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. Tonya, Richmond, VA

    I'm trying to leave comments what is going on??

    June 5, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. fixed for Obama

    So Obama supports the man who corrupted this primary and stacked the deck against Hillary and in Obama's favor.

    I am so surprised that Obama would reward the man who engineered his fixed "win"

    June 5, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Francys

    It is a good move, I think they will work well together.

    Btw, it is funny in retrospective that the AP article about Bill and the preacher saying Billary wanted to steal the show were true since Billary is now trying to command the VP spot. Truth hurts, its a shame.

    June 5, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |



    June 5, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Zman


    June 5, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. No WMD ever found

    Absolutelt True Change

    June 5, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Steve

    Why would Obama do anything else? He's a politician. He knows where his bread is buttered. The only problem for Obama– he just lost more Democratic voters. Party unity?

    June 5, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. RoRo

    All HRC supporter voting for McSame, go ahead because it will be you suffering for another 4 yrs, not HRC or Obama!!

    June 5, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. maya

    Um, of course he kept Dean. After Dean ensured his nomination with Michigan and Florida, Obama kept his end of the deal! Sad sad days to be a democrat.

    June 5, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Chris, NYC

    Great news Sen. Obama! Lobbyist and PAC funding was the type of horsewash that turned many Americans (myself included) off to politics. Cut the stranglehold corporate america has on the government and change WILL happen. Not even the nomminee for a week and you're already holding true to your promise. OBAMA 08'

    June 5, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. D.

    My uncle retired from the Cabell County Board of Education in WVa. Prior to that, he was principal of a high school in Huntington. I am reminded of him telling me ne day you do not make dramatic changes as you first become a supervisor and make them gradually. Sounds to me Barrack is from that same school of humanity.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Gringo

    Well, of course. This bunch needs as many left wing lunatics on board as they can get.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Joe Boyer

    "destroying your opponent by cheating, lying, waging a campaign of hate, can be callled winning" by Clintons!!! Who is the world certified liar?

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Brando

    Barack, Please GET RID OF DEAN...that "guy"'s gonna be your DOOM. Mark my words. Change the (Washington's) rules once and for all.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Marilyn

    Why wouldn't he keep Dean? Dean was instrumental in making sure Obama is the nominee. I guess it's pay-back time! Too bad they will both go down in flames in November.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. ys

    Now we understand why the DNC picked Obama. They wanted to keep their jobs.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. yeah

    This is a true surprise.

    Dean fixes the primary for Obama.

    And Obama supports Dean in appreciation.

    New politics?

    Change we can believe in?

    Democrats do not care for the way this unfair primary was carried out.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. Sandy

    Clinton Supporters: You have three choices; Lead, follow, or GET OUT OF THE WAY because Dems are on the Obama train and McCain is about to be derailed.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Jerry in Fresno

    This is the time to rebuild...

    Go Obama and Dean.

    McCain illustrates how disorganized the Republicans are.

    The Nixon/Rove dynamic has run its course; it's over.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. election watcher

    Dean, Obama and the DNC surely do share the same philosophy, rewrite the rules until it gives you a majority. Just ask Michigan.

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Mark

    Amazed and apalled that people or so called democrats can be so selfish that they would forget what McCain stands for and would consider voting for this killer of young adults. I fought in the first Gulf War. I also fought for the US in Somalia. In total I spent 8 years in the military and under no circumstances would I ever,ever vote for a person that looks at war and conflict as a means to an end.

    Real soldiers never want to earn their checks. This person(McCain) can not wait to send the youth of our great country to their deaths in this trumped up war. For all the mistakes made in politics and to not learn anything from 7.5 years of strife under the Bush regime makes me sad to call any of you that support this would be murderer my countrymen.

    Get over the loss. Hillary knew this would be rough. Hillary knew the stakes when she put her pantsuit in the ring. She gave as good as she got and there is NO SHAME in her failing to get the nomination. She is a fantastic person and leader and the party is lucky to have her. But, Hillary and the Clinton's have done enough for this country. 20 years is long enough to serve. It is time to take the next step forward. Not 4 steps back.
    Obama 08

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. White small town for Obama !!

    I'm so proud of you Senator Obama!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. People are you listening

    I know many people are upset with Dean about MI and FL. I will now say that he was doing this for Obama. But for those who care about the truth, the rules that got the states disqualified were implemented by Terry McCaulliffe which was clinton's top aid. Dean took over after he left the DNC to chair hillary's campaign.

    June 5, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. pat

    18 MILLION VOTERS THE POPULAR VOTE, DEAN WHERE IS YOUR HEAD, we need to get ride of YOU n RIED n PALOSIE HILLARY do not support him you owe the dnc nothing.

    June 5, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Debby

    Dean has been the worse for the Dems. they lost in 2004 and then with his YIHA in 2000 he was a loser then and so were the Dems. Bad move IMO.

    June 5, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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