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. heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    I'm amazed at the number of totally delusional comments here. They are not even informed opinions. You guys need to do more research before you state your opinion as if it were a fact.

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

    Mai explain....

    Clinton people are you aliens, she lost, she ran a bad campaign, she went negative, she has iffy business deals, she disrespected the black vote, she is trying to destroy the democatic party...

    I vote her off the island.... all those in favor say " I "

    we could send her to Russia with Midevev, or "whatever"...... 🙂

    June 5, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. tedious898

    Obama supporters...Don't threaten Hillary supporters with "4 more years of bush and overturns of Roe V Wade" These people are so angry right now ...the well being of the country means zero to them.

    If any one of them, took the time to simply think – Hillary's great leadership and ideas have zero chance if John McCain is elected president. These people have no idea how hard Hillary will have to work to even bring measures to the floor. Wake up Hillary supporters....Democratic measures (all of them) get vetoed if John McCain is president. Period end of story!

    Now quit complaining and get with the program

    June 5, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. michaelmee

    The Democrats are moving in the right direction, with both Hillary and Obama coming together. 🙂

    June 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Dave, IN

    So he keeps the wacko. One more mistake to chaulk up.

    June 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Sarah

    Great move... Dean is an smart man...

    Now we need to unite the party. Hillary is coming on board. Just please say NO to LANNY DAVIS

    Democrats unite. ALL DEMOCRATS BUT NO, no and NO to Lanny Davis. He gives me Urticaria and nausea.

    Lanny davis is Republican. He is similar to Liberman. Both are enemies of the truth

    June 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Kay-Arizona

    As a HIllary supporter, I don’t want her to be the vice president. I think she should go back to the Senate and do what she can for the people of the United States from there. Obama needs to stand on his own feet and Hillary dosnt need to frustration or to take the responsibility for what Senator Obama decides to do.

    He is on his own and I wish him well. Im sure he has many advisors to help him.

    June 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. ditto

    Same old politics as usual folks....

    The fix is in.

    Now come the rewards and paybacks.

    The people suffer the indignity of a rigged elections, a puppet nominee, and the wounds of a campaign of hatred and racial division and woman bashing.

    June 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Sarah

    Dean did not strip the FL & MI delegations. The rules and bylaws committee did, which had many of the Clinton supporters on it. They had no problem voting to strip the delegates when they felt they didn't matter.

    June 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. California Voter

    Apparently birds of a feather flock together. Dean was a partner in crime. Obama wins like he has won his other elections . . dirty!

    June 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. broadstreet buddy

    Bravo Senator! Way to start cleaning shop. A real message to America that you are sincere in changing Washington. Because America knows, Washington really needs to change and start working for the people again!

    June 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Curtis - Marietta, GA

    Please stop with the Hillary vs. Obama!

    Hillary supporters. Be proud that your candidate ran a very tough and succesful campaign. Your fellow supporters are great people with very strong feelings on how to rebuild america. Also, your candidate did more for women's rights than anyone in recent memory. However, please stop saying that "Obamay" stole the election. To say that would suggest that it was Hillary's to begin with and is why many people did not vote for her. It was a feeling of "entitlement" that turned many people away.

    If you were going to originally vote for Hillary and say you are going to vote for McCain, please explain why when you do. If you don't, you appear as you are only trying to "strong arm" your beliefs on others. You are better than that and as an American, need to move on.

    Obama has been declared as the leader of the party and it is time rally behind him, even if you believed in Hillary. They stand for the same beliefs, just in different form! If he believes that the party should not take special interest money and feels that Dean is the best for the job, we should agree if we truly want better things for America and to have him win!

    June 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Deb, IN

    If not Hillary then I will definately vote for John McCain. Stop trying to guilt people into voting for Obama by treating Roe Vs Wade in peoples faces. I believe that it's a woman choice but I also believe in being responsible for my actions and abortion is not taking responsibility. Unlike Obama he wouldn't want his daughters burden with a child well then he best be talking and explaining to them the consequences of their actions.

    Dean and Obama are one in the same. Vote smart vote for McCain.

    June 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. follows

    First the corruption

    Then the hatred.

    Then the fixed outcome

    Now the payback for those who worked to install him as nominee.

    I love change... I love the NEW politics.

    June 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. BOB

    To kim portland, oregon

    Explain to me how Obambie or McCain is going to save or put my home in foreclosure. It is not my problem that people bought houses they couldnt afford or didnt read the fine print at closing (Hint hire a lawyer if you cant read) that said your rate is adjustible.

