I received an email from a reader who expressed some concern about potential growing pains in the Dean campaign and whether the immaturity of some campaign people might lead to a major embarassment for the campaign later on. This is, of course, one of the dangers of the campaign approach that Joe Trippi is taking. Putting so much faith in the supporters of the candidate to control the destiny of the campaign is showing a huge amount of faith in our ability not to f*ck it up. Here's what I wrote back (paraphrased somewhat):
This is still very new and there will be some rough spots. Someone initially posted an item on the blog about the AmSpec article but then quickly pulled it when several people warned them that it smelled supsicious. Is this what you are talking about? I still side with Joe Trippi on this, we can't stress ourselves out worrying about the inevitable. We can only deal with the problems as they come up and, so far, the campaign has been pretty nimble on its feet when it comes to these things. As far as I know there is a moderator on the blog (Moveable Type certainly provides the ability to zap messages). I think the campaign has struck on an amazing Zen contradiction: they can have a lot of control over the behavior of its supporters by specifically allowing its supporters to have a lot of influence in the direction of the campaign. In other words, by showing respect for the feeling of its supporters the supporters show a commensurate level of support back to them and quickly get in line when the campaign does put its foot down (which, so far, it has rarely had to do). Every stage from here until next November is critical. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We'll drive ourselves crazy if we keep trying to guess ahead and plan for all the slings and arrows that will come our way. I can remember to the moment the first time I was really sold on Dean. It was when I was watching the videotape of his first appearance on MTP at the first meetup that I went to. At one point Russert was asking Dean about his proposal to rescind most of Bush's tax cuts. Russert asked Dean if he cared that people would call him someone who wanted to raise taxes. Dean's response was to say that he would be called lots of things in this campaign. It was at that moment that I realized that Dean got it as far as what he was going to be going up against. His response reasured me that, unlike other Democrats, who might still think the Clinton Wars were about Bill Clinton, Dean understands that the Democrats will never be able to put forward a candidate that will be acceptable to the GOP and its enablers in the establishment media. I'm willing to let the bigwigs at national worry about the long term plans for where this campaign is going and how to deal with these problems. I'm going to focus on the day-to-day campaign.