The decision to have keynote speaker and DNC chair Howard Dean’s speech closed to the public was criticized by the undergraduate Harvard Republican Club and their law school counterparts following the conference. Dean’s speech focused on a 6-point Democratic message and party strategy for victory in 2006 and 2008.
“I’m not surprised that Howard Dean would want to keep his party’s message behind closed doors,” said Lowell Schiller, president of the HLS Republicans. “Every time he reminds Americans of what his party stands for, Americans remember why they vote Republican.”
David Burd, co-president of the HLS Democrats, had a different take. “The Convention’s schedule of events was aimed at providing the student delegates with an unforgettable experience, and to that end, after consulting with the DNC, we felt that this end would best be achieved by closing the event to the press and enabling Gov. Dean to speak more openly and frankly about his vision for the party and the role of law students.” Burd emphasized that this practice was not unusual, explaining, “This is the same rationale for closing to the press the many events held at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics every week.”