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. hmmmmmm

    I expected as much.

    I knew it was all rhetoric about change and unity.

    I knew the good old boys club would prevail.

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

    I still think Dean should have been the nominee in '04. No lobbyist money and a 50 state strategy. It has already paid off in the 3 special elections so far!

    Sadly, the last 8 years, this has been a country of the special interests, for the special interests and by the special interests.

    Let's get ready to take this country back from the Republicans and special interests and get ready to reclaim the United States of America as a country of the people, by the people and for the people!

    Obama '08!

    June 5, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Marc PDX

    If Obama lets Hillary muscle her way onto the ticket now (and that is just what she is doing since she couldn't muscle the nomination out of the superdelegates and the DNC for all Michigan electoral votes), then Obama is just plain weak. If he's that weak then he has no business being president.

    NObama N08

    June 5, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Cindy

    Deans a monkey. Oh wait, that's right he's Obama's monkey. No wonder he kept him on.

    June 5, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. dee

    CNN, Was it you who reported McCain's younger, very rich wife made her fortune from a family that thrived on dealing alcohol for generations? If, so, thanks! However, it is ugly for not only Christians, but anyone who suffered from the effects of alcoholism in the family.

    June 5, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Bill PA

    Alice in wonderland please explain your point of view further.

    June 5, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. true to form

    The democrats have proven- once again- that all MEN are created equal.

    Now lets show them some real change....

    Lets vote for the BEST, most qualified, most experienced leader- who just happens to be a woman.

    Write in Hillary Clinton's name in Nov.

    June 5, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Topher

    Mai, how can Obama and Dean be corrupt when it is the Republicans who are corrupted by special interests?

    June 5, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. 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. PS: Head / Chairman of the DNC = elected position.

    June 5, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA









    June 5, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Sarah

    Maya- even with Fl and the unconstitutional MI election counted in full, Obama still would have won.

    June 5, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Topher

    If you want a definition of "corrupt politician" just check out McCain and the Keating Five.

    June 5, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Farren Ballanst

    I can't wait to see how long it takes Clinton's losers to stop crying.

    June 5, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. hypocrits all

    The panderer rewards the man who worked to sabotage his opponent, so that Obama could be annointed King of the Democrats... God's gift to the planet.

    I'm am so surprised.


    June 5, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Ron, LV

    You Dean bashers are giving him a lot more power than he has. If you looked at the original rules committee, there were many Hillary supporters who drew up the rules for Florida and Mi. Dean was not involved in the Rules committee at all. Also, I don't see how anyone could believe that Dean has sway over super delegates. Think about what you write before putting iot down on paper.

    June 5, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Ok...

    No offense Dean, but you just don't get it. Yeah, you have all these new voters, but now we have to deal with them. They'll have demands. And if we can't meet them, then either the new members will either leave the party or the older members will leave the party. I don't honestly think the Party can adequetely deal with the potential conflict that is coming- it's just not strong enough. Ugh- every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Good luck DNC.... =/

    June 5, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. jr

    Their two peas in a pod. Perfectly matched radical left wingers marching in lockstep towards a Socialist America. An America which will take care of your every need from cradle to grave at the cost of your self determination. Just more business as usual. That's not change I can believe in!

    June 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Jeff in AL

    Not too surprising considering Dean greatly helped him nail the nomination by suppressing all those votes in FL and MI. Pelosi also seemed to be aiding him during the campaign. I am sure both are getting rewarded for their efforts.

    June 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. RAY IN NJ

    Where DO these naysayers come from – you know, those who cannot bring themselves to vote for Obama even though they claim to be democrats? They are like the man who was drowing who didn't like the person throwing out the life-line 'cause he wanted to wait for the guy on another boat to come to his rescue. Needless to say, he drowned since the guy on the other boat wasn't even going his way ! A vote for McCain will guarantee the drowning of America at home and abroad. Don't you see the excitement Obama's nomination has caused around the world? This makes for a easier time to work with other countries, it makes for an easier time of recouping our once fantastic reputation around the world! With the world by our side, it makes for an easier time of putting pressure on and ultimately defeating our enemies due to cooperation! I guess some will rather drown than take the life-line from this proud American who happens to be of African ancestry!

    June 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. NO OBAMA

    Obama is a liberal dope. Check his voting record.

    June 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Sarah


    mathematically explain to me how Clinton cold have won with MI FL delegations seated in full.

    You should be careful how you throw out terms like 'stolen election'.

    June 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. JT, AZ


    Obama is the "Manchurian Candidate"?!?

    If memory serves, the original story for the MC was that a soldier was captured by asian communists, and brainwashed as a sleeper agent to bring down the U.S. government.

    I'll admit, it sounds like one of the candidates . . .

    June 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Obama Mama

    Go Obama

    June 5, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. dead

    The democrats better change their party name.

    Clearly democracy is dead in this party.

    The puppeteer pulls the strings, the puppet reacts.

    Some new leadership of hope and unity and change.

    June 5, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Yes to Obama

    Mannnn .. it sooooooooooooo great to see Obama in action... Don't worry Mr. (next) US President, we voters will donate as much as we can afford to make it happen.

    June 5, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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