Shakeup in the Dean campaign

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Howard Dean shook up his presidential campaign on Wednesday after absorbing back-to-back defeats, replacing his campaign manager Joe Trippi and bringing in a longtime associate of former Vice President Al Gore to try and stabilize his faltering candidacy, Democratic sources said.

This is a last-ditch effort to preserve his campaign.

They fired the ad agency too. I never saw any ads, but reportedly, they were horrible.

Kerry did the same thing awhile back. It worked for him.

Yeah, but he had a few months before the Iowa causes for the new organization to get its feet and get going.

Dean’s got 6 days!

I saw plenty of the ads. Despite my affiliations, I actually liked his ads quite a bit. I wish my company did more ads that looked as good as his.

Wow, Trippi didn’t step down willingly. Dean announced he was bringing a Gore hand to manage the campaign, and Trippi walked out. This was the guy credited with creating “the greatest grass roots movement” in American history.

And after raising all that cash (and boasting about it), the Dean campaign is almost broke. Dean is cutting all the pay of his supporters to save money. What happened?

In a conference call with congressmen who endorsed him, they told him he needs to win a primary in the next two weeks or he’s gone. Coming in 2nd or 3rd is killing him.

Oh yeah, and Dean railing about the Washington establishment? Especially Washington Democrats? He’s now got a Gore hand managing his campaign. And he likes to point he has endorsements from nothing but Washington Democrats.

Yeah, Dean’s kind of fucked. Can’t say I’m too upset; he’s really brought the stench of a loser on him in the last month or so.

“A” primary, A primary?!?

Here’s the list of primaries in the next two weeks:
New Mexico
North Dakota
South Carolina

Dean better do better than win just “a” primary. He’d better win 5-6, if not 8-9, if he wants to stay alive.

I think in TNR today they made a case that he could theoretically come in 2nd in every single state next week, but then come back and win NY or CA. Not that I expect him too; that’s probably what will drive him out of the race.

Dean’s big problem right now is he’s out of money. And donors who might have been more than willing to bankroll him a month ago are all of a sudden pulling back. They don’t want to bet on the wrong dog.

Dean needs to win in order to get money. But he needs money to win.

The next major primaries are also in places where Dean hasn’t done so well. He may be popular in liberal strongholds like California, but his remarks about religion and guys with confederate flags on their pick-up trucks have not exactly endeared him in the South, and South Carolina is up next.

Kerry has the money and momentum right now. Edwards and Clark have advantages in Carolina; they’re both southerners, and Clark is a former Army man in a state that is extremely pro-military with lots of veterans. Kerry’s service in Vietnam, and his awards for bravery in combat, will also endear him in South Carolina. Anti-war Dean will be lucky to come in 3rd in South Carolina.

And it goes on.

Dean bet it all that he’d win big in Iowa and New Hampshire, by doing so he’d demoralize his opponents and lock up the nomination. That strategy has failed, and he’s in big trouble.

He’s done a decent job of changing his image, but his other problem is that his Deaniacs scare a lot of moderates. Hey, support your guy, that’s okay. But don’t be on the verge of irrational about it. That’s what’s scary.

Whoa, he’s out of cash onhand? I thought the obsessives were still shoveling it in.

Edit: ok, he’s toast.

Salon’s top story

[In News & Politics]
Dean goes bust
The $40 million war chest is gone – and so is campaign manager Joe Trippi. What happened?
By Josh Benson

According to staffers, Dean held a meeting with campaign workers in which he announced that there was no money to pay staff at the beginning of February. He said that the campaign had $3 million in the bank, but that it had also racked up $3 million in debt that needed to be paid off. A senior aide confirmed the meeting, but not the numbers in question.

Even before the Iowa caucus, the Dean campaign spent aggressively in states with later contests in order to drive home the advantage of being the only “national” campaign. In Iowa, the campaign spent millions on advertising and on a massive organization of paid staff and volunteers in custom, bright-orange watch caps. But that spending did more to attract press attention than actual caucus-goers, and Dean finished third. And in New Hampshire, Dean outspent his closest rival by hundreds of thousands of dollars to air an ad blitz that helped to reverse damage to his campaign from Iowa.

Mickey Kaus had a good entry (at ) that Dean was pulling in funds from two groups of people: idealistic individuals (“obsessives” above) and richer people buying access. The second group is probably gone/holding back, but the first group is apparently still donating.

Dean’s blog ( ) says they just pulled in a little over $1 million online in the past five days. Does anyone know what kind of fundraising Kerry/Edwards/Clark are doing? I don’t see any hard numbers on their web sites.

The other big factor is how broke Dean’s opponents are. If nobody has any money, they’re all starting from square one again. Supposedly Edwards was nearly broke before Iowa (complete with unpaid staff), and his jump in fundraising was just enough to cover ads for the Feb. 3 states. Kerry took out a $6 million loan on his house before Iowa, which suggests he was low on funds as well.

The general consensus on this race has gone back and forth so many times already I’m reluctant to pronounce anyone dead at this time. Except Lieberman, of course.

Man, that $40 million went quick. Wonder what would happen if he got his hands on the US budget?

Kerry was low, but the donations have been pouring in. He raised over a million in the week between Iowa and NH.


Run up a massive defecit?

In Vermont he balanced the budget.

From what I understand about the campaigning process, you need to run through money like water in order to make any impact on the voters, and consequently, in order to have a shot at winning. I really don’t think Dean’s handling of the $40 million is representative of what he would do with the American budget.

I always thought fundraising wasn’t a huge deal for Kerry. After all, he has access to millions and millions thanks to his wife’s dead-husband’s ketchup fortune.

According to this ( ), Kerry can’t get at his wife’s ketchup money - they have a prenuptial agreement that would make contributions from Heinz to Kerry illegal.

Well that’s one way to surpass Clinton in the lurid-headline count.