June 5th, 2008
01:30 PM ET
7 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. AY

    You have the skills and talents to build your party the way you want. You can remove and appoint. Just take a week off and go to Chicago, spend time with your kids and wife, they miss you. You need some rest. You will win in November. Obama pls end Bush-McCain era, pls!!

    June 5, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Dean

    Hiyaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    June 5, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Ez

    GOOD JOB

    OBAMA 08/12

    June 5, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. the puppet rewards the puppeteer

    Great judgement Obama....
    Dean orchestrated this fiasco of a primary.

    Dean allowed you to play the race-card

    To wage a campaign of hatred

    And installed you as puppet nominee

    June 5, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. CAROL FROM NC

    NO HILLARY, NO WAY, NO HOW. EVERY STATE THAT SENATOR OBAMA CAMPAIGNED HEAVILY IN HE WON. HE DOES NOT NEED HER LIKE PEOPLE KEEP SAYING. THE WHITE PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT VOTE FOR HIM WITHOUT HER , MANY WILL NOT VOTE EVEN IF SHE IS HIS RUNNING MATE.THE VAIN OF PREJUDICE RUNS VERY DEEP IN PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT LOOK LIKE THEM. THAT GENERATION IS DYING AND ONE DAY WE REALLY WON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS KIND OF RACISM ANYMORE.

    June 5, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Garry

    I am disgusted with the Democratic Party and how it has handled this whole fiasco. I have been a Democrat for all my life and one who was proud to say I was a "Yellow dog Democrat" But after this mess with Obama and Clinton and the handling of it, if Obama actully is the nominee and does not pick Clinton as VP, the I will leave the party!
    Shoving somone down anothers throat and the way the media has played this, I want no part of it and my parents and their siblings feel the same. The public at large did not chose Obama, the black community shoved him down our throats! When you vote based on color, your just an idiot!

    June 5, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Anna

    I really would like to know from Clinton supporters, if you guys want somebody in VP post of your choice other than Clinton whom you choose?

    June 5, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. PLAY NICE

    TJ-SLOW DOWN

    I'am sure Hillary has learn from her mistake......

    I want her on the team NOT as VP but we need her because she is a strong, fearless women , and I believe she can be a quick learner with Obama's help. Just like she made him a better candiate he can help her become a better person. This is a new day don't shut her out...........Bill on the other hand need to wake up.

    OBAMB 08

    June 5, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Mike Nunn

    It looks like the Dems are on track to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

    June 5, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Linda

    So far so good, but Obama needs to keep Hillery at arms lenght. She has no place in his administration.

    June 5, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. OBAMA SUPPORTER IN IOWA

    I've already visited the DNC website and made a contribution. I'll probably be contribuing every month between now and the end of October. That is if Bush leaves me enough after I fill my gas tank.

    June 5, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. james

    Of course Obama wants to make changes now that he's let the corrupt and idiotic DNC rules and process favor him. No bias here...

    Obama will NEVER get my vote just as Bush NEVER got my vote.

    This independent is for Hillary or McCain. They are true American Patriots having accomplished things and never hating their country.

    CLINTON SUPPORTERS, DON'T GIVE IN – IN NOVEMBER WE WILL BE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR.

    McCain '08 for Clinton '12

    June 5, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Mish

    I think this is a good decision!!
    one thing they may want to change tho is finding a way to make the
    caucase votes count in the popular vote since it seems so many were not willing to count those in the vote count
    those americans deserve to be heard too and with those caucase states Obama would have been ahead in the poplular vote!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. payback

    The puppet rewards the puppeteer.

    Who wants this sham foe a leader?

    I want fair elections.

    I will vote for the BEST candidate and write Hillary Clinton's name in.

    June 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. arthur OR

    Mccain might as well quit now obama is ahead even after the primary battle that lasted months that proves no matter how much mccain throws at him obama will still win even if hillary supporters whine about her losing fair and square.

    June 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. amtFresno,CA

    Obama now in charge of the Dem Party. I simply just love that idea.
    Congrats to Obama & we are allready seeing change beginning . Obama for Pres in 08.

    June 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. pat

    No special interest money. So this means that lobbyists like Tom Daschle, Senator Obama's campaign co-chair, are out too, I presume?

