Thursday, May 22, 2003 - TNR takes stock of Dean's growing tech-savvy campaign

The New Republic Online:

Some campaign managers devote their energies to working the elite press or courting union leaders or wooing donors. But Trippi seems to spend an inordinate amount of his time checking Meetup numbers, posting to liberal blogs, sending text messages to supporters who have signed up for the Dean wireless network, and otherwise devising ways to use the Internet to build what Trippi envisions as “the largest grassroots organization in the history of this party.” And his efforts might actually be paying off: While many predicted that Dean would fade away once the war was no longer a salient issue, there is little evidence that the former Vermont governor’s supporters – originally drawn to Dean when he was forcefully speaking out against war in Iraq – are deserting him. In fact, the Internet might account for Dean’s staying power.

I believe when the book is written about the 2004 Presidential Election, it will be the chapters on the role of the Internet that will be the most revolutionary. So far, Governor Dean’s proven that he has a team who can consistently outshine the others.


  1. I am glad Dean is doing well; he's the smartest and boldest candidate out there, and his positions show integrity.

    However, I wonder if the Dean campaign is making far too much of their blogger "fan base." I worry that that's what it is -- a fan base, rather than a political base. How many bloggers are actually involved in their community's power structure beyond organizing Dean meetups? (Maybe a lot, but it's a legitimate question to wonder.)

  2. Ellen - A great question, and a valid concern. I can't speak for everyone, but I can certainly speak for my own involvement: I'm running our county structure for the Dean campaign, I've been marginally involved in the Lawyers for Dean activities, and have hosted one fundraiser (and will be hosting two more in the next six weeks).

    I'm not so sure that the bloggers-as-fan-base is necessarily a bad angle; given their readership, just having their posts widely read is progress in getting word about the campaign out to a broader audience.

    That said, this campaign will come down to money and feet on the street. The Dean campaign has proven they can solve the latter problem; the very real test this quarter will be the extent to which the 25,000+ Meetup supporters and the thousands of blog readers translate into substantial contributions.

    We won't know until the first week of July, but I'll make a prediction: you ain't seen nothing yet. Hitting $1m online was just a beginning. An important milestone, but just a beginning.


  4. Dean is another cowardly demon-crat. Demon-crats have dismantled the military in America, crippled our intelligence cabibilities, and allowing the 9-11 attack to occur.
    Demon-crats discraced the presidency via Clinton and his behavior, we don't need another coward in the White House.