November 22, 2002
MAYBE HE'S SERIOUS:Dean Pins Hopes on Rainmakers (John P. Gregg, 11/22/02, Valley News)
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean last week said he hopes to raise up to $10 million before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation 2004 presidential primary, a critical proving ground for Dean and U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Dean took two important behind-the-scenes steps this month to boost his presidential bid, landing a campaign manager with extensive New Hampshire experience and a widely respected fund-raiser with a network of national Democratic contributors.
Dean this week hired political consultant Rick Ridder, who most recently worked on former U.S. senator Bill Bradley's 2000 presidential bid, to be his campaign manager.
And Dean enlisted Massachusetts businessman Steve Grossman to help him with fund raising and political strategy.
Grossman, a former chairman of both the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee, has raised millions of dollars for his party and is planning a fund-raising event for Dean next month in Boston.
Political observers said Dean's two personnel moves are giving his presidential campaign credibility.
"Certainly, it ain't a bad start to start with those two guys," said Michael Goldman, a Boston-based Democratic consultant who also worked on the Bradley campaign. “It will be perceived as a serious campaign -- serious in terms of money, serious in terms of field. "Bradley narrowly lost the 2000 New Hampshire primary to then-Vice President Al Gore, and Ridder also worked on Gary Hart's two presidential campaigns.
Goldman said Dean, who has visited New Hampshire 19 times this year, must have a strong showing in the Granite State primary for his presidential campaign to catch fire.
"He knows to be viable, he's got to beat the other Northeast candidate in New Hampshire, that being Kerry," said Goldman. "Were I Kerry and Dean, I'd be focusing a huge amount of attention on New Hampshire É if you come in second as the New England candidate, you can pretty much put a pin in it."
If you're the Democrats, and you're trying to win in '04, the prospect of a Kerry vs. Dean slugfest in NH has to be a nightmare. Between them they'll drag the field very far to the Left. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 22, 2002 5:05 PM