From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Dean campaign is in massive turmoil

January 29, 2004 8:09 AM

More is coming out about yesterday's shakeup. They've ceased all advertising for the Feb. 3rd primaries & caucuses and only have about $4.5 million in cash on hand. The campaign burned through $40 million and is rumored to have spent $10 million in Iowa alone.

The strategy is now to coast along with solid second place finishes -- picking up delegates here and there, in the hope of simply outlasting the other candidates. Trippi vehemently opposed this strategy and is furious with the former governor. Supposedly, this is the reason he didn't stay with the campaign after being ousted as campaign manager. Again, the tech startup dotcom analogy seems to apply. They grew too fast and spent too much money. Now they need to scale back to cut the burn rate and regroup. Here's what Dean said on a conference call:

You're going to see a leaner, meaner organization. We had really geared up for what we thought was going to be a front runner's campaign. It's not going to be a front-runner's campaign. It's going to be a long war of attrition. What we need is decision making that's centralized.

Dean is completely changing the nature of the organization -- out with Trippi's decentralized organic chaos, and in with Roy Neel's centralized "professionalism." Two years ago, Neel was the president of the United States Telecom Association. In other words, he was a high-powered Washington lobbyist.

And here's a revelation: In what appears to be an obvious conflict of interest for a campaign manager, Trippi collected commissions -- some as high as 15% -- on advertising buys, while accepting zero salary. Some have criticized the campaign for its massive media buys -- $9.2 million since June, $2 million more than John Kerry, the next biggest spender.

UPDATE 11:08 AM: Kos reports that Dean is broke:

Dean is broke. The news is shocking, but the campaign is reportedly at $0. $40 million reduced to $3 million on hand, and $3 million in debts (the campaign disputes those figures, but paychecks have been deferred).

More from the archive in Howard Dean.

Dean campaign is in massive turmoil (01.29.2004)

Next Entry: The Bush Tax (01.29.2004)
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