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Howard Dean – Post-Mortem

By March 2, 2004politics

Now, this Washington Post article (free reg req’d) is an example of reporting that could not be done easily by a blogger. Or let’s put it this way, it is unlikely that any blogger would take the time to interview many Dean camp insiders and then paint a picture of what went wrong with the campaign.

What was wrong with the Dean campaign? A lot of things, such as infighting by top level Dean loyalists. Also, Dean’s failure to adapt to the wild success of his campaign (apparently, he didn’t really expect to be a front-runner and didn’t like the scrutiny that came when he found himself in that position):

In different conversations and in different ways, according to several people who worked with him, Dean said at the peak of his popularity late last year that he never expected to rise so high, that he didn’t like the intense scrutiny, that he had just wanted to make a difference. “I don’t care about being president,” he said. Months earlier, as his candidacy was taking off, he told a colleague: “The problem is, I’m now afraid I might win.”

Also, his campaign manager, Joe Trippi, was brilliant but ill-suited for the task of attempting to manage Dean (who appears to be ‘unmanageable’ so I guess that’s not a knock on Trippi). But he also appears to have been more interested in the novel campaign tactics of using the Internet than the mundane aspects of campaign management:

Even Trippi’s admirers dubbed him the “mad scientist,” a fast-talking, frenetic salesman who worked the phones all day and spent the wee hours answering bloggers on the campaign’s Web site. But his detractors said he wasn’t attending to the nuts and bolts of staffing and scheduling.

Anyway those are just some non-representative outtakes, so if you are interested in understanding what might have caused the Dean campaign to implode, go read the whole article (and remember free registration is required).


P.S. If you appreciate these kinds of observations, you might want to read this as well.
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