WIN ONE FOR THE GAFFER
Last week, the Prowler reported on how, in an effort to get their candidate more imbued with "faith-speak," the team of former Vermont Gov. Howie Dean gave him a reading list of books dealing with religion -- and the Bible was not among them.
An error in judgment? Some Democrats, probably didn't think so. But the oversight came home to roost when late last week a reporter asked Dean to cite his favorite book from the New Testament. His choice: the Old Testament's Job.
Dean continues to make gaffes on the campaign trail, all of which are monitored by spotters from the Kerry and Gephardt campaigns assigned to track their nemesis. "They are always there at out events that are public," says a Dean campaigner in Iowa. "You can spot them in a second in the back with a tape recorder or a camera. There is nothing we can do about it, but we make sure they don't talk to any of the public that is there to meet Governor Dean."
One of the bigger gaffes that will come back to haunt Dean is this remark, recently made on the road in Iowa: "Moral tone is a huge deal in the presidency." Apparently one of the bigger mounds of opposition research gathered by the Kerry campaign deals with Dean's relationship with drug companies over the years as a practicing physician. Newsweek is reporting that Dean on at least two occasions accepted speaking fees from a drug company as well as large amounts of campaign cash. "There is more out there," says a Kerry staffer. "As he talks more about his views on healthcare, you're going to see more of this stuff dribbling out."
While Howard Dean has been bad-mouthing DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, McAuliffe has remained seemingly unruffled. In fact, McAuliffe continues to reach out to Dean, phoning him and attempting to draw him into the DNC web. McAuliffe, to his credit, has always said the DNC should stay out of political races until the primaries have confirmed a winner. Despite mounting pressure from some longtime DNC supporters, he has said this year's presidential skakeout should be no different. Still Dean's remarks have to bug the Macker, no?
"McAuliffe sees that Dean database of names and email addresses and he just drools," says a DNC fundraiser. "We know that Dean is doing one thing we've never been able to do -- get low-end donors to fork over money to a candidate or party."
The average Dean donation comes out to about $80. That is well below the average donation for the DNC, which has counted on large, maximum donations from special interest groups and wealthy donors to feed the left-wing beast. Among the Democrats only Dean's campaign is achieving what Republicans and the RNC have been able to do -- energize the little guy to donate to the party, if only in $20 to $50 dollar increments.
"Terry wants that Dean list badly, and he doesn't want to alienate the guy or his fundraisers," says the fundraiser. "This guy seems to have cracked the code, and his Internet fundraising programs could help the Democratic Party eventually beat the Republicans at their own game."