Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Friday, June 09, 2006


Friday Evening Round-Up

The Bass article on the Dean/Lamont similarities was very good.

I take slight exception to the comment that "Lamont, unlike Dean, seems to grow on people..." EVERYONE I know who has met and talked with Howard in person has found him immensely likeable and down-to-earth. Unfortunately, most people didn't get to meet Howard Dean -- they met a caricature of him in the media that said he was prickly, angry, intemperate, etc.

I think a really important lesson to learn from the Dean campaign is in media management. From what I've seen, the differences between the CT political journalists and those on the national beat is *immense*. Local journalists look beyond the simple sound bytes, beyond the totally surface caricatures.

It's important for us in the Lamont netroots to continue to have a positive and collegial relationship with reporters, because it can make or break a campaign.
Unfortunately, most people didn't get to meet Howard Dean -- they met a caricature of him in the media that said he was prickly, angry, intemperate, etc.

Right, and Ned is much harder to caricature like that (Joe tried early on to do so and failed). Not having ever met Howard, I can't comment on what he's like in person. But it's obvious, for whatever reason, that Ned comes across better to reporters (even the WSJ guy liked him).
I loved Howard Dean before I ever met him. His speech to the Califnornia state Dem Party in March 2003 was what sold me on Howard, because he got it. The Democratic Party was failing because it was not growing and nurturing the Democratic base, and it was doing that because the leaders were behaving Repuke-lite.

Dean had to first energize Democrats and Independents who were paying attention to politics or upset at how our nation's leaders were sending our country down the toliet, and he did that wonderfully.

As a software engineer, what I noticed was that when Dean had to make the transition from building a campaign base to winning primaries, he didn't make that transision. Transitions are always dangerous phases.

Also ABC's The Note said in August 2003, that if the Dem Establishment contenders ever decided to gang up on Howard Dean and take him down, they'd be able to do that and that is a large factor in Dean's downfall. John Kerry refueled his campaign by mortgaging his half of his Beacon Hills mansion for $6.4 million, which he got from a bank that did business with his wife. By doing that Kerry didn't fundraise during the weeks leading up to the IA Caucuses. He was free to just campaign. Gephardt ran a kamikazee campaign against Howard, and Howard got sucked into a negative ad campaign that really took Howard off his message. What Howard needed to do starting Jan 2004 was go back to his June 2003 formal announcement speech and spread that message to Iowa.

Iowa would have been hard to win anyway because the Caucuses are a Byzantine affair easily controlled by Party hacks. The ground game is where Dean got out manuevered in IA.

Lamont's building a good ground game in CT and with Bill Hillsman's help, an innovative air attack. The results from the CT Dem convention are proof of that.

If Dean had had 3 weeks after Iowa, like Bill Clinton did, I think Howard would have recovered and won New Hampshire.

We say that the Republican Party was hijacked by Dixiecrats, but the Democratic Party was hijacked by Tom Dewey Republicans, some of whom, like Hillary Clinton, refer to themselves as Eisenhower Democrats.

I met Howard Dean 3 times and he was always courteous to those of us who came to his rallies.

There are good things and bad things to learn from Howard Dean's Presidential campaign and Tom Swan is no dummy. I'm sure he's analyzed Howard's campaign and the campaigns of other candidates.

If Howard was such a flash in the pan as the mainstream Media likes to say, Democracy for America would never have come into existance and Howard would never have become DNC Chair. His election as DNC Chair, which the Dem Establishment didn't want him to have, is proof that Dean was a catalyst for change. It was the state Dem chairs and other DNC members who ignored the Washington Beltway conventional wisdom and elected Howard Dean as DNC Chair to implement the 50 state strategy. And it's these same people who back Howard when the Dem crybabies in Congress want Howard to resign or shut up.
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