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. Ed

    Of course Dean gets to keep his job. That's what he gets for handing the election to Obama.

    June 5, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. Silence Dogood

    I want to vote Dem but I need some straight answers: Obama has been taking special interest money from Big Oil and Big Insurance (Newsweek). Now that he is Dictator, who is in charge of History Rewrting?

    I think we have our Lie of the Day.

    I need to join a real liberal party.

    June 5, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Laidetea

    Clean House Obama

    June 5, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Callie- 23- Savannah, GA

    It was Michigan and Florida who moved their primay's ahead but I love the idea of banning the lobbyist money. Let's change washington and become more involved in what's going on!!!
    Obama 08!!

    June 5, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Clinton Supporter

    Looks like the DNC is going to be broke pretty soon!!!!!!!

    Dean had his own motives for getting Obama the nomination..,..,who would have thunk it???????????

    June 5, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Stop the noise!! Stop McCain!!

    OK Barack. I'm trusting you on this one (FOR NOW). But I really think that in the spirit of "CHANGE", you might have thought about some of the considerable talent you now have access too. Dean just comes off like a WUSS, and is to blame for a lot of the heartache of FL and MI.

    But I've got your back (Just don't let me down)

    June 5, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Lynn

    Now it makes since. The DNC rules committee on how they voted. I was wondering what Dean promised. I even wrote to him asking. Now I know. Hillary supporters take note. There will be more.

    June 5, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Steve

    Keeping the idiot Howard Dean? Brilliant idea. I feel the same way about ignoring lobby groups. If you don't listen to advocates, how are you knowledgeable?

    June 5, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Peejay

    I wish both Dean and Obama would address revising the ridiculous, random, patchwork primary system we all witnessed this year.

    June 5, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Oh! The Irony

    Sounds very presidential to me!

    Obama '08

    June 5, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Jamaal

    Dean and Obama could make a difference in Washington he should be a option in Obama's mind as a VP pick.

    June 5, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Chi-Town Cheryl

    I am glad Howard Dean will remain the head of the DNC. I think Dean and Obama will work rather well together to implement some really good ideas and to restructure the DNC. Also, I believe with Obama's rolodex, the DNC will be able to raise a lot of $$ this year. What wonderful changes coming down the pike for the democrats.

    OBAMA '08

    June 5, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Jason

    Well of course he is keeping him. Dean was an obvious Obama supporter throughout the campaign – although he should have at least PRETENDED to be neutral. I think Michigan and Florida is a great example.

    I am leaving the Democratic party now.

    June 5, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. theprogressivebigot

    Hopefully he won't do away with the superdeleges... What would I do!?

    June 5, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. enomisa

    Of Course- Dean installed the puppet Obama

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

    Excellent choice, President Obama!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Don in Florida

    He's a take charge kind of guy. Now Obama Nation needs to get out and help him build this coalition into a juggernaut that will crush the republicans in the fall.

    Obama 08 & 12

    June 5, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |

    O is running the show now!
    You better recognize and get on board or get run over.

    I'm loving this.

    June 5, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Oh! The Irony

    Thomas June 5th, 2008 2:14 pm ET

    Thats the first of many REALLY BAD moves by Obama…


    Why? Because it reduces the amount they're already pulling in? I'd take a leader any day that actually lives by what he preaches. The move might not help their fundraising efforts, but he's gained so much more in respect.

    June 5, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. Mike


    June 5, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. I hope my post gets posted for once...

    I hope my post gets posted for once...
    If I lose my brother out there in Iraq it you Clinton supporters I blame. You are not democrats you are war mongering haters and racist bigots. Black men are over there bleeding for this nation but they can't run it because they are empty suits right? No souls is that it? He has more heart and love and commitement to the people of this country...ALL THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY...then McPasty...who looks like an anemic senile trigger happy LIAR...he is Bush x3...HILLARY VOTED TO SEND MY BROTHER TO WAR...I DESPISE HER AND SHE WILL NOT BE VP. I hope Howard Dean stands next time instead of letting a Clinton run him like he did before.

    June 5, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. shannon

    Dean has been fighting for Obama since day one. Dean needed Obama to help push the Clintons out of power....so of course he is going to stay...Dean put Obama where he is.

    June 5, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Didine - Maryland

    Our President Barack Obama, is now the captain of our boat. He will mold his party with his great judgement and lead us to victory in November. Bravo Obama!

    June 5, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. really?

    Of Course...
    The DNC and the party worked with the Obama campaign to swiftboat Hillary Clinton and install Obama.

    Weren't all the Obama people calling Dean nasty names just a few days ago, for not stealing the election for Obama sooner?

    June 5, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. sarah

    no big suprise there since the deal to appoint obama was made by dean and obama, fair is fair. obama gets pushed on the dems and dean keeps his power seat. what a bunch of clowns, too bad they are not funny. too bad they did not notice that half the dem voters dont want the socialist, elitist, racist , sexist, liar named obama. oh by the way cnn why not report more on obama and his shady deals with the now convicted rezko?

    June 5, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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