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Chairman Dean

As regular readers know, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Howard Dean. I think I let this fact color my judgment when I argued (against the conventional wisdom) that he'd make an effective DNC chairman. Dean is a bright guy, I reasoned, and with a bit more exposure on the national stage will eventually learn to avoid the hoof-in-mouth pitfalls that marred his candidacy last year. Meanwhile, his political amateurism would be overshadowed by his proven ability to raise money and energize his base.

Well, his base may still be energized for the moment, but when they realize his shortcomings in the fundraising department, that may evaporate as well.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) fund raising under the chairmanship of Howard Dean shows a disappointing $16.7 million raised in the first quarter of 2005, compared with $34 million reported by the Republicans.

That tends to confirm dire predictions by old-line Democratic fund-raisers of a fall-off in money if Dean became chairman. He had promised to bring in heavy individual contributions, as he did in his 2004 campaign for president. But the DNC in the first quarter received only $13 million from individuals, compared to $31 million for the Republican National Committee (RNC).


I do not pretend to be an authority on Howard Dean nor his fund-raising skills.

However, I do seem to recall that the main reason for Dean's fundraising success (as well as his subsequent squandering of same) was due to the efforts of Joe Trippi and his exceptional internet skills.

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