Washington Prowler

The New Carter Clinton

Campaigns '76 and '92 power Howie Dean. Plus: Some Dems come to terms with losing.

By 7.8.03

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ONWARD AND ONLINE
Fresh off his fundraising success over the last three months and the increased media scrutiny his campaign is now undergoing, former Vermont Gov. Howie Dean ordered his senior advisers back to Vermont for a meeting today or tomorrow to discuss how best to move forward and take advantage of the campaign's higher profile.

"We don't want to waste what has been a very good two weeks," says a Dean insider. "We want to position ourselves all the way into the fall."

Bush adviser Karl Rove isn't the only political maven using history as a guide to presidential politics. Dean has encouraged his staff to look at the 1976 Carter campaign and the early months of the Clinton campaign in 1992 as models for where he thinks his campaign should go.

"Nobody thought that Bill Clinton would be as strong a campaigner in 1992 as he turned out to be," says the Dean aide. "But what everybody thought would be a four-year plan establishing him as a candidate for 1996 moved much faster than anyone could have expected because of the way things broke in 1992. We're hoping that kind of situation develops here."

Dean has already begun to lower expectations for the next fundraising reports, downplaying the need for him to match the $7 million he raised last quarter. One area that he refused to downplay is his Internet fundraising, telling associates he feels it important that they continue the fundraising pace online.

SHORT A FEW GOOD MEN
Senate Democrats are all but conceding it'll be impossible for them to retake control given the way their recruitment for 2004 is going. Part of this private concession is due to Sen. Jon Corzine's failure as head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to find any suitable candidates to challenge Sen. Kit Bond in Missouri and conservative stalwart Sen. Sam Brownback in Kansas.

Bond was considered a potential target for Democrats given their successes in recent years in Missouri. But Bond's formidable fundraising ability and longtime service to his state has scared off just about every potential Democratic challenger.

Brownback, meanwhile, has established himself as a rising conservative star with national fundraising ability. "He's one of the few Republicans nowadays willing to talk about social issues and who appeals to the cultural conservative base the Bush people have been ignoring," says a Republican pollster. Brownback is expected to face little challenge in the upcoming race.

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