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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Howard's End

Yes, I shamelessly used the obvious headline that's been used by several others, including Alterman the other day.

In the initial post-NH hours, I assumed Dean was still in decent shape to stick around and battle in the coming primaries. I thought his chances were certainly hurt, but not gone entirely either.

Well today, things turn out to be worse than I'd thought. So bad that Dean-o-Phobe Jon Chait has declared his work over now that a Dean nomination looks highly unlikely. Josh Marshall says that Roy Neel makes no sense as Dean's replacement at campaign manager for Joe Trippi. Taegan Goddard also has details on the stunning news that Dean appears to have blown almost all of his war chest--he's gone from having $40 million to under $5 million, and staff will be going without pay for a while. No wonder Trippi is on the outs (Oliver Willis correctly observed this loose spending likely had a lot to do with Trippi's ouster).

The stuff on Dean for America about Trippi's departure is kinda strange too. There's the message from Dean about it, which praises Trippi and is pretty extensive. Then there's Trippi's laconic farewell, which only endorses "Howard Dean's cause" and not Dean himself, who we now know has clashed with Trippi recently.

Moving forward, TNR is following Chait's lead and switching the focus to a dialogue about Kerry between Dan Kennedy and Jon Keller, two knowledgeable Mass politics guys. Kennedy's blog also points to a TCS essay by John Ellis that I think is correct that Kerry needs to keep the momentum or else he could still be in trouble (Ellis, like me, is no Kerry fan). Amy Sullivan is calling for another campaign chief, Chris Lehane, to get the axe with Clark not generating much buzz out of New Hampshire either.

Meanwhile, at the Blogging of the President, Al Giordano has initiated a discussion about what we now can say about the Internet and politics in light of the Kerry victories.