Follow up on Dean and software

· Products

Dana Blankenhorn has written a long reply to Dave’s criticism of the Dean campaign, and I’m still a little confused. Is it that the Dean team should not feel free to develop and promulgate technical solutions to their own specific problems? How is that different from any sovereign entity doing so? Does a campaign have to use off-the-rack tools? Can they print their own signs or should they only repurpose existing signage?
Much of this goes beyond blogging and into the realm of social software in general. The Dean people seem to understand that there are myriad ways to facilitate connection among people (and that goes way beyond money-raising, if you ask me). Maybe to a software developer, everyone else looks like a competitor, but what has gotten me enthused about the Dean campaign thus far is that it seems to be (quoting Blankenhorn), “about an important lesson campaign manager Joe Trippi had to fight to learn some months ago, the lesson of letting go.”
Now, where I do agree with Dave and disagree with Dana is that it’s “too early to give the nomination to Dean.” Nobody should hand anything to anybody. That’s how you end up with Kefauvers and the whole “It’s Bob Dole’s turn” form of politics. The Dean campaign has to earn this nomination. I don’t agree with Blankenhorn when he implies that Dean has too much momentum now to lose, but his campaign has definitely rearranged the conventional wisdom and suddenly he’s the man to beat. I just hope the Democrats don’t beat each other up too badly in the process. I wish Lieberman and Kerry supporters would keep their focus on the ultimate opponent, but of course they can run their campaigns however they see fit. Just remember that it was Gore in the 1988 primaries who first leveled the Willie Horton smear against Dukakis that was later picked up by deniable Bush-the-first supporters in the general campaign.
See previous entry for my political disclaimer.
I may replicate these two posts over at Art of the Possible.