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. Alice

    The posts that disparage Dean because of the MI and FL debacles (which were not his fault) overlook the far more important fact that his 50-state strategy is what we need to get a Democrat to the White House in November.

    Wake up, guys!

    June 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. IT'S FINALLY OVER NOW FOR THE REAL BEGINNING

    it's about time we got someone with brains into the white house get some real changes going around here. this is what our country needs.

    obama=change we CAN believe in.

    June 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. sure

    The puppet rewards the puppeteer.

    This is the promise of the future.

    This is change?

    Never Obama.

    Write in Hillary Clinton and get a true leader in Nov.

    June 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Minnesota against Johnny McSame

    Nothing in this election was Dean's fault. I praise Howard Dean for sticking with the rules of the party and his 50 states strategy. History will remember Dean and Obama for changing the map of the country.

    June 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Mai

    Obama keeps Dean. That is not surprising. They are two peas in a pod. Both rotten and corrupt.

    June 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Woman for Obama

    Im am so proud of Obama for taking charge. No pac or lobbiest money... Its time to show the world that this is "Change we can believe in"

    Obama 80

    June 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Enlightened Voter - No hillary for VP

    Barack is brilliant! He is already walking the talk. You go Obama! he is right, he does believe in change and not just change for change sake but in a positive way. It's so nice for a change.

    June 5, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. that's why

    That is why millions of Democrats will speak for change, integrity and fair elections, by writing in Hillary Clinton in Nov.

    June 5, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Bill PA

    Obama is a liberal dope............Hillary as a write in..................................

    Obama is all frosting and no cake.

    June 5, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. David Minneapolis

    It is interesting that Obama mentioned Antietem and Gettysburg. All of you new McCain supporters who were so pro-Hillary, you are people who would have joined the Confederacy against the Union. Hillary and McCain have nothing in common in terms of policy. You know this. Experience? Nominate Cheney, he has more experience than all of them combined. Just don't go duck hunting with him. McCain stands for nothing that Hillary does. He just happens to be an old white geezer who can't figure out his Shia from his Sunni, and who probably wont make it through his first term in office, if he even makes it through this campaign. No, you're angry because someone just went and changed the game on you, and guess what Obama isn't going to take PAC money and lobbyists money in this campaign either. And guess what angry, entitled older white person, young people of all races and economic backgrounds are ready for Obama, and we're going to register people and get out the vote and defeat your McSame in a landslide election like you've never seen. It's not about your injured pride it's about our future, all of us.

    June 5, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. loser Obama

    If you want fair elections, equality, integrity and decency... WRITE in Hillary Clinton in Nov.

    If you like the audacity of hype and corrupt dirty politics vote for the pandering hypocrit, Obama.

    June 5, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. john K

    BTW, who was it that broke the rules by moving their primaries? Who signed the letter agreeing to strip them of their delegates? Answers: Michigan and Florida and every presidential hopefull including Hillary, so how is it that the blame is on everybody else?

    June 5, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Brad

    Does this mean they are going on to Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan and Virginia.... YAAAAAAH!!!!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. joann

    Hey Kenneth M. = Shut Up – alot of Hillary supports are voting Mccain just because of hateful rehtoric like yours just to spit Jerks like you. Your man has the nomination so shut up. Again Hillary ran a great campaign and deserves respect. I think about 80% of us are voting Mccain just because of disrespectful jerks like you. Enough already.

    June 5, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Goodbye Dems

    Of course he'll keep him..that was part of the deal. Howard kept his bargain and robbed Hillary, now its your turn O..

    I'm now a registered Independent. I will never support a party that cheats.

    June 5, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. jp/michigan

    Good reason to leave the Democratic Party. Obama/ Dean Party. I believe in a party of one person-one vote, that is no longer the Democratic Party!

    June 5, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Tee in NC

    This is the same DNC that refused to hear the peoples voices in Michigan and Florida. I thought Obama was about CHANGE...strike 1 Obama, you had a great chance to start something special within the DNC but you kept the same old peeps

    June 5, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. witness the panderer

    Witness the new politics.

    Witness change from old politics.

    Witness the hype of hope.

    the audacity of hype.

    The BEST choice for all Americans is to write in Hillary Clinton in Nov.

    It is our right and obligation to stand up for democracy, lady liberty and for fair elections.

    June 5, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. faye, NV

    A man keeping his word and ready for a new day where we all become safer and healthier and unite as one PARTY.

    June 5, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Tom H

    VoteBoth.com, set up by former Clinton aides looking to extend their meal ticket. Send the hacks packing, no to Billery as VP !

    June 5, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Andre

    No Lobbyist Money. How refreshing. HRC people Cmon. Get on board. Hillary didn't win, but no one stole anything from her. Even with Florida and Michigan full delegation which by the way she voted against, she still would have been behind. She Lost. No one cheated her, she voted against FL and MI. She did. There is no media conspiracy, but let heal these wounds and win this darn election.

    June 5, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Juan

    Let the "changes" begin! I guess by change he means do the same old things with ME in charge instead of the Clinton's...lol!

    June 5, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Adam - TX

    Lord, Obama don't bite off more than you can chew. You're taking the party reins at way too quickly, and from many party insiders that I've spoken with over the last few weeks, many are scared you have no clue what you are doing.

    Step back and let your advisors run your campaign. They basically hand fed you everything during the primary season. Why change that?

    June 5, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Bill PA

    Howard Dean is really not all that bad...............Obama is the real trouble here. Obama being a liberal, check his voting record.
    Hillary as a write in. I can never ever vote for Obama.
    Hillary was robbed by all the freaking men in our country.

    June 5, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Terry

    interesting, whatever you may call yourself. Listen, you said he'll never get your vote, but he'll get hundred of thousands more. People are tired of not being able to put food on the table; cannot put gas in their car to go look for a job after being laid off; want their family members and friends back from Iraq fighting a war that wasn't supposed to be fought in the first place; plus hundreds of other reasons. Oh, by the way, we don't want a third term of Bush. NO McBUSH. thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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