Joho the BlogOut of the Closet: For Howard Dean - Joho the Blog

Out of the Closet: For Howard Dean

As I’ve mentioned infrequently, I’ve been doing some volunteer work for the Howard Dean campaign for the past few months. I now have an official title — “Senior Internet Advisor” — so I figure I should come out of the closet entirely.

The title formalizes what I’ve been doing so far: Sundry writing for the campaign and talking with them about Net issues. I’ve also done a little speaking on behalf of the campaign — well, once, substituting for Joe Trippi, the campaign manager, at a panel in DC on the Internet and democracy. Now I’ll be doing more writing, advising and speaking for the campaign. I’m thrilled, of course.

Why Dean? Because he’s the candidate closest to my views who can beat Bush. The Dean campaign has been doing an astounding job of energizing a base of voters who haven’t cared enough to come to the polls before. I like that strategy a lot better than trying to get 51% of the center by out-Bushing Bush.

And no campaign has ever gotten the Internet so right. They aren’t just working the email lists and using the Net as a way to drive down the cost of mass politicking. From Joe Trippi on down they “get” the Net. They understand that it’s about giving voice to the “ends” of the Net (AKA us), that it means they lose some control of their message, that they need to enable groups to self-organize, that it’s about listening and conversations more than about center-out broadcasting. This is an end-to-end campaign. The staff is webby to the core. If you met ’em, you’d love ’em.

So, yeah, I’m for Dean. And I’m proud and a-tingle at being to help in some little way.

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37 Responses to “Out of the Closet: For Howard Dean”

  1. So… you’re finally admitting that you’re a senior? ;)

  2. I’ll join you in being out for Dean as well.
    There will be a Meetup event at 7 PM on August 6 for interested folks at Panera on 21st street in the Ghent section of Norfolk. I hope to see a lot of people there…although I may just observe from a safe distance at first.

    Been reading Smart Mobs by Rheingold. I think it also worthwhile reading “Crowds and Power” by Elias Canetti if one can get around to it.

    Keep the lamps trimmed and burning, as Jorma would say…

  3. David Weinberger berät Howard Dean

    David Weinberger ist jetzt “Senior Internet Advisor” für Howard Dean. Gratulation! Ich hätte große Lust, einen Artikel “Noch viel mehr zu Politiker-Weblogs” zu schreiben. Aber die Zeit fehlt. Und da…

  4. Thanks, David — even more than your writing and help, you are an incredible, thoughtful, patient and powerfully stimulating person to have involved. We truly appreciate everything you’ve been doing – and just feel lucky to have you around.

    Zephyr Teachout, Internet Team, Dean for America

    (PS: What David didn’t mention is that one day in early March Trippi made me take off an hour to go find Small Pieces Loosely Joined, and members of the staff all fought over who got to read it first.)

  5. You may be interested in a spam incident I blogged. If nothing else, to help spread the lessons learned (the hard way) by the Texas folks.

  6. Dean’s Senior Internet Adviser

    David Weinberger has come Out of the Closet: For Howard Dean. Interesting, if not altogether surprising news. David’s spoken highly and supportively of the Dean campaign staff and how webby they are before. Good for David and good for the…

  7. I used to live in Vermont, and when Dean announced he was going to run for President everyone just laughed. But he really has undergone a transformation and I’m impressed. I just sent him a donation, my first-ever to a political candidate before a primary.

    One strategy to get Dean (or whoever ends up being the Democratic candidate) elected would be to undertake a massive (and nonpartisan) get-out-the-vote effort. Get-out-the-vote campaigns tend to benefit Democrats even though the effort itself cannot support any particular party. Importantly, this also would serve as a way for foreigners to help prevent another Bush presidency. Non US citizens (unless they have a green card) cannot contribute money to US political candidates or parties, but they can legally contribute to get-out-the vote groups. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in other countries who protested against the war or who are generally very unhappy with the direction that Bush and Company are taking the United States. Someone should start up a chain e-mail with the names and addresses of some of the key get-out-the-vote organizations and start distributing it globally. It might help.