    So what your saying is Obambie is the savior I can expect free health care, no mortage payment, huge raise at work and less taxes.


    June 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    talk about leaving the door wide open to the Republicans to collect all the moeny then... I somewhat applaud the effort to clean your own house, but until this congress can fully agree (and trust me the loom of an all democrat government won't suede the other side to agree), I believe this is only allowing them to catch up and put more money and more attacks... the DNC is in dire need of cash and I'm, sure Sen. Obama will help there, but I believe that this might be a move better suited after the election. As far as Sen. Clinton. Please quit spewing so much hate, she deserves a lot of credit for the campaign she ran. and all this talk about VP she is not demanding anything you ignorants, but it is going to be hard to gather the 18 million votes she got if there is a show of disrespect towards her... and that includes me.

    June 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Tony C.

    After November, Dean and his common wife are all he may have. What a joke!

    June 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Dan, NY

    there are clearly a lot of ignorant and uneducated people out there if they think dean was responsible for the michigan/florida debacle. that was the rules committee's ruling and the states knew it before moving their primaries up. they did it to themselves and hillary was opposed to their delegates being seated until it was convenient for her to have them count. dean has done great things for the democrats and won them back both houses, now he will help win them the white house. this is a smart move by obama. clinton supporters: wake up, not everyone is out to get you. some of these comments sound paranoid and delusional.

    June 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Justmy02

    Well, he's already done another stupid thing. Howard Dean? Yech! He couldn't even keep the state straight on when to vote. Why in the world would BO keep him on so he can continue to screw up the Demo party? Shows the same lack of judgement BO's had all along...

    June 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Republican for Obama

    Get over yourselves! Dean didn't get Obama the nomination the voters did. Learn to do math and don't exclude the caucus states, since that would be hypocritical of the Clinton supporters and you will have Obama winning both delegate and popular vote count. Every time someone supports Obama you all come on here to make excuses that he promised this or that instead of the option that the person believes in Obama, heaven knows the majority of voters do.

    Lastly, Clinton supporters stop looking for other people to grovel for your vote. Either vote your values or vote for spite but don't be sore losers. It's easy to say Obama can't win without a good chunk of Clinton supporters and this is true but if the shoe was on the other foot, Clinton couldn't have won without Obama supporters. Vote your values!

    June 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. Glenn

    Obama supporters don't be put off by the so-called Clinton supporters saying they will vote McBush, not vote at all or will do a write in for Hillary. The overwhelming majority of them are the stealth Republicans that Bush Limpbaugh and Karl Rove have writing in to sway folks. It's the same tactics of Bush Limpbaugh and klarl Rove getting the radical right hate mongers to vote for Hillary so she would be the candidate that they really wanted McBush to face in November. They knew Hillary would unify and ignite their GOP supporters who hated her. Also, any Hillary supporters who want to fall for that crap and vote for the same GOP hate mongers and war mongers and who truly hated Hillary, well too bad. You won't change them as they have lost all reeason and I say good riddance. We need positive supporters willing to work for Obama and beat McBush. We definitely don't need irrational, whinny sexists or racists. nmaybe the GOP is where they truly belong.

    June 5, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. LT


    June 5, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. AP

    Can we PLEASE get something straight here. Michigan and Florida caused their own problems. As a parent, if your child does something they were warned NOT TO DO but did it anyway, knowing and excepting the consequence, wouldn't you follow though with those consequences? The only thing Dean may have done wrong is not handling this issue better in the press. Oh and also I believe Obama had the votes to get MORE (50/50 split) delegates out of the Rules and Bylaws meeting but chose to give Hillary a few more. So please lets stop belly-aching about Michigan and Florida. It is DONE, we have our nominee. Now we need to decide as American's if we want to continue with the policies put in place by the Bush administration or if we want change. That is the choice we all have to make.

    June 5, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. The O

    I will tell you one thing, if I were Obama the minute I became President there would be a lot of Deportation notices sent out, Lanny davis, ferraro, ickes, mcaullaf, bush, cheney, rumsfeld and oh yes that old lady that called Obama an inadicute black man. I would send them to bikkini island and then resume atomic testing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    BARACK THE VOTE!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Demagogue

    Puppet likes puppeteer.

    Dean = the one responsible for an Obama victory.

    If cheating can result in a true democratic victory.

    Bye Bye Obama.

    June 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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