The Dean Legacy

Dean has remained fastidiously neutral and low-key in this presidential cycle. Yet a number of his top supporters believe the Clinton-Obama contest has become a referendum on the kind of grassroots party building and citizen empowerment Dean pioneered as a presidential candidate and continued as DNC chair. On that issue most Deaniacs, not surprisingly, side with Obama. "Ever since the TV era began in 1960, every single presidential campaign in America has ... Full Story »

Posted by Chris Finnie
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Subjects: U.S., Politics
Topics: U.S. White House, Democrats, Democratic Nomination
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Posted by: Posted by Chris Finnie - Feb 29, 2008 - 12:31 PM PST
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Robert M Schacht
4.1
by Robert M Schacht - Oct. 1, 2008

This article provides an excellent look at the Democratic ground game in historical perspective. It shows Obama as seizing Howard Dean's 50 state strategy, and operationalizing it more effectively than Dean ever did. I became politically engaged because of Dean's candidacy in 2003, and my perception is that Obama "gets it," but Hillary hasn't, and doesn't, and its making a difference in the voting booth.

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Chris Finnie
4.9
by Chris Finnie - Oct. 1, 2008

As someone who was involved in Dean's presidential race, and his bid for DNC chair, this is an awesome analysis of the different factions within the Party, and of the thinking each represents. The one thing Berman does not explore is the fact that many of the grassroots activists the Dean campaign created stayed involved in politics and the Party. The activists Obama is creating will do the same. This has the potential to transform the Party in ways we're already seeing at the state level. Clinton and Emanuel did not recognize this and will pay the price.

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Lynn Caporale
2.3
by Lynn Caporale - Oct. 1, 2008

This young writer simply accepts Joe Trippi's claim to have run the first grassroots Presidential campaign in the TV era, but in what way was the McGovern campaign "top down"? A more intriguing story on the topic could have been written by an author who was aware that the Democratic party's nominating process was opened up upon recommendation of a commission headed by George McGovern after the 1968 tragedies, and that one of the many "McGovernites" who worked so hard for his election in 1972, who has remained active in politics, was Hillary Clinton [another was her husband; another was Gary Hart; the list is long].

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Naomi Isler
4.0
by Naomi Isler - Oct. 1, 2008

It's a good presentation of different political 'organizing' philosophies. There may be something cyclical about them - if one works for a while candidates keep doing it. The question is how to act after realizing that one or the other doesn't work any more. Personally I've always believed more in bottom up grass roots organizing - you don't find voters till you go looking for them. But you've got to keep the roots watered and that's the hard part. You can't just focus on Washington or even the state capitol. You've got to go to ward committee meetings, run for city council and school board, go to zoning hearings, etc. That's what the Republicans did over many years,and it worked.

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