Ed Cone, a North Carolina journalist/blogger who’d written a definitive case study of the Dean campaign, asked, with some disbelief in his voice, “So you had the most formidable campaign communications system ever devised,” and yet couldn’t say to supporters, “We’re in trouble – we need your help”?
“The press is now reading the blog,” Trippi replied. “This wasn’t a private conversation.”
Meanwhile, Dean’s campaign cannot be simply written off as a burst dot-com bubble. However few delegates the candidate ultimately wins, he long ago changed history. He taught his fellow Democrats, in Trippi’s words, “how to be an opposition party” — and he forced his party to face the gulf between its leaders in Congress, who’d mostly supported Bush’s Iraq war, and its voters, who largely didn’t. He filled that “vacuum of debate” with a clamor that could not be ignored.