January 28, 2004

HOWARD DEAN HAS REPLACED JOE TRIPPI, the genius behind his Internet strategy, with Roy Neel. I know Roy Neel from back when I worked on Gore’s campaign in 1988. He’s a good guy, but this kind of shakeup suggests that Josh Marshall was right yesterday when he called the Dean campaign “desperate.”

UPDATE: The Scrum reports that the Neel selection isn’t going over very well. And Wonkette opines:

Dean is replacing him with Gore’s advisors. Because, uhm, yeah, they did such a great job for Gore. To review: Joe Trippi helped bring Dean from being an obscure governor of a tiny state to a national front-runner. Al Gore’s advisers managed to fumble one of the surest bets in campaign history.

Okay, so it’s not exactly “a tradition of victory.”

MORE: Mickey Kaus: “There is less of a reformist impulse in the current Democratic campaign than at any time in the modern history of the country! ”

STILL MORE: Dave Weinberger: “For all we know, Dean would still be in single digits as the ex-Governor of the Maple Sugar state if the online connection hadn’t happened.”

James Lileks: “It’s not the e-mail. It’s not the blog. It’s not the Web sites. It’s the computers, and the people behind them, connected like never before. They won’t control the buzz this year. But in 2008? Count on it.”

Josh Marshall: (Blogging from the train) “This has to be one of the most bizarre turns of events I’ve seen in Dem politics in a very long time.”

This turn of events suggests, yet again, that Dean’s big problem isn’t the Internet. It’s Dean.

ONE MORE: Best headline so far, from Jeff Taylor: “Dean Swaps Broadband for Dial-Up.”