  8. a resounding yes! to Brad’s post, and congratulations to David (whose blog I found via Halley’s Comment, via Joi Ito).

    a little info: I belong to Democrats Abroad Japan, and have just put up the DAJ blog. I’ve decided to back Dean as well.
    We’re putting together a “Know Your Candidates/Vote!/e-Straw Poll event in Tokyo in October: we’ll watch at least 1 of the Dem’s fall debates. My dream is to have the DAJblog be as active, useful and high quality as Daily Kos, but with the very unique viewpoint of Americans who live outside of the US, and are interested in changing America’s current direction.

    recovering political apathetic

    (who was going to call her personal blog Joho Junkie, but wiser brain cells prevailed: great to see Joho used well:-)!

  9. Both you and the Dean Team could not have made better choices. Hopefully, by early 2005 you will have an assignment at the West Wing. At the McLuhan Program, we are tremendously excited by what is happening with the Dean campaign. As I’ve blogged here: this campaign may be as significant for the Internet with respect to American politics as the Kennedy-Nixon race was for television. Additionally, it gives some real empirical support for the Emergent Democracy initiative that has been dismissed by some more conventionally-thinking “navel-gazing” commentators. Bravo, and good luck to the entire team.

  10. Hurray! David, the Dean team is lucky to have you! One of the cool things about this “Invisible Primary” is that so many people I like are now pushing for Dean, including a seventy-something goddess now rounding up American expat votes in Spain and a radical from my home town re-writing Dean brochures. Woo hoo!

  11. Howard Dean’s Internet advisor

    David Weinberger comes out of the closet and announces for Howard Dean. In fact, he has become the Dean campaign’s “Senior Internet Advisor.” Nice going, David. Me? I’m still on the fence, and will probably remain so until early next

  12. Howard Dean’s Internet advisor

    David Weinberger comes out of the closet and announces for Howard Dean. In fact, he has become the Dean campaign’s “Senior Internet Advisor.” Nice going, David. Me? I’m still on the fence, and will probably remain so until early next

  13. Well done, David. Does this mean you’re planning on smashing the system from within?

  14. Another advantage of a Dean candidacy is that Ralph Nader (if he decides to run again, which wouldn’t surprise me) wouldn’t siphon off as many votes from the Democrats and hand another four years to Bush. A more centrist candidate would lose more votes to the Greens.

    I think the people in the DNC who say the Democrats can win only with a centrist candidate don’t grasp the depth of opposition to Bush that has arisen over the past three years. A lot of people are very afraid of what would happen if Bush gets another term. While I suppose it’s true that the majority of Americans still lean right of center, it’s also true that Al Gore won the popular vote in the last election. I think there’s hope.

    I do think that Dean is at heart a centrist running as a more radical liberal, just as George Bush is a radical conservative who ran as a centrist. But regardless of the political strategizing that has shaped his new persona, I think Dean has found a viable niche that is energizing people and gaining him a significant following. I wish him well.

  15. All the links to Dean’s Web site that I put in my article here are now dead.

    Is that your advice–linkrot?

  16. And who’s advising Weinberger?

    David Weinberger announces he’s joined Howard Dean’s campaign: I now have an official title — “Senior Internet Advisor” — so…

  17. I’m out for Dean as well and openly promote him on my blog and solicit funds for the campaign.

    I’m glad to hear you’re working the campaign, David.

    zephyr, do you have your own blog? if not, you should. the same with the rest of the dean staffers.

  18. You got a title? I didn’t get a title.

    I have gotten into the blog three times, though…and I even visited Burlington. (I owe Trippi a pizza — I kept trying to push $20 on him and he insisted “we could buy a pizza on that” but demanded I give on the blog instead so we could get matching funds.)

    Question: Does Domino’s deliver to the White House?

  19. weinberger joins the dean campaign

  20. The Cluetrain candidate

    Influential weblogger, academic, consultant and author David Weinberger (one of the coauthors of the Cluetrain Manifesto), has come out For Howard Dean: [W]hat I’ve been doing so far: Sundry writing for the campaign and talking with them about Net issu…

  21. Where do I sign up? How can I help?

  22. As one on the other side, let me wish for you many new friends, many fulfilling experiences, and a best-selling book detailing your pioneering work on the first true internet campaign to lose by a landslide. And may the movie rights make you rich in a land with lower tax rates!

