Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

November 5, 2003

by J


The Dean campaign has hit the limits and unless they decide to opt out of federal matching funds they need to stop all of their fundraising right now. Governor Dean has posted an eloquent note asking his supporters to vote on whether to do this or not. Response on the blog seems to lean yes, to put it mildly. It's political genius to throw it out to his supporters and say "Well? What do you think?"

I think they'll do it and I think it's the right thing to do. I'm giving them another $100 tonight for good measure.
Posted by J at November 5, 2003 12:03 AM

They were a day early with that note (wasn't it supposed to come on Thursday), but I have to agree--to throw this out to the supporters for a vote is to understand where that money came from and who needs to make this decision. I can only assume that they are following MoveOn's innovations in this arena as well.

In other news, what's the VJ take on the debate last night and Dean's Southern Strategy?

Posted by: Glen Engel-Cox at November 5, 2003 08:59 AM

I'm travelling, so I didn't see the debate. I did read a bunch of discussion online about it.

Two quick reactions from the secondhand stuff I've read so far: 1) It sounds like Edwards wants to be a divider, not a uniter ("people like you"). Very disappointing. 2) BFA posters are reporting that the calls to CSPAN this morning were overwhelmingly in support of Dean and his refusal to apologize, which I find very interesting.

On yet another note, in my district in a state house race, a Democrat beat a Republican incumbent. I'll be sending a letter to that Democrat when I get home explaining that I have not in the past voted in odd-year elections (I have a partial justification for that) and that he can thank Howard Dean for my vote and I look forward to his endorsement of Howard Dean. ;-)

Posted by: J at November 5, 2003 09:10 AM

I am so torn on what he should do! Do you know yet how you are going to vote?

Posted by: Laura in DC at November 5, 2003 05:47 PM

As I said in the post: "I think they'll do it and I think it's the right thing to do."

There's nothing to be torn about. If he accepts matching funds, he has to stop fundraising RIGHT NOW, as they already have the maximum they're allowed to spend. Then, nothing to do but sit in Burlington all spring and summer while Rove makes all the GECKo[1] spin and lies about Howard look like Valentine's.

He has to opt out. It's clear that they've already decided to. There's no other rational option.

[1] Gephardt, Edwards, Clark, Kerry. Teehee.

Posted by: J at November 5, 2003 05:54 PM

I'm not sure, but I think I'm leaning towards opting out of federal matching funds. If Dean wins the nomination, which I think he will, then he won't be constrained on what he can spend in the campaign. We all know that Bush is raising an obscene amont of money, so Dean shouldn't hobble himself in that arena.

Posted by: TerranceDC at November 5, 2003 06:21 PM

I'm going to vote to opt out. To take the other position requires that one endorse the stunning reality that Dean can accept no more money for the next N months.

I think the campaign was pretty smart to ask for a referendum; as many have said, it does give some good cover to Dean for backing out of his previous campaign-finance statements.

Not to mention that this is in the spirit of campaign finance reform: "Look ma, too many different people are giving me money! Should I tell them to stop?"

It's not like John Kerry dipping into his personal fortune. (Kerry does have plenty of millions himself, even if it's not as much as his wife.)

Posted by: V at November 5, 2003 06:35 PM

Oh, and Glen: the Thursday heads-up was for the actual mail with the voting instructions, so the campaign was accurate in saying that's the Big Deal e-mail.

They just surprised us by ruining the surprise. :)

Posted by: V at November 5, 2003 06:37 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
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Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
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LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
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