June 5th, 2008
01:30 PM ET
10 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. Timothy

    Take control of your party Obama!!! Mold it!

    Good for you!

    Obama 08!

    June 5, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    I'm not so sure that's a good idea. I hope Howard Dean learns from his mistakes with Florida and Michigan.

    June 5, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. interesting

    Change = Revolution

    Well, centrist democrats are being forced out for this far left wing liberal.


    McCain 2008 (instead of this Manchurian Candidate)

    June 5, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. HH

    Final a democratic party we can be proud with.


    McCain cant get rid of the lobbyist his campaign is loaded with them.

    His top adivser Charlie Black lobbyied for murderers and communist leaders.

    June 5, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Zach in IL

    Dang.. no PAC or lobbyist money for the DNC in general? That's a pretty big statement.

    June 5, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. voter from CT

    cnn posts the funniest picture's.

    June 5, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Kenneth M

    Lets have no more talk of Hillary. She has dishonored herself, her party, and her supporters by not conceding and falling into the ranks as did Edwards Et Al. She used the kitchen sink, reckless statements, and pouting to no avail. Now she wants to demand the VP position. From now on lets speak only of the issues:
    · End the War
    · Universal Healthcare
    · Turn the Economy Around
    · Fight the Greenhouse Effect
    · Ensure a Women’s Right to Choose: Thanks leapfrog
    Vote Obama

    Dear “Voter”: Fact is, she got more votes than any primary candidate in US history, including BO.

    And what good did it do her? Taking a popular vote to a delegate fight is like taking a knife to a gunfight.

    But I do agree with you voter, Hillary should sit this one out. Keep your support. We will do it with out you. Most Republicans dislike McCain so thanks but we will take it from here.

    June 5, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. David Goldman for OBAMA


    June 5, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Thats the first of many REALLY BAD moves by Obama...

    June 5, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Lynnette

    I guess we know whose calling the shots now in the Democratic Party – his name: Barack Obama.

    June 5, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Andrew

    When you get crushed by John McCain, don't count on the Clintons to come and bail you out.

    June 5, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Julie

    Aaahh.......no wonder Dean was so pro-Obama – he probably was promised no changes would be made. And for the superdelegates who jumped on the bandwagon, it's obvious Obama was a very busy man, making calls, making promises, "vote for me and I'll give you a wonderful job". Well, Dean, you got your job, now go snicker in the mirror and wish for something better, your man got the nomination.

    ......for the CNN person moderating these comments, is this comment too anti-Obama?

    June 5, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA





    June 5, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. tj

    If Hillary can do nothing to for the Obama ticket but demonstrate that he wants to stay connected to the old school practices and politics, then its fair to say that Hillary and Bill should not do anything to get her supporters to back Obama. Obama don't need Hillary's old school help and supporters. Obama is the messiah and needs no bodies help.

    June 5, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |

    Howard Dean's 50 state strategy is PERFECT for Obama's campaign.

    June 5, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Ratgurl

    Obama's already making changes! No need to wait for the title – make America better NOW!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. jakarason

    good move baby show example and clean your home before you clean other house. THAT IS A CHANGE WE NEED. BUT BE CAREFULLY, NOT ALL PEOPLE LIKE THAT MOVE

    June 5, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Mary

    Florida and Michigan were not his fault. That was a rule laid out by the rules committee and approved by all candidates. That Hillary used it as a divisive issue should not reflect on Dean. 50 State strategy will force McCain to spend money he doesn't have.

    June 5, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Tony, Indianapolis, IN

    Obama is on point!!!!! Go Barack!!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. Tanya

    The first order of day for DNC must be abolishing superdelegates!
    If they don't do it , I will not vote in 2012.

    June 5, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Carmen

    Yes we are working together and it help to know that some people take this new strategu at heart and want to really take the White House back come November. Unite we shall be one and only one.

    June 5, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Clinton Supporter

    LMAO talk about a setup....bye, bye Obama and Dean!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Greg, NY

    Only 4.1 million? If the RNC has 10 times that amount, then they have about 41 million... Well, that's ok because with Obama doing the fundraising, he can match that in a month.

    All from small doners too.

    June 5, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. sacto joe

    This is a smart move. Howard Dean has been lambasted by the right wingnuts but has done nothing but help the Dems and hurt the Reps. People who post on this site or elsewhere who say anything else are either (1) misinformed or (2) out to sabotage the Dems chances of nailing the Repubs sorry ashes.

    Hang in there, Howard! And thanks for being smart about this, Senator Obama!

    June 5, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Superdelegate Bob

    That's terrific! Dean's 50-state strategy won back both houses of congress for the Dems.

    June 5, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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