Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

November 12, 2003

by J

How Dean Got the Unions

The Post's Dan Balz has an article today explaining some of the backstory behind Dean's SEIU and AFSCME union endorsements. Bottom line: hard work.
Last December, at one of their first meetings, Stern asked Dean if there was any way he could help him, thinking he could open some union doors to the little-known candidate. "He said, 'Well you can endorse me,' which I thought was a pretty bold, first opening comment," Stern said. "And I said, 'Well, we're a little far away from that,' and he said, 'Well, if you endorse me, I'm going to be president.' "

The SEIU offered all the candidates the same resources: a list of their local leadership and a warning that the route to the endorsement began not in Stern's fifth-floor office on L Street NW but through the rank and file. "Everybody got the same advice," an SEIU official said. "Howard Dean took it to heart." No other candidate came close to Dean's outreach. "Shockingly" not close, Stern said.
V likes to say that Dean and Trippi will continue to dominate the primary season because they understand they need to be aggressive and unpredictable. Not a week goes by where I'm not surprised by something they're doing or impressed at a strategic plan I hadn't thought of or heard discussed yet. Couple that with the incredible amount of visible time, energy, and hard work that everyone, including the candidate, is putting in and the way they're managing to do it all quite frugally and I'm not at all surprised these unions were impressed by Dean's organization.
Posted by J at November 12, 2003 07:05 AM

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