Transformational Politics -- Why the Dean Campaign was Different
by JoeTrippi, Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 06:17:01 AM EST
Over the Christmas Weekend Matt Stoller started a conversation about John Edwards that got me thinking again about the difference between transactional politics and transformational politics.
I had an epithany one day in the middle of the Dean campaign about what made us so different...
Its incredibly simple and defines what I now believe is the essential ingredient in any campaign or candidacy that hopes to be transformational.
All modern campaigns and transactional campaogns are built around a candidate who proclaims to the nation "Look at me -- aren't I amazing?".
The Dean campaign (and any transformational campaign successful or not) was built around a candidate who proclaimed "Look at you -- aren't you amazing?"
This strikes me as essential. More than ideology, or any other factor -- true transformational leadership can only come from a candidate who fundmentally gets that it isn't about him/her -- its about us.
So in terms of 2008 is Hillary capable or realizing that she is not the center of the universe -- that the political world and even her own campaign does not revolve around her? Obama? Edwards? Who? Anyone?
The Dean campaign was different not because of ideology or because of opposition to the war -- but because it revolved around its supporters and empowered them. It was the only campaign in a long time that realized that the people were more important than the candidate.
<James MacGregor Burns wrote "A transformational leader stands on the shoulders of his followers, expressing coherently those ideas which lie inchoate in the hearts of the followers -- and in the process makes his followers into new leaders.">
Al Gore is doing this right now around the issue of Global Warming. Dean did it in 2004 for President. Who in 2008?