Sunday, June 29, 2003
Fund-Raising Puts Dean in Top Tier http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/30/national/30DEAN.html?ei=5062&en=8bca433c557f1d41&ex=1057550400&partner=GOOGLE&pagewanted=print&position=
Howard Dean announced yesterday that he had raised close to $9 million this year, establishing himself as a top-tier candidate in the Democratic presidential field. The figure stunned his rivals and transformed Dr. Dean from a maverick into a more traditional contender.
Much of the money was collected over the Internet, his aides said, leaving little doubt there are now ways to solicit contributions other than the telephone calls and elaborate fund-raisers that are the stock and trade for most mainstream candidates.
Dr. Dean's aides said he would report raising at least $6.2 million in the three-month period that ends at midnight, on top of $2.6 million he raised over the first three months of the year. Dr. Dean announced the figure 36 hours before the filing period ends, timing the release for a slow-news Sunday afternoon.
"We are thrilled," Dr. Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi, said. "Right now our new goal is $6.5 million by midnight tomorrow."
The other campaigns said yesterday that they would wait until the fund-raising period was over before releasing their results.
"He'll beat everybody," Steve Elmendorf, a senior adviser to Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, said of Dr. Dean.
Dr. Dean's strong showing seems certain to cause a problem for some congressmen who are running for president — in particular, Mr. Gephardt and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who had weak financial showings in the first quarter. Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Lieberman were looking to strong showings in the next report to erase any concerns among Democrats about their viability.
Several Democrats said that Dr. Dean's success posed a particular problem to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, since the men have been competing for many of the same voters and since it could undercut Mr. Kerry's effort to present himself as the front-runner.
Mr. Kerry's campaign manager, Jim Jordan, disputed that analysis.
"If their fund-raising projections are accurate, then perhaps it makes it a two-candidate race," Mr. Jordan said. "If so, it makes it clarifying and helpful to us."
Dr. Dean's advisers said that as of a week ago, he had raised just $3.2 million. They said contributions had increased sharply over the last week because of his announcement speech on Monday and the online vote by the organization Moveon.org, which served to enlisted a lot of new supporters, many of whom made contributions.
Mr. Trippi also said that Dr. Dean had been helped by his appearance on the NBC interview program "Meet the Press" on June 22.
Dr. Dean's appearance on that show, in which he was unable to answer some questions and appeared to change his position on some issues, drew widespread criticism among Democrats. But his aides suggested that as far as Dr. Dean's supporters were concerned, it might have proved an old show business nostrum: There is no such thing as bad publicity.
"My own theory of it is when Howard Dean says things like, `I don't know the answer to that,' the echo chamber in Washington says: `Oh my God; he doesn't know the answer!' " Mr. Trippi said. "But the guy at home says, `Hey, someone who admits he doesn't know the answer. We haven't seen that before!' "
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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.