Dean paupers

Dean paupers
: I wonder how many Dean paupers there are. Trippi tells the story of the person who sold a bike to give the money to the campaign. I’ll just bet you have college students who gave their book money to Howard. They’re grown-up and it’s their right and privilege to do so. Still, the social pressure to give and give again was strong and I’ll bet that today, there are a lot of Deaniacs who sacrificed for the campaign and now wonder whether it was worth it.

  • Yeah, they should have given to the Bush campaign – much bigger yield on the investment historically for those contributors.

  • jon h

    How obnoxious. We should respect these people– participating in the democracy we all believe in– not ridicule them when they’re down.

  • sickles

    Be nice…giving money to a campaign who used mostly individual donations should be applauded.
    If I had given to the Dean campaign, my question would be “How did you blow through $40 million so fast?” i could deal witht the fact that not enough voters liked my candidates message, but someone who pissed through money that quickly is going to be responsible with the Federal till?????????
    Don’t we already have Congress, ehh, Bush spending borrowed dimes already?

  • John

    For the majority of donors, it’s probably the first campaign contribution they ever made. It’s a great (hard) lesson in political science and economics — not to mention peer-pressure.

  • Ebb Tide

    I *hate* that candidates have to raise so much money and waste it buying TV time, what a crappy system we have. People giving money to campaigns is, in my tiny opinion, wrong, it’s wrong to HAVE to do it. People who give their time and effort are making a more important contribution, in my tiny opinion, and I feel sorry for folks who give money to campaigns and for that money to be squandered on tv commercials and ads of other types.
    If I were Queen of the World, I would make tv ad time FREE and MANDATORY… as part of the PUBLIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT of the tv stations to get to broadcast on the people’s airwaves.
    Take the money raising out of the equation and you SOLVE a lot of problems and you also take 99.9% of what made Dean “unique” out of the discussion.
    The Queen has spoken. Make it so!

  • Blue Eyed Devil

    $40 million spent before the first 2 contests! Wonder how much he was prepared to spend on the other primaries plus the general election. Judging by these figures Bush’s $130 million is a pittance. Regards.

  • John

    But then who decides who is a legitimate candidate, or legitimate issue? When does the campaign start? How much time does each candidate get? Do the parties decide? Which parties? Can they buy more than their allotment? When do the ads run? Who decides?
    Making TV free or reducing it’s cost sounds like a perfect solution. But the reality is it creates more problems than it solves.
    There is a reason things cost money — even (especially) important things. Price is the most efficient way to determine value.

  • I think a lot of people are underestimating what Dean has accomplished for the Democrats with his campaign. I think he may have got some of those non-voters to take an interest in voting again and if this is true, it could spell trouble for the Republicans. I mean, even if only a million of those non-voters turn out and vote Democratic, that could mean a huge difference in a tight race such as 2000 was.

  • Jeremy

    If Dean actually got people excited, wouldn’t they have voted for him in the primaries?

  • They give fee TV advertising in the UK. It’s an applalling system. If I were a serious parliamentary candidate I’d be p’ssed.
    I don’t have a problem with the US candidates haveing to raise lots of dough- it’s sort of like a character test. I mean, if you can’t convince your party faithful to give up some cash, how do you expect to convince the Ukranians to give up their nukes?
    The great thing about the US presidential race is- as unpleasant as it is, it does seperate the men from the boys.

  • GCW

    How about NARAL or the NRA? How do they get their message out?

  • Ebb Tide

    Yeah, great system, only millionaires or billionaires run for office. Edwards, the populist man o’the people, is a trail lawyer millionaire by age 50… it separates the billionaires from the gazillionaires.

  • pchuck

    Robert M., a million may help in a tight race; however, a million more California or New York votes for a Democrat wouldn’t help. A million more spread over tight races certainly would help. It is all about winning the electoral college, just aske Gore.

  • gopower

    As the saying goes, a fool and his money…

  • “Free” TV time is not free. It is a transfer
    from the shareholders of a handful of companies
    to the state. Why is that fair?
    The reason candidates raise lots of money is
    because they have lots of favors to sell. The
    reason they have lots of favors to sell is that
    government is involved in every aspect of life.
    The only way to reduce the role of money in
    politics is to change that fact. Papering it
    over with tax financing of political campaigns
    (which would force me to contribute to the
    campaigns of democrats and republicans, neither
    of whom I agree with on most issues these days).
    It also does not end corruption, as the wealth
    of scandals in countries like Germany, which
    has public financing, make clear.
    Giving money and time are the same thing.
    money = time * wage
    I think it was Einstein who said that.
    Campaign finance as a topic seems to just
    cause people’s brains to shut off.

  • Ah, Jeff, the public airwaves do not belong to media companies. They are a public trust.

  • It’s my belief Dean had a profound effect on the tone of the Democratic rhetoric. The question became “how can I be at least as anti-Bush as Dean.” Kerry found the way, and now itt’s going to be hard for him to retreat from some of the more extreme territory originally claimed by Dean.
    So in a way, the supporters were probably getting exactly what they wanted. The hardest lesson for the “sold my mountain bike” cohort will come if the rhetoric produces a catastrophe for the Democratic Party this fall.

  • Sergio

    Mark: They will have a painful “I sold my mountain bike to re-elect Bush!!” realization. Ouch. Hard lesson in political science indeed. Watch for a brand new crop of hardnosed realist Democratic centrists in 2008.

