The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

This has to be about the lamest post ever linked to by Instapundit: Jim Moore, a fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School, tells us that Howard Dean is doing just fine:

Lots of folks are punditing about the Howard Dean campaign—most working with few facts. So here are a couple of facts to mull over. You heard it first:

1. Through today, thousands of grassroots supporters continue restocking the Dean campaign with cash. As I reported here recently, in the 72 hours after New Hampshire more than 10,000 supporters contributed almost $70 each—for a total of $680,000 in three days. This shows the power of the large numbers of people that can easily touch the campaign through the web. I don’t know what will happen next, but I can say that numbers suggest that the grassroots can completely reload the campaign with cash if they want to.

Grassroots supporters can completely reload the Kucinich campaign with cash if they want to. It's a question of whether they will. Dean raised $40 million and blew through $35 million of it. At a rate of $700,000 every three days, the campaign will be "reloaded" by late June. I don't think Dean can wait that long.

2. We all know that where an organization gets its funding has a powerful effect on its priorities—even if the members think otherwise. So I find the following intriguing, given the centrality of grassroots funding in this current period: Probably the most influential person in the campaign right now is Zephyr, our grassroots evangelist. She is organizing all sorts of initiatives and creating momentum. In addition, word has it that Karen Hicks, the community organizer extraordinaire who led our New Hampshire grassroots campaign, and who worked with Marshall Ganz and others to create the house meeting model, is taking on a new and central role in the national campaign.

Let's unspin this: Campaign manager Joe Trippi got pink-slipped, so other members of the campaign have to take on additional duties. And is it really breaking news that senior staffers of the Dean campaign are working on, well, the Dean campaign? I'm reminded of my days as an intern at the Finger Lakes Times, when I would enter this sort of local news into the computer system: "Mrs. Alice Brown has been elected Sunshine Committee Chair of the Seneca Falls Women's Club."

Update: I read a little more of Moore's blog, and I actually feel sorry for him: He's gone way off the deep end. He has recurring fantasies of raising outrageous amounts of money:

In the new Internet-enabled political world, the Dean campaign is capable of raising another $50 million dollars or more.

A million people giving $50 each will do it.

If DeanforAmerica continues to focus on ways to improve democracy in America, the community could raise a billion dollars for Dean. 1 million people times a thousand dollars each.

Dean actually manages to raise a few hundred thou, and Moore treats this event with religious reverence. Literally:

Mindblowing event happening in realtime now: DeanforAmerica has raised $438.000 by about 4:00 PM today--with another update coming momentarily. The rate of contributing is off the charts. This is DFA's second largest single day of fundraising in the entire campaign--and may pass the single day record.

Wow, reflect on that. Implications?

Giving is the sacrament that brings the Dean community together.



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