Thursday, December 04, 2003

Trippi Takes the Long View An intriguing development over at the Dean campaign: Grassroots guru Joe Trippi hit Deaniacs on Tuesday with an e-mail urging them to contribute to Rep. Leonard Boswell's (D-IOWA) Congressional campaign. And at this hour, the Dean site is providing Boswell some choice free web real estate--a prominently-placed Boswell button graces the homepage.

So, what's behind the move?

On the one hand, by making such a visible pitch for Boswell, Trippi and Co. underscore to the Dean grassroots, and more than rhetorically, that working for Dean isn't the only way to have an impact--that there are any number of ways to advance the goals of the "Democratic wing of the Democratic party."

So, including such "affiliate advertising" (if you will) on the site might be thought to risk diluting Dean support by disentagling the grassroots movement that is the Dean candidacy from the identity of the man himself.

On the other hand, if Boswell receives a deluge of contributions over the next several days, here's what else is likely to happen:

1) Headlines in Iowa papers about the role of deanforamerica.com in the uptick. Iowa Democrats take appreciative notice.
2) More important, headlines in Roll Call. Congressional Democrats take notice. And maybe some of the Dean-wary centrists start to think about what a little button on the Dean site could do for them...

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.