  • onecent

    I think he may have got some of those non-voters to take an interest in voting again….
    Yeah. He galvanized so many non-voters that they failed to materialized as he lost 17 out of 17 primaries.
    I mean, even if only a million of those non-voters turn out and vote Democratic, that could mean a huge difference in a tight race such as 2000 was.
    Yeah. And if one million of America’s non-spenders would send me a dollar each, I could retire tomorrow.
    Earth to Robert: we are trying to follow your esteemed logic, but failing.

  • GCW

    MattS: Commercials don’t produce or (especially) broadcast themselves.
    Besides, even if you set aside airtime for OTA broadcasts, doesn’t public campaign financing imply that candidates are prohibited from advertising in other ways, such as cable, the internet, etc?

  • MB

    Just to throw in my 2 cents worth: Don’t the major candidates get oodles and gobbs of “free” airtime already? Otherwise how do you explain all of those news reporters following their every word and move seemingly 24/7 for the past few months. Just because they don’t get to push their managed message (in the form of commercial advertisements) doesn’t mean that they’re not getting free coverage.
    As far as the Deaniacs getting a hard dose of reality, life’s a bitch isn’t it? Get used to it.

  • >It is all about winning the electoral college, just aske Gore.
    I understand that, but isn’t is true that Gore lost the electoral college vote by something like a few hundred votes in Florida?
    My take on the election so far is this. It looks to be shaping up like a repeat of 2000–a very tight race. I pretty much see everyone who voted in that election voting the same in this one. Therefore, the race could very well be decided by the candidate who can get the most non-voters in 2000 to come out and vote for them this time. Dean’s campaign may very well have gotten enough of those non-voters interested in coming out and voting for the Democratic party. And judging from the 2000 race, all it would really take is a few thousand Florida non-voters voting Democratic for the Dems to take the presidency.

  • Anyone who contributes to a losing campaign will tend to second-guess himself or herself, especially if it looked like a winning campaign at the time of the donation. It’s called “making a bad investment,” and it’s one of life’s basic lessons which virtually all young people must learn on the road to becoming old people.
    We can laugh at how Howard Dean pissed away $50 million dollars, but in all fairness he almost pulled it off. If not for a series of horrible blunders in the three weeks leading up to Iowa, he would very likely have remained in first place, and raced ahead to the nomination. His Internet fundraising machine could then have raised another $100 million (or more), and none of his supporters would be moaning today about their money being wasted.
    But he did screw up royally, and for that he deserves to be ridiculed.

  • onecent

    I pretty much see everyone who voted in that election voting the same in this one.
    Robert, one HUGE EVENT happened after the 2000 election, 9/11. That event is defining the 2004 election. Could it be, Robert, that voters may be evaluating a whole different paradigm in light of that event?
    Robert, I’m saying this in a kind way, you need some time away from the keyboard.
    Still waiting on your response regarding all of the Dean non-voters now galvanized, and, low and behold, your neurons fire off another clueless polemic from the tundra……..Onecent

  • >Could it be, Robert, that voters may be evaluating a whole different paradigm in light of that event?
    No. I think that many Republicans are just hoping that 9/11 will somehow redefine the political landscape in their favour. Perhaps it would have if the elections had been soon after the event, but enough time has passed in order for the standard partisan affiliations to reassert themselves.

  • chris b

    One change that seems to have occurred in polling since 9/11 is the virtual disappearance of the renowned “gender gap.” I think this election the soccer moms are going to vote a little less soccer momish.

  • What I want to know is…
    …what is Dean going to do with $10mil worth of yard signs?

  • Steve

    Hey I respect the Dean people. They worked hard for their cause. The cause was wrong and they failed.
    But I don’t think we should be sarcastic about the money he got from a lot of young idealists who probably didn’t have much to spare.
    What we need to do now is educate them to care about the right things.

  • “Ah, Jeff, the public airwaves do not belong to media companies. They are a public trust.”
    Ah, MattS, most people watch television that was transmitted to them via cable or satellite. Those are most assuredly not a public trust; someone had to spend lots of money to lay the cable or launch the satellite.

  • Ben

    Floyd: “…most people watch television that was transmitted to them via cable or satellite.”
    That’s not the case, nor has it ever been, despite the cable/sat’s growing share – here’s the best I found with a minute’s worth of googling –
    All those network affiliates have been entrusted with a rather large part of the spectrum (which they’re supposed to give back when it all goes HDTV, but that’s another story).
    AIUI, that’s the basis of them showing those PSAs (Jeff, care to correct me on any of this?).

  • Ben

    Whoops, bad form to reply to myself, but this is good:
    “TV Basics: Reach

  • Joe Peden

    It is a total myth that Dean supporters were young Idealists. They were egotist/controllists who wanted hate of themselves to rule us. Mythologizing these deviants is a big mistake.

  • err, “wanted hate of themselves”? what an abstract concept.
    Yep, I gave and it was my first time. My gal gave too, also her first time. We went to a Meetup, we got involved. Damn right I’m proud! Don’t regret it a bit. This is how our America is supposed to work people. Yes – would be nice to have a say on how the money is spent next time. You know, like we all wish we could do with the federal budget.
    Steve, thanks for the level-headed thoughts. Except the last one. Teach us how to care for the right things? Maybe vice versa. What are the right things, the right things for whom?
    …Deviant and proud of it.

  • David Gillies

    I womder if Dean’s defeat might not be de-energising for the base Democrat vote. One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot of Deanie Babies out there with a bad case of buyer’s remorse.
    In the unlikely event of Dean going Independent, Bush wins in a rout.