  23. David Weinberger is for Howard Dean

  24. David Weinberger is for Howard Dean

  25. Trajectory of messages

    Die Politik beginnt das Thema Blogs zunehmen aufzugreifen, wenn das auch erst für UK und USA gilt wird es doch auch hierzulande bald der Fall sein. Mit David Weinberger

  26. David

    Congratulations on your new position. I am hoping you choose “understanding inclusiveness” over “respectful contempt” as your contribution to the Dean campaign.

  27. Joho is working on the Dean Campaign and so am I indirectly through Xpertweb

    (SOURCE:Joho the Blog: Out of the Closet: For Howard Dean)-Very cool. I guess I should decloak too. I am a “wrangler” for Xpertweb (along wi…

  28. He’s Got My Vote

    I saw Howard Dean speak today. He gets it, and I’m not surprised why. Literally the first thing he mentioned…

  29. He’s Got My Vote

    I saw Howard Dean speak today. He gets it, and I’m not surprised why. Literally the first thing he mentioned…

  30. Here’s a great item for a grassroots political campaign: a dry-erase board that sticks to the inside of a car window facing outward:
    If enough people used these to say what issues they were REALLY interested in, maybe U.S. politics would turn around!

  31. Why waste our time?

    Howard Dean is now toast due to the work of the media.

  32. The Rise and Fall and Rise (?) of Howard Dean

    by Sandy Jewell

    The ephemeral dream that so many of us had of electing common sense Democrat Howard Dean as the next president of the United States has now, maybe irrevocably, diffused into the haze. At some point he’ll probably remember President Clinton’s adversities and thank his lucky stars for what may have been a bit of good fortune–for him. His treatment by an insolent and swaggering press was consistently, blindly, nasty. He was the target of malicious ads and political attacks by other candidates. Not fun stuff. But is having his life turned into a public nightmare a good enough reason for
    him to disappear from the public scene and return to his comfortable life in Vermont? I think not!

    Howard Dean’s no-nonsense challenge to George Bush and his policies electrified everyone, from an electorate nearly comatose from an overdose of Bush-lite Democrats to candidates from he “electable wing of the Democratic party” who, along with the DLC, were suddenly jolted into the realization that they might not be so electable after all. His front runner status
    going into the primaries galvanized the Beltway insiders who would be president. Howard Dean deserves the credit for turning the formerly
    tranquilized Iraq war supporter, free trade lover, and special interest baby John Kerry into an enervated champion of the working middle class and opponent of preemptive war who could conceivably become the Democratic nominee for president.

    But if Kerry wins the election, what comes next? He’ll still be a wealthy Washington insider and we’ll still be struggling. Will he remember the
    lessons of the campaign? Re-enter Howard Dean.

    Howard Dean, bolstered by core supporters, was a fighter until the very end, beyond the time when it was clear to almost everyone that his candidacy was a lost cause. Not only does this man have stamina, he now has a national stage and a committed following, neither of which were his a year ago. It has probably occurred to John Kerry as well as a few other establishment
    prototypes that they can ignore Dr. Dean, his message and his supporters at their own peril. Maybe it has even occurred to them that they might not have been so shocked by Howard Dean’s initial juggernaut had they been more in touch with what was happening outside of the Beltway, with the people who actually elect political leaders. Maybe they suddenly recalled the Bush-lite Democrats, like Georgia Senator Max Cleland, who out-spent their opponents in the last midterm election and lost anyway. (Anyone who thinks Max Cleland lost because of scurrilous attacks on his patriotism by his
    unprincipled Republican opponent should look at the ex-Senator’s voting record, and give Georgia voters more credit.) There may also be a dawning
    realization among politicians that they are as ill-served by our fawning corporate media as we are.

    Dr. Dean’s challenge, which he has implied that he will accept, is to keep the face of America before the politicians as they deal each day with lobbyists, special interests, and insider-only Washington dinner parties,and as he himself endures what will probably be an unrelenting and
    unrepentant media, the wrath of frightened corporate lobbyists and the disdain of politicians who have not yet learned their lesson. In return, he’ll be rewarded with the knowledge that his struggle is the right one and
    that he has had the vision and ability to fill a vacuum when it seemed that no one else in politics recognized that one existed.

