June 5th, 2008
01:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama keeps Dean

Barack Obama and Howard Dean.
Barack Obama and Howard Dean.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama is moving to take leadership of the Democratic Party, installing one of hit top field lieutenants at the Democratic National Committee, along with a sweeping new ban on special interest money.

The campaign announced that Howard Dean would remain head of the DNC, addressing speculation that he might be replaced with a candidate chosen by Obama himself.

Dean’s ambitious effort to build party infrastructure in all 50 states had been met with mixed reviews – criticized by Democrats nervous over the DNC’s dire financial straits, praised by activists determined to compete with Republicans in every area of the country.

"Sen. Obama appreciates the hard work that Chairman Dean has done to grow our party at the grass-roots level and looks forward to working with him as the chairman of the Democratic Party as we go forward," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Dean’s philosophy fits well with Obama’s strategy; massive wins in traditionally red states factored heavily in the Illinois senator’s successful nominating battle, and he won the backing of many Democrats in GOP strongholds who believe his presence on the ballot may prove decisive in down-ticket races this November.

In a new appointment, Obama senior adviser Paul Tewes will immediately begin to coordinate the campaign’s activities at party headquarters. Tewes led the Obama campaign to victory in Iowa before being dispatched to other primary season battlefields like Ohio.

The campaign also said Thursday that the DNC, following Obama’s own policy, will no longer accept donations from political action committees or their members, or federal lobbyists, although donations that have already been accepted will not be returned.

"We will not take a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. We're going to change how Washington works," Obama said Thursday.

Obama and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain have tangled over the issue of lobbyist influence, and each campaign has accused the other of hiring individuals with ties to lobbying firms.

The DNC – whose Republican counterpart has roughly 10 times as much cash on hand, according to their most recent campaign finance reports - is counting on the Obama fundraising juggernaut to help refill its coffers.

The campaign and the DNC already have a joint fundraising agreement in place. Last month, the party had just $4.1 million cash on hand.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Kick Hillary to the Curb

    I couldn't answer this because the article was closed but Lanny Davis is one of those people you scream at when you watch TV, he is a scumbag! No one takes him seriously he keeps fighting with everyone... no one wants him or Hillary anymore. So what 17 million like her well most of them regret voting for her after hearing the BOsnia sniper fire incident.

    June 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Lyle

    McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry and soon Obama.

    Winning isn’t everything but not even trying is a tragedy. Why has the DNC given up on winning the White House? Why has the DNC given up on America?

    June 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Liz from Atlanta, GA

    I agree with him, if you say your going to change Washington and stop letting special interest groups run our country, why wouldn't you stop taking money from them to run your campaign or the DNC. I kinda think it's funny how emotional people are getting about this. Wait. . . I get it, they are not used to politicians that actually follow through on their campaign promises. . . .

    June 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Obama all the way..

    I LOVE THIS MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO-OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YOU ARE A LEADER OF THE FUTURE AND A MAN OF YOUR WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Independent in Iowa

    Oh – and the man of "change" is keeping a die hard politician in charge. What a joke!

    June 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Hillary Supporter

    What's wrong with all these Republicans on this forum saying it's a bad idea for Obama / DNC to refuse PAC and lobbyist money. How many skeletons are you afraid will be exposed in McCain's closet by a new transparent democratic party?
    Way to go Obama. Practice what you preach. Dawn of a new era for America.

    June 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. William, from Cali

    Andy J, NY I agree with you; that someone, should take over leadership of the "Democratic led Congress". If they can't do; no better than that, we as a Nation, we're in "big trouble"......................

    June 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Nia

    Wow, busting heads and taking numbers...and he ain't even in office yet. Way to show leadership. He can alos work on reforming how the primary's go. Make it less complicated. I like the GOP's winner take all which is easy, but then Obama wouldn't be where he is if that were the case. Either way something rather then nothing needs to be done.

    June 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. 2008 INDEPENDENT AND PROUD OF IT

    GREAT MOVE OBAMA! THIS IS YOUR FIRST OFFICAL MISTAKE. HOWARD DEAN LOST HIS BID FOR THE PRESIDENCY AND HAS MADE A MOCKERY ALONG WITH PELOSI OF YOUR PARTY. YOU HAVE DISTROYED THE DEM PARTY, WHICH WAS ON ITS WAY OUT. UNLESS I TOO, CAN BECOME A SUPER DELEGATE I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DEMS...BECAUSE ITS OBVIOUS THATS THE ONLY VOTE THAT COUNTS. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA HE SURROUNDS HIMSELF AROUND LOSERS, CAROLINE THAT INCLUDES YOU AND OPRAH W. LOVE THESE PEOPLE COMMING OUT WHO ARENT POLITICAL AND SUDDENLY A CLOUD OPENED UP. TRUTH IS OPRAH NEVER VOTED IN HER LIFE. KENNEDY NO OFFENSE IF YOUR THE CHANGE CANDIDATE WHY THE KENNEDYS? YOU THINK YOU AND MICHELLE ARE CAMELOT?WRONG! THE KENNEDYS ARE OLD SCHOOL POLITICIANS AND YOU TALK ABOUT CHANGE, GIVING CAROLINE K A SAY IN WHO WILL BE VP? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? WHY BECAUSE HER DAD WAS PRESIDENT AND WAS KILLED IN OFFICE, HE WAS A GREAT MAN BUT HE HAS HE BLEMISHS TOO, HE JUST DIDNT GET CAUGHT UNTIL AFTER HE WAS KILLED. I DONT UNDERSTAND YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS SIR. I CANNOT VOTE FOR A MAN WHO MAKES SUCH CONTREDICTUARY DECISIONS.

    June 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. missing something

    I THINK HD SHOULD REMAIN HEAD OF THE DNC

    June 5, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. DEAN OF WHAT?

    Yes to Obama June 5th, 2008 2:52 pm ET

    Mannnn .. it sooooooooooooo great to see Obama in action… Don't worry Mr. (next) US President, we voters will donate as much as we can afford to make it happen.
    ============================

    Yeah but you can't buy my vote, like the superdelegates.

    June 5, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Joan

    I always wondered why the DNC nor its chairman ever came to Clinton's defense, even when she was so horribly attacked by the "visiting priest". Well, now we find out that Dean is a great friend of Obama's, and Obama has seen that Dean will continue in his role as head of the DNC, even though he has done a terrible job.

    Just like Bush, Obama is putting people in positions of leadership due to relationships instead of competence. This does not bode well for the future.

    June 5, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Jimi NY

    Howard Dean's cool! He cracked me up with his screaming last year. Obama made the right choice. Hopefully he'll keep Hillary off the ticket.

    June 5, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. Tim from Buffalo

    Just so all you jokers know, Dean had nothing to do with FL and MI, he was merely responsible for enforcing the rules. The rules committee (see why they named it that?) did the FL and MI thing with the approval of Hillary and her campaign.

    June 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Topher

    Mike, Raleigh – There are also 18 million voters who rejected Hillary Clinton if you want to look at it that way.

    To think that Democrats wouldn't vote for Obama in the general because they didn't vote for him in the primary is the unfortunate result of elementary thinking.

    I'd like to think that Hillary supporters would like to invest in healthcare, education, the economy and a renewed commitment to science rather than spend the money to fund more deaths of our heroic men and women in uniform by prolonging an unjust war and giving tax breaks to corporations. Now that is politics as usual.

    June 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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