a course on the Politics of American Foreign Policy at the Jackson Institute at Yale.

Drawing on his extensive experience in politics and healthcare, Governor Dean delivers a sharp, in-season speech to help groups and businesses plan for the future. His presentation brings the current debates into focus and offers a closer look at the impact the economy, budget deficit, healthcare, and the future of Social Security and Medicare are having on the country, and what to expect from the next four years.

Governor Dean gained national prominence as a U.S. presidential candidate in 2004, and he served as the Governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2003. During that time, he created a record that promoted equality and opportunity for his constituency employing a philosophy of fiscal responsibility advocating low taxes, reduced government spending and minimal government debt.   His successes prompted Governing magazine to proclaim him "Public Official of the Year" in 2002. His leadership roles also include turns as chairman of the National Governors' Association, the Democratic Governors' Association, and the New England Governors' Conference

He led the Democratic Party to success as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. He is credited with pioneering an energetic 50-state strategy and the development of 21st century campaign tools that helped Democrats make historic gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

After achieving national prominence in his bid for the Democratic nomination for president, Governor Dean founded Democracy for America to build on the groundswell of support and the wave of new energy sweeping the Party, and continues to serve as a consultant to the organization. Since 2004, Democracy for America has been working with the grassroots to elect fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates to all levels of government - local, state, and federal - all over the country.

Michael Steele's Biography

Michael Steele served as the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee, and former Lieutenant governor of Maryland, and the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland. Until recently he was President and CEO of The Steele Group, a consulting firm working with institutional and individual clients to design overall business development, investor, networking, and communications strategies.

Mr. Steele is currently a political analyst for MSNBC. Mr. Steele’s ability as a communicator and analyst have long been showcased by his position as a contributor on the Fox News Channel and as a regular host for the Salem Radio Network’s nationally syndicated Morning in America Show. Additionally, Mr. Steele has been an entertaining and eloquent guest on cable political talk shows such as HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central’s Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

As chairman of the RNC, Mr. Steele was charged with revitalizing the Republican Party. A self-described “Lincoln Republican,” under Steele’s leadership the RNC broke fundraising records (over $198 million raised during the 2010 Congressional cycle) and Republicans won 63 House seats, the biggest pickup since 1938. His commitment to grassroots organization and party building at the state and local levels produced 12 governorships and the greatest share of state legislative seats since 1928 (over 600 seats).

As Lt. Governor of Maryland, Mr. Steele’s priorities included reforming the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program, improving the quality of Maryland’s public education system (he championed the State’s historic Charter School law), expanding economic development in the state and fostering cooperation between government and faith-based organizations to help those in need.

Mr. Steele writes a regular column for The Root.com and BET.com and his writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico.com, Townhall.com, ,The Journal of International Security Affairs and Catholic University Law Review, among others. He is the recent author of Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda, which is a call to arms for grassroots America.

Born at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Mr. Steele was raised in Washington, DC. He spent three years in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University (‘81’), Georgetown Law Center (’91), and an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership. Mr. Steele is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Landover Hills, MD, where he attends mass regularly with his wife Andrea.