Aziz -- You were a true pioneer literally at the launch of the Dean candidacy -- once again with these ideas you are helping to build a formidable progressive infrastructure. I hope ActBlue will take these ideas and run with them -- and that people take advantage of Facebook apps and other tools to make things really move. The power of the progressive movement is going to have to come from the creativity and ingenuity of the netroots and grassroots. You can already sense the careful cautious nature of establishment Dems taking hold and not looking to change the way things are done. Thanks for making real change possible.
I've tried. Mudcat is...well he's Mudcat. I am not sure if he considers me one of the "Harvards" or not. But I consider him one of the best rural strategists in our party -- we can probably learn a lot from each other's strengths and weaknesses. But Tracy, Ben, and I will work on it.
That is not exactly how it went down. What happened was that someone leaked the Kinnock tape on Joe Biden and it took Biden out of the race. The Press then went on a spree looking for the culprits who leaked the tape and did Biden in-- they invariably reported rumors that it was Shrum, Caddell or me -- all from the Gephardt campaign. This thing got so crazy that Gephardt said that no one on his campaign had anything to do with it -- and if he found out that someone on his campaign did have something to do with it he would fire them. Bill Carrick who was Gephardt's campaign manager called all of us into his office handed each of us a quarter and told anyone who did it to go to a payphone and call him so that he could stop Gephardt from looking like he was a liar if it turned out that one of us actually did it. I went to the 7-11 and bought a pack of gum. The problem for Sasso (who I have always looked up to since our days together on the Kennedy campaign) was that Dukakis kept saying the same thing -- that no one on his campaign did it -- and if they did and he found out about it -- he would fire them. Evidently no one on the Dukakis campaign did the Bill Carrick "here's a quarter -- if anyone here knows why Michael should not be saying this -- go to a payphone and call me right now" trick -- Dukakis had been particularly sanctimonious about his campaign being far above that kind of "ugly" campaigning -- it was beneath him and his campaign -- and that he could be counted on to fire anyone who would stupe so low -- and it was a shame that Gephardt did not hold himself and his campaign to the same high standard. Then it turned out it was the Dukakis campaign and Sasso -- and Dukakis really didn't have much of a choice given everything that he had said. This was a much differenct situation than that faced by Edwards.
These are the kinds of really obscure facts that rattle around in your head if you work in enough Presidential campaigns.
Obama can not count on his prospects being brighter at some point in the future. One of the things about Presidential politics is that the window often only opens once -- when it does you take it. Assuming a Democrat wins in 2008 -- your next opportunity to run would be in 2016 and you would be likely running against a sitting Vice President in your own party. Odds would not be good. So you go now. That is one of the reasons you have so many in this race.
First of all -- I have a lot of respect for David Axelrod -- we were on opposite sides in 2004. He with Edwards, me with Dean. And in 1988 he was with Paul Simon and I was first with Gary Hart and then (after Donna Rice that year) I was with Dick Gephardt. He is tough, smart, and I can think of only one other Democrat I would rather be in a trench with -- Steve Murphy who I believe is working for Richardson -- but it would be a close call.
An insurgent campaign is one that does not play by the estqblished rules. It is by its nature bottom up, unpredictable and against the status quo. It is a campaign that takes on the established ways -- and the way things are. And seeks to blaze a new path. Unafraid and against the odds -- or to hell with the odds. Gary Hart's 1984 campaign was probably the most remarkable insurgent campaign I ever saw -- had the Internet existed he would have been the nominee. For those who have followed my call for a transformational candidacy -- I think that there is no way for a transactional candidate to be an insurgent -- but an insurgent will be the only kind of candidate that can transform our politics.
Chris -- Her numbers are more like Vice President Mondale's in 1984 or even Vice President Al Gore's before the 2000 primaries. It will be very difficult to stop Hillary Clinton from gaining the nomination -- it can be done -- but not by any candidate who wages a "paint by the numbers" campaign. Gary Hart challenged Mondale and almost defeated him -- but he did it with a bold -- "New ideas" unorthodox campaign. In the end the machinery of the Mondale candidacy (full disclosure - I worked for Mondale that cycle) was too much for the Hart insurgency. If Hillary Clinton is defeated it will be by a bold, new, insurgent campaign.