    When the election is over, chances are good that he’ll have the stage to himself, once again. John Kerry, ala Al Gore, is already making nice with the Republicans, telling his supporters to stay away from focusing attention on Dubya’s military record. Democrats have been frustrated for the past decade by the Republican domination of the public discourse and by the failure of our leaders to answer in kind. Without Howard Dean we could be headed for a return visit to that same dark tunnel.

    The morass of unmet needs is so deep and wide at this stage of the imperial Bush presidency that it might be hard for Dr. Dean to sort them into

    Take the media, for example. Now that he’s no longer a target with a candidacy to lose, Howard Dean might challenge the press on its biases, its distortions and uncorrected misstatements, and the lies that it attributes to others and publishes anyway. He might say that the current, excessive, media consolidation is a threat to democracy and must be broken now, at both the local and national level. He might decry the loss of public interest programming and the subsidies of public television by corporate sponsors who then use their leverage to curtail discourse. One example: When public TV is brought to us by Archer Daniels Midland, we are no more likely to see a frank discussion there of genetically modified organisms in our food supply than on any other channel. The result is public illiteracy about a subject that has sparked a continuing popular uproar in Europe.

    Who better than Howard Dean to decry the international economic disruption and race to the bottom in salary and working conditions brought on by free trade; the sale of public assets demanded by the WTO which has resulted in
    civil unrest in country after country; the outsourcing and privatization of both blue and white collar jobs, with no end in sight, that continues to cause tremors in the U.S. economy.

    The problems with the U.S. health care system are too often cataclysmic for those without health insurance, and, as low paying service jobs replace manufacturing, information technology and more, that includes more of us
    each day. Say so, Dr. Dean.

    The military budget is an out of control monster that saps domestic spending. What happened to the peace dividend that we were promised when communism fell? With no clearly distinguishable national enemy, why has there been no additional spending for education, housing, or health care?
    Does the military-industrial complex manufacture scares to maintain their funding? We want to know.

    Which brings us to terrorism. Someone in a position of authority – how about you, Dr. Dean? – needs to stand up and say that the U.S. needs to address the underlying causes of the desperation and powerlessness that leads some of the disaffected to strike at us. Using individual acts of terrorism to justify unprovoked international attacks is worse than
    senseless. It increases our own peril. The financial benefit to the military-industrial complex in no way justifies or compensates for this idiocy. Although most politicians appear not to have noticed, it’s a policy that has not worked very well for Israel either.

    The targeting of dissenting voices by the misnamed Patriot Act, and by local and national police forces, must stop. The manhandling of U.S. citizens who dare to disagree with the regime in power is as much a threat to our
    democracy as it should be an embarrassment to the politicians who sing the siren song of democracy abroad. To an increasing number of us at home, that song is beginning to sound like a hollow joke.

    Where were our Democratic spokesmen and women when our current president crudely and abrasively thumbed his nose at the international community?

    The United States is not populated by the blind and the dumb, despite the way it must appear to our bewildered allies, and someone with a national base of support should say so.

    The stage is all yours, Dr. Dean, and the curtain is rising.
    Sandy Jewell lives in Atlanta and can be reached at [email protected]

  33. Dean will be a tough candidtae to beat next election. We will still be bogged down in Iraq and the American people will be quite angry about it. Since Dean was the only guy that had enough guts to stand up and tell the truth he would be a shoe in for the white house.

  34. I agree with extagen. The very fact that dean stood against the political correctness and turned out to be right will be difficult to beat.

  35. Dean will get my vote if he runs. He’s the only guy that stood up and told people the truth about the Iraq war. He also turned out to be completely right.

  36. If dean runs he will start out fast but the media will eventually change the minds of the people. Remember Israel wants us in Iraq. Jewish influence in the American media continues. Whatever Israel wants, Israel will get.

  37. Well I’ll tell you one thing. If Dean runs next time he’s got my vote.

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