Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

January 29, 2004

by V

Somebody just went past that window, downwards

Count me as a weblogger who thinks letting Joe Trippi go was actually the right thing for Dean to do. The Trippi campaign was great in 2003, but it didn't deliver Iowa or NH despite burning through huge amounts of money, and a new approach is clearly needed.

I suggest trying to unite the party rather than divide it over Iraq, and pledging to keep the best middle-class/stimulative tax cuts (like the dropping of the marriage penalty). The tax cut shift would be easy to explain - "The voters have spoken, and though I love balanced budgets, we can delay a balanced budget for another year or two as long as we get going in the right direction". More on these ideas later, hopefully.

Garance Franke-Ruta at TAPPED has the most interesting summary I've seen of the Trippi move:

...I'm told that Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi's departure was precipitated, in part, by a revolt of the donors and fundraisers.

"They had an all-day meeting and conference calls with the senior staff," says the source. "The donors aren't happy" ... With no public funds forthcoming and fundraisers cancelling events after the Iowa loss, keeping the campaign going means keeping the fundraisers on board.

Coupled with internal criticisms of Trippi and complaints from members of Congress, a decision was made that additional management of the campaign was needed, says the source.

...According to Marc Ambinder, the former Dean embed at ABCNews.com, the relationship between Trippi and Dean soured after Iowa, where only around a third of the voters the campaign promised Dean showed up at caucus sites:
Dean was said by several sources who are close to him to have been very upset by what happened in Iowa, and blamed Trippi's staff, in part, for being disorganized and for running poor-quality television advertisements.

Dean and Trippi also had disagreements over spending. Dean is very tight with his budgets and would often veto ideas Trippi proposed.

...Dean limited Trippi's role in New Hampshire, told him to return to Burlington, stay off television, and the candidate essentially transferred the campaign's executive authority to his New Hampshire state director, Karen Hicks.
I have to wonder what Trippi wanted to spend money on that got vetoed. Maybe it'll be in the 2005 tell-all books.
Posted by V at January 29, 2004 08:23 AM

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