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. Diego

    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.

    Typo! "installing one of hit top field..."
    Hit? I believe you mean his, CNN!

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

    Why is Obama running the DNC? Oh, I guess he has been running it all along. Forgot to tell the other candidates. That is why they carried him over the finish line. The DNC has issues and it one of the reasons that they have had only two Presidents in the past 35 years. What a joke. Dead heat with McCain in a year that the Dems should walk in the White House. Not a good sign.
    Winner take all States and no Caucus's spells big trouble for Obama

    June 5, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Belle

    Obama should certainly appreciate Dean; his stupid rules and primary process got Obama the nomination.

    June 5, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Derrick, Philadelphia

    90% of thie so call HILLARY SUPPORTERS calling for MCCAIN are either RNC plants to divide or closet RNC fake–o-crats

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

    What is this crap? Since when did Obama get the right to say who heads the DNC? He is only a nominee not the president and with a little luck will never be.

    June 5, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Hillary would have been real change and dropped Dean like a lead weight...

    No wonder Dean was so for Obama, she kept his job even though his is one of the worst leaders of the DNC and does Pelosi get to keep her job too with the worst rating in US history? Even worse then Bush?


    June 5, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Former Democrat

    Sure – it's payback for Dean screwing Florida and Michigan voters in Obama's favor. Fat lot of good it'll do the two of them come November.

    Did anyone see the picture of fat Oprah dancing? It reminded me of the hippo ballerinas in Disney's "Fantasia."

    McCain '08, Clinton '12

    June 5, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. Margaret

    Huh? The DNC chairmanship is an elected position, not an appointment. What does Obama have to do with it?????

    June 5, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. JC from NJ

    Does anyone wonder why Mr. Obama gets so much cash? It is because he is da man! I am donating tonight!
    President Obama is truly a gentleman and a scholar from the heavens. I cannot wait to watch and record every one of his State Of the Union speeches. Finally a president who can say nuclear and not 'nucular'.
    Every person that votes for Bush/McCain should be drafted to fight that war that they are supporting.

    June 5, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. john K

    I have no problem with Obama loosing the elections because I am sure he is the best candidate and I am also sure that if he looses is because of the sore losers from the Clinton campaign. And for those who keep saying that without them Obama can't win and that is why Hillary should be the candidate, remember without us Hillary will not win either.

    June 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. A true story

    Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there with us – and I asked Catherine 'If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?'

    Catherine replied – 'I would give houses to all the homeless people.'

    'Wow – what a worthy goal you have there Catherine.' I told her (while both parents beamed), 'But, you don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house and clean up all the fallen leaves in the back yard and I will pay you $5 dollars. Then we can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $5 dollars to use for a new house.'

    Catherine (who was about 4) thought that over for a second, and then replied, 'why doesn't the homeless guy come over and clean up the leaves himself, and you can pay him the $5 dollars.'

    Welcome to the Republican Party Catherine.....

    June 5, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Rasputin

    Why don't Obama supporters ever seem to criticize him?

    June 5, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. joann

    He isn't even the president yet and I hate this decision to keep Dean – he's one of the people responsible for this whole mess.

    June 5, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. 1926

    Kim from Portland, Oregon, dream on sister. I will always vote for the heroic Senator John McCain, never the sicko Michelle and Barack hussien Obama. Of course, this post will never see the light of day, because CNN will not allow it. They are hateful, haters of America and need to go back to dirty politics Chicago. We will eat you alive.

    June 5, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Sandy

    I do not want my children to grow up to be forced to fight a war that should have never ever been started in the first place. OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA ALL THE WAY! FOR THE PEOPLE.

    June 5, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |

    this is one smart man i love him!!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Lorenzo Clemons

    The fact that Barack Obama is the choice for the Democratic Party, it is well that the dynamics of politics should change with his selection. If we are going to make an impact on how Washington works and how we as a people should conduct ourselves, then it is inherent that we CHANGE! I am enthused about the possibility of an Obama presidency. God Bless America!

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. aaron from minneapolis

    Have you seen the rest of the World's reaction? The majority of the world is elated about Obama winning the nomination. Not the hamas not just Africa the majority of the world!!!! Go Obama Go!

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Iowa Democrat

    For better or worse, I hope this helps people understand an important motivating factor in all of the super delegate and committee maneuvering that we have witnessed over the past few weeks. For now, Obama takes control of the DNC and something of an attempted revolution is afoot. If he wins in November, then one by-product is that his revolution within the party is victorious and his control will have staying power. If he looses, well, you didn’t see John Kerry exercising much control over the past 4 years did you? Unless Al Gore wants to take a more visible role, a Democratic loss in November means that the last successful Democratic presidential candidate will be restored to dominant influence. I don’t think his wife is going to be very supportive of those who sided with Obama during the revolution. This is, by the way, a dramatic, unprecedented, and –I think–troubling illustration of how Hillary’s influence would not be what it is if she was not a former first lady. No other unsuccessful presidential candidate has ever had such a threat to fall back on.

    For the record, I’m an Obama supporter and all for the change he is attempting. But make no mistake about it, his supporters within the DNC are risking their political lives to help him. I applaud their bravery and sincerely hope that they are not eventually punished for their efforts.

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Mike, Raleigh

    Wake UP...Obama supporters,

    Do not forget that there 18 million registered democrat rejected Sen. Obama.

    Also, 92% of AA voted for Sen. Obama. Let's say that there are 10 million AA registered voters.

    If I can put math together and take the race factor out, hence 84% of AA needs to be substracted from Votes received by Sen. Obama.

    It means 18 million voted to Obama minus 8.4 million votes from AA.

    Sen. Obama received less then 10 million votes compare to 18 million votes by Sen. Hillary.

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. jrzshor

    let's hope that socialism isn't a dirty word!

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Nando, Florida

    Its his party now and Hillary can cry if she wants to!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. Rena

    That's it BO handle your business. Show them better than you can tell them. Take charge and let them know who is boss. Like the word of God says, "Be as wise as a serpent but humble as a dove." Show them that you can lead without running people over like a dump trunk unlike some other people we know.

    Andrew – If Obama was to get crushed I guess we wouldn't need Hillary nor Bill, right? It would be over so there's no need for them. But your wish want come true because the only one whose going to get crush is McCain just like Hillary did because she was outright over bearing and selfish. Secondly, while you are running your mouth I bet you want be turning down the benefits of Obama's victory.

    Please keep Hillary completely off your staff; we don't need her neither her husband God will provide. Don't listen at the Hillary pundits they are desperate now for anything; she should have thought about the possibility of her losing when she was fighting with the dirty republican tactics. She can't demand anything she LOST. I don't care how close it was a WIN IS WIN AND LOST IS A LOST. When you win any sports game no matter how close the score there is only one winner and the other goes home with a lost.

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. DH

    ONLY 1 COMMENT! well there you have it! Another person BOUGHT! with OBAMA'S donations!...unbelieveable! and you want me to vote for this GUY.????? Wrong!

    June 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. KD

    Obama supporters: get out your wallets and start funding the DNC.

    June 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11