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Thread: Howard Dean to drag Dems into 21st century

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Howard Dean to drag Dems into 21st century

    Go Howard.. Go howard..

    By RON FOURNIER
    AP Political Writer


    WASHINGTON


    Howard Dean is no longer screaming _ he's scheming. The failed presidential candidate whose howling adieu to the Iowa caucuses helped seal his fate as a presidential candidate is plotting to overhaul the Democratic Party.

    Borrowing ideas from President Bush's re-election campaign, Madison Avenue and his own Internet-driven White House bid, the Democratic National Committee chairman hopes to drag the party into the 21st century.

    "What I'm trying to do is impose a system and run this place like a business," Dean said during an expansive interview in his office overlooking the Capitol.

    That vision would be welcome news to party strategists who have complained that the DNC and its chairman of nine months lag behind Republicans in the political arts of messaging, targeting and organizing.

    Some Democrats look back at Dean's rise-and-fall presidential campaign and wonder whether he has the management skills to carry out his plans or the ability to raise the money needed to pay for them.

    Among Dean's goals are:

    _Making Democrats the party of values, community and reform. Armed with extensive DNC polling, Dean is consulting with party leaders in Congress, mayors and governors to recast the public's image of Democrats with a unified message.

    _Improving the party's "micro-targeting," the tactic of merging political information about voters with their consumer habits to figure out how to appeal to them.

    _Building a 50-state grass-roots organization, using the same Internet and community-building tools that took Dean's presidential bid from obscurity to the front of the pack before Iowa.

    This is where Dean and Bush have something in common. Both their campaigns benefited from networks of supporters promoting their candidacies person to person _ friends telling friends, family and associates how to vote.

    Bush plugged into existing organizations such as churches and hunting clubs. Dean nurtured his word-of-mouth networks through the Internet.

    "I tapped into a craving for community in a society where we're becoming increasingly isolated from ourselves," he said.

    A look at Dean's approach:

    MESSAGE:

    The DNC is getting outside help from private-sector consultants who specialize in creating and strengthening corporate images _ or "brands."

    "The last time this party was branded was Lyndon Johnson," Dean said. "We'd been in power so long that we didn't think we needed to do it."

    The lack of a message or brand makes it difficult for Democrats to capitalize on Bush's political slump and a series of GOP scandals. While the party is unified in accusing Republicans of creating a "culture of corruption," Democrats still need to give voters a compelling alternative to GOP rule.

    A March 23, 2005, memo by DNC pollster Cornell Belcher found that most voters view politics through a values-laden prism rather than through the economic framing traditionally used by Democrats.

    On a list of issue choices, "moral values" ranked in the middle of the pack and well ahead of abortion and gay rights. That suggested to Belcher that moral values has a broader meaning for voters than do social wedge issues.

    "When voters think about moral values, they may in large part be thinking about the strength, leadership and moral fortitude of the candidates ... rather than the candidates' positions on specific social wedge issues," Belcher wrote.

    Dean's take on the polling is that Democrats must recast the values- and-morals debate.

    "It's morally wrong that so many children live in poverty. It's morally wrong that we have so many working poor people who can't pull themselves out of poverty," he said.

    He also believes that voters are more interested in a candidate's intangible leadership qualities than his positions on lists of issues.

    "We have to appeal to people's hearts and not just their heads," he said.

    A Sept. 26 memo by Belcher found that people are placing a greater emphasis on community and sacrifice for the greater good. Dean tries to appeal to this sense of higher purpose when he says, "We can do better."

    MICRO-TARGETING:

    Bush's campaign revolutionized the use of micro-targeting to find potential GOP voters and tailor messages to their tastes.

    Republicans also used niche media _ including cable television, radio, the Internet and even internal video feeds at gyms _ to push their message in 2004. In an era of iPods, text-messaging and blogs, Dean said new media will grow in influence as the power of traditional network TV advertising wanes.

    Can the DNC catch up to Republicans by next year's elections? Or even the 2008 presidential race?

    "No," Dean said, "but we can close the gap."

    For this, too, Dean is getting help from the private sector.

    The Bush campaign worked with consumer data-mining companies to place every battleground state voter into one of 20 to 30 "clusters" of like-minded people. The DNC's current system has eight to 16 clusters.

    If the DNC can afford it, Dean's advisers hope to have 40 clusters in time for the next presidential race.

    This personalization of politics harkens to pre-TV days when ward bosses and precinct captains, acting largely on instinct, tailored campaign messages to their friends and neighbors.

    ORGANIZING:

    Dean is putting four or five DNC staff members in every state with orders to organize every precinct. One of the organizers' first mandates is to conduct four major events a year, one or two of which are mainly social.

    Dean learned from his own campaign that it is critical to form relationships that turn into small communities and build into networks of people who feel part of a bottom-up operation with a purpose larger than themselves.

    It's a long-term investment that runs counter to the political culture in Washington that, in the last years of the 20th century, has valued multimillion-dollar TV buys over grass-roots organizing.

    "You've got to recruit people. You've got to ask them to do something," Dean said. "You have to treat them like a community."
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Good luck Howard!!! We need you buddy!!

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Hey Howard, all that planning is great but you better remember one thing if you want all of it to amount to something:

    FIGHT DIRTY. Hit your opponent as hard as you can, as often as you can and smash him into the ground so he can't get up.

    Don't fucking pussyfoot around, don't take the fucking high road. If you have amnmunition (and there's LOTS of it) use it!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! WickedHo's Avatar
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    ^^ Yeah, what Grimm said. Fight 'em tooth 'n' nail, pulverize them, take no prisoners!!! CRUSH THE REPUBS!!

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    First, I don't give a shit about that stupid scream. I thought it was hilarious and he handled it well. Second, don't lower ourselves to the repugs level. Just get the facts and go after them with those. IT's much better than bullshit like those Swiftboat assholes, who were completely full of it. Karl Rove is not one any of us should want to emulate.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Gold Member Elise's Avatar
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    I think the Democratic party is long overdue for some changes--hopefully Dean can accomplish those.
    A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror. -Ken Keyes Jr.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    You said it, Elise.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    No, the dems don't need to bullshit.. there's enough factual ammunition laying around to last a 10 year election campaign. What they need to do, and what they didn't do before.. is PICK UP THAT AMMUNITION AND FIRE IT AT YOUR OPPONENT!

    How bloody hard is it to make a 30 second clip showing Bush saying one thing, then lying a month later? Can you imagine the impact that a 30 minute special would have?

    They took the high road and tried to run a 'positive' campaign, excerpt they had Captain Corpse bore everyone to death, and Cheery McSmile look pained in the sidelines while Bush and his evil cronies bit chunk after chunk out of them with lies and deceit.

    Roll up your sleeves, bunch up your fists, and pound them! &%#$%&*@%^#&* FAWK!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    I voted for Howard in the Dem primaries and it sickened me when the media used his "scream speech" as a way to make him look bad. I did'nt see anything wrong or crazy about him yelling, hell it was better than sounding depressed after Iowa.

    Anyway with that in mind I give all my kudos to Dean. He's one of the real Democrats that does'nt take any crap from anyone. He's a true Dem and I'm wishing him luck.

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