Tuesday :: Aug 26, 2003

Dean’s Going National in TV Buys

by Steve

Mirroring something I suggested be done a little over a month ago, Howard Dean becomes the first of the Democratic candidates to nationalize his campaign, with a TV campaign aimed at six different states across the country.

Democrat Howard Dean launched a $1 million television ad campaign in six early voting states Tuesday, promising to take his surging presidential bid nationwide while rivals focus on New Hampshire and Iowa.

"We intend to beat George Bush, but in order to do it we have to campaign in all 50 states," Dean said in a telephone interview. "This is the rollout."

In a show of political strength, the former Vermont governor will begin airing a new ad Friday in selected markets in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington state and Wisconsin. No campaign has ventured to the nation's four corners with political spots.

The move forces Dean's eight Democratic rivals to reconsider their ad-buying strategies as they seek to keep pace with his fund-raising and organizational strengths.

Make no mistake: Dean is going for the kill and wants to winnow the field.

This is why the Bush people are concerned:

Dean expects to raise $10.3 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30, said campaign manager Joe Trippi. That is the amount former President Clinton raised in the same period in 1995, the best performance by any Democratic presidential candidate in a single quarter the year before an election.

Privately, Dean's advisers said the $10.3 goal is a conservative estimate.

That’s $10.3 million-in one quarter. I can guarantee you that Rove never counted on a Democrat raising that kind of money in mid-2003 by attacking Bush head on. But then, Karl never thought a Democrat would even attack Bush in the first place. Dean left no doubt that he has Bush in the cross-hairs at his appearance today at the Communication Workers of America convention in Chicago.

"The first way we're going to beat George Bush is not to try to be like him. You cannot beat George Bush by trying to be 'Bush lite,'" the Democratic candidate running for the party's presidential nomination told laborers attending the Communications Workers of America convention in Chicago.

"I believe too many people in my party for too long caved in out of fear for high poll ratings, have been terrified by [talk radio host] Rush Limbaugh and all those people, beating up on unions, 'Yes, sir, we are afraid to stand up to the right wing,'" Dean said.

And even though some Dean insiders admit they are gunning to disrupt and unnerve the Kerry campaign, so what? Even though I am a Kerry supporter, all I care about is someone who goes face to face with Bush and keeps Karl up at nights. The Bushies will never admit any of this, but anyone who isn’t named Clinton who raises $10 million in the third quarter of 2003 by running an anger campaign against them is something they have never had to face.

Steve :: 4:59 PM :: Comments (128) :: Digg It!