Democrats & Liberals Archives

Source: Dean to suspend campaign

CNN is reporting that Howard Dean will suspend his campaign. The Democratic front-runner heading into the primaries, he has yet to win any of the 17 primaries. In suspending his campaign, he plans to leave his name on the ballots but will no longer actively campaign.

Now that the race has been all but conceded to John Kerry, many will speculate on what caused Dean’s drop in support just as primary season started. Was it the electibility issue? Was it his personality? Was his famous legion of supporters too busy preacing to the converted rather than reaching out beyond their blog readers and MeetUp participants? Was it simply the primary election schedule? He drops out before large Democratic states like New York, California and Illinois had their say.

Rather then look back, however, we should look at the positive contributions that Dean's campaign made to politics. By embracing the Internet and its ability to connect people, he forced the rest of the candidates to do the same. Ultimately all voters benefit from this as they have direct lines of communication to the candidates and staff; are able to plan events and connect with other supporters; and spread their candidates' message in a more cost efficient method.

Also looking forward, where does Dean go from here? NPR suggested he will work to help fundraise and campaign for congressional democrats. But will he come out in support of Kerry or Edwards, the lone serious contenders for the presidential nomination? And to what extent? Does he hold out hope for a VP nomination?

And what happens to Dean's ardent supporters? As they look around today much like the Dead Heads did following Jerry Garcia's death, they need to move on. Hopefully they will apply their passion and optimism towards the eventual Democratic candidate and towards the important progressive causes they support.

Posted by blipsman at February 18, 2004 11:23 AM