1. In years when Iowa is contested only Vice President Walter Mondale has gone wire to wire -- holding his lead there for over a year and winning the state in 1984. The toughest thing to do in American politics is to hold a lead in Iowa when the entire field is trying to tear you down there. Maybe that sounds like bitterness out of personal experience -- but its the truth. I ran Iowa for Mondale in 1984. I was with Gephardt in 1988 when we were in last place with weeks to go, and Senator Paul Simon of Illinois had a strong lead there -- Gephardt won. And then of course there was Dean going to the lead there in 2004. I've seen this play out three times now -- from the winning side twice -- and the losing side once. It will be very tough for Edwards to hold his lead there. Not impossible -- but very tough.
2. If California moves up -- it does not mean a candidate needs more money -- but it does mean that the candidate that surprises early will win the nomination. There is no amount of money on the planet that can stop a campaign that is rocketing out of a surprise win or second in Iowa.
See Gary Hart 1984. He was running on fumes against Mondale -- he defeated Mondale in state after state with out much money -- had the calendar been this frontloaded -- Gary Hart would have been the nominee.
3. Jesse Jackson won 11 states in 1988 against Al Gore and Michael Dukakis. It was Jackson's strength among african American voters that stopped Gore from winning key states on Super Tuesday. Obama's appeal is far broader than Jackson'S. If Obama runs he alters the dynamics of the race in a very big way.
Jonathan - my guess is that this is an artifact from her Senate Campaign Website. In other words when you run for the Senate or Congress you always ask people to contribute $4,200. $2100 for the Primary and $2100 for the General. I am sure her Senate campaign site and contribution pages had this wording. I would not assume based on this that she has actually opted out of the General as well.
To date no candidate of either party has ever opted out of public funding for the General Election. Though I urged the Kerry campaign to do so in the 2004 General -- and Senator Kerry has said that he believes now that one of the mistakes he made was not opting out of the system in the General election.
Any Democrat who does not opt out of the system in the Primary -- is not a serious candidate for President. That was the view of the Dean campaign as we hoped our supporters gave us the green light to bolt the system -- becoming the first Democrat to ever do so -- and only the second campaign in history to do so (Bush was the first). Tha of course forced John Kerry to opt out in the Primary and was the only reason Kerry was competitive with Bush through the summer of 2004 prior to the conventions. Had Kerry stayed in the system he would have been crushed by Bush before he ever got the nomination ala Dukakis.
There is no one I know of who has been at or near the top of a Presidential campaign who believes that any serious candidate will stay in the system for the Primary or the General this time. In other words I fully expect that Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Gore or who ever the nominee is -- will skip public funding in the General Election -- I am just not sure this was anything more than a bad cut and paste job moving from a Senate campaign to a Presidential exploratory committee.
The combined strength of Hillary, Obama, and Edwards means that any of the other candidates (including Biden) will have to put forth bold and innovative ideas or run unorthodox campaigns to have any chance at success. Biden knows the odds -- so if he gets in -- its got to be because he thinks he has something to say. I am not saying Biden will emerge -- just that he is among the three or four that could emerge.
Demo37 is correct -- except that the California Dem Convention Speech was the second time Howard delivered that speech -- the first time it was delivered and the real first spark in the campaign was at the DNC Winter meeting a few weeks prior to the California Convention.
Someone we are not talking about today is going to give all three -- Clinton, Obama, and Edwards -- the scare of their lives in the next year -- and could go on to take the whole thing. At this point in 1984 -- EVERYONE KNEW THE RACE WAS BETWEEN WALTER MONDALE AND JOHN GLENN.
At this point in the 2004 cycle EVERYONE KNEW THAT THE RACE WAS BETWEEN KERRY, EDWARDS and GEPHARDT.
Hart gave Walter Mondale a run for his money and Dean was the only candidate to really threaten the assumption that Kerry would easily get the nomination.
Vilsack has really impressed me -- and I think is being under rated. Dodd, Richardson and Biden are all possible threats if they can get traction -- one of these four is likely to disturb the "Big Three" just as the Dean campaign broke up the KERRY, EDWARDS, GEPHARDT focus of 2004.