    June 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Justin

    Kenneth M............You are the reason 18 million of us are comtemplating staying home or voting for McCain. No where in this article does it mention Hillary Clinton. There are those of you supporting Barack that do nothing but come on here everyday just to further degrade Hillary. The Primary is over and she's all but conceded so let your hatred for her go so you can concentrate on the Messiah King Barack Hussein Obama.

    June 5, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. tj

    I and my friends, moderate domocrates are abandoning this democrati party now.
    The party is jijacked by left wing radicals.
    To throw so much dirt on Clintons during this campain – on people who made so much for the party – very low position and we don't want to have anything in common with it.
    And reading all commets posted by Obamania's – arrogant, rude, hating people one more time proving that we were right in our decision.
    We 'll wait for new party – moderate democrats and uptill then we will stay independent
    Go ahead Dean, Brazile, etc – we will see what 'great' success you'll achieve when all moderates leave party and you will stay with those haters

    June 5, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Carol, San Luis Obispo, CA

    "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."

    A sweeping new ban on special interest money.

    Obama doesn't waste time making good on his word.

    And Hillary, for all her education and life experience, can't decide what she wants to do so is charting her course by consensus after her 18 million voters log on to her website.

    June 5, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. BIFF, BIFFINGTON...

    PLEASE TAKE NOTE:

    McCain TALKED about campaign finance reform for DECADES.

    A man who is a TOTAL longshot and initially dismissed, comes along and SIGLE HANDEDLY "DOES" campaign finance reform.

    he didn't wait for sombody to "OK" it. He didn't wait for Washington to debate it for a hundred years, then never DO it... he SHOWED it.

    HE DID IT HIMSELF !!!!! "THERE" IS A "PRIME" EXAMPLE OF THE "CHANGE" that some people want to deny that he can DO!

    June 5, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Kenneth M

    To: Rasputin June 5th, 2008 1:58 pm ET

    Why is it that, unlike McCain supporters, one never sees any criticism of Sen. Obama from his supporters?

    The answer is that we except him with his flaws and see the bigger picture. Also, because we know that all answers are not from the Presdient but from the support the President gets.

    And Charleen, thanks for calling me an idiot. If proves I struck a nerve. In the future, tell Slick Hillie never bring a popular vote to a delegate fight.

    June 5, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. maybe I'm amazed

    So who is pulling the strings on this puppet government?

    Dean installed Obama.

    Obama supports Dean.

    What a surprise.

    Fixed elections, hatred, sexism and cheating will not be condoned by Democrats when it is time to vote in NOV.

    June 5, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. Eric

    Democrats unite!

    I'd be upset if Obama had lost to Hillary, so I think everyone deserves a week or two to let the dust settle.

    However, by the time we get to September and then on to November I hope everybody has had enough time to remind themselves how horribly miserable it has been to be lead by George Bush for the last 7 years.

    If anybody thinks that a John McCain presidency will fix anything about this country or this world, I would remind them that half of the country was fooled by the same arguments that John McCain is making now back when George Bush was making these same arguments in 2000 and 2004 and look where that got us.

    Seriously, just think about things.

    All emotion aside.

    Oh, and stop saying Barack Obama hasn't accomplished anything in his political career. It just plain isn't true. It is insulting to a U.S. Senator that has dedicated his life to making things better for people around him.

    Democrats '08! (Congress)

    Obama '08! (White House)

    Yes we can! (Together)

    June 5, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. tedious898

    I think the MOST silly, MOST idiotic justification I've heard from Hillary Supporters (regarding voting for McSame)

    ......I don't care if Barack has the same policies as Hillary, I'm changing parties to independent so I can vote for McCain (after 18 years as a democrat)

    HOW INSANE IS THAT! I guess the rationale is "everything Hillary is fighting for and will fight for in the Senate or elsewhere in government will be made that much more difficult because of complete morons like this.

    I guess they believe McCain (as president) will fight for all of Hillary's issues. I mean...duh...have any of Hillary's supporters heard that Republican President's tend to veto democratic measures? Simply insane, mentally deficient, absent of reality, emotionally unstable fellow americans...Oh yeah...with the obligatory "WE TOLD YOU WE WOULD DESTROY EVERYTHING IF HILLARY DIDN'T GET THE NOM

    June 5, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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