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. Mauri

    It's truly amazing how nobody realizes that if it hadn't been for Hillary Clinton, Michigan and Florida would not have been permitted to be seated at the convention. When she began lobbying that these two states be seated, Barack Obama, shot it down. When the time came when BO needed their votes, he gave his consent, and his pal Howard Dean approved it, stealing four delegates from Hillary and giving them to Obama. But that's history now, and the Hillary trashing goes on. In the meantime, watch Obama continue to sing her praises because many people in the House and Senate are now saying that without her voters, he can't win.

    June 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Topher

    JP, it's not their fault your state broke the rules.

    The Republicans took away half of their delegates also. Look it up. There's no difference between the Democrats and Republicans when it comes to punishing your states.

    If you want retaliation, vote your state leaders who authorized moving up the primaries out of office.

    June 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Mike

    Congratulations Senator Obama!
    I commend you for your stance on PAC's and Lobbiest contributions. This is a big shift in philosophy for any party, and I think it will be a great move. The public can relate to placing not only your campaign, but the entire party in their (the public) hands. With your leadership, we can move this country towards it ultimate destiny.

    First of all, servants of all, we shall transcend all!

    June 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. enomisa

    We will vote our freedom in Nov

    June 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Alice - Arizona

    Obama Folks:

    Picking Howard Dean to remain as head of the DNC.

    Wow, that is some CHANGE.

    What fools!!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Sarah

    Mike , Raleigh: 18 million people aren't going to disaffect because their candidate lost. In fact many regret their vote.

    June 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    John K, when you get your facts straight then try talking about issues... Florida Republican Legislature forced the dates on. so the democratic party is penalizing us for something the republican led congress did (with help form the Governor). next time at least do some research.

    June 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Really?

    Reading all of this leads me to one conclusion: you people are bitter, miserable people (with the exception of the person who rightly pointed out that CNN posts the funniest pictures). Get over yourselves!

    June 5, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |



    June 5, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. change now

    The only change we long for is freedom from the corrupt two-party system and from the inept democratic party.

    June 5, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Lisa

    Sen. Obama continue to flow and move forward and don't be pressured by unwise council expecially when it come to choosing a VP spot we are with you and who ever you chooses.

    June 5, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Billy Fla

    Howard Dean is a jerk and has done nothing for this country or
    the party.

    Despite what the media is saying the Clinton supporters are not
    going to cross over to Obama. Just because we are democrats why
    would we vote for someone we don't believe in?

    If Hillary was smart she would go on the ticket as an Independant
    and she would probably win. Believe me there are more skeltons
    in Obama's closet that will come out before the election.

    June 5, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    if hillary is not selected as VP I will vote for republican first time in my life

    June 5, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. adam


    OBAMA / Jeremiah 2008

    June 5, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Generation X

    Obama democrats beware of Republicans that are paid to come on different sites to blog bad comments about Hillary or Obama. These trolls are paid to keep up mess between the two parties. The Republicans know that McCain does not stand a chance in November.

    June 5, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Bill PA June 5th, 2008 2:24 pm ET

    Obama is keeping garbage…..will the real Obama please stand,
    please stand. Dean is a liberal dope just like Obama, vote for Hillary as a write in, she got robbed."
    You're right. Hillary got robbed – by Bill Clinton! He robbed her during Whitewater, he robbed her during the Lewinsky scandal, he has been robbing her since day one. And Now he stole the presidency from her and gave it to Obama.

    It was HIS stupid comments and outbursts that cost her 11 states in a row, and a ton of superdelegates.

    Yup, she was robbed, all right!

    June 5, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Richard THomas

    Without Hillary as Vp he's certain to lose. And even if she is on the ticket that is no guarantee.

    June 5, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Clinton Supporter

    Farren Ballanst June 5th, 2008 2:50 pm ET

    I can't wait to see how long it takes Clinton's losers to stop crying.

    Just a few months....as soon as Obama loses in November...you will hear our victory dance!!!

    Hillary supporters unite against Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. hello

    If Hillary is not in Ticket I will vote for republican first time in my life.

    June 5, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Independent in Iowa

    This is laughable "Barack Obama is moving to take leadership of the Democratic Party" – what party?! It's half the size it was before his campaign started.

    He's doing a great job so far...

    June 5, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. bridgette

    What scares people so much about an Obama presidency. Do you think he will have us in two wars. Do you think that he will have us with 9+ trillion dollar debt. Do you think he will cause us too loose most of our allies. Do you think that he would totally allow all the corporations too send jobs out of the country and give them a tax break too do it. Do you think he would have secret prisions all over the world too torchure people. Do you think he will refuse to speak with anyone who didn't agree with him. Do you think he would have a shadow government that oust CIA agents. Oh no wait a minute that's the so call ultra conservative government that we have in their now. So step back for a second and really think about what you are saying. Because no one can do a worse job than the so call experience people that are in their now.

    June 5, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Marc PDX

    Adding Dean to his campaign?! Is this yet another example of good judgement? Dean is head case who couldn't hold a civil discussion with or about an opponent (including Hillary!) without resorting to name calling and shrieking antics. Obama just doesn't know what he's doing. His choice in relationships is absolutely awful! He couldn't pick worse people if that was his stated objective for crying out loud.

    NObama N08

    June 5, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. Obama #1 Fan

    Wonderful!!! 2 very inspirational leaders who we should all feel truly blessed to have running our party. I have prayed for this moment for a long time, and now my prayers have been answered in the form of President Barack Obama! He brings great promise to this country. For the first time, I really feel hopeful and unified with all my brothers and sisters. I'm so glad that witch (I won't even say her name) is finally gone and Barack can show us the way.

    June 5, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. bob in L.A.

    Obama's first executive decision is a mistake- he is keeping Howard Dean. A mistake on day two.
    The DNC lead Howard Dean is responsible for the Michigan/Florida fiasco- the craziness of the primariy system and kept the useless super-delegates idea and then spent the last last 4 months saying candidates needed to drop out of the race for party unity.
    This kind of reward sysytem sounds and feels a lot like the Bush appointee method.- All politics.

    June 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty

    I am so proud of the DNC and our party yes!!!!
    finally, take the lead, and lets stand up to the old same old........
    no more clintons

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