This article over at MSNBC.com caught my attention, mainly because I hadn't heard much about how well Kerry was raising money since he caught the momentum wave, and the rate at which money is coming into the Dean campaign has indeed slowed in recent days.
The article is a little short on specifics, although it does say
Kerry plans to spend much of next month traveling coast-to-coast, aggressively wooing the donors who sat on the sidelines in 2003 or who bankrolled Democratic rivals Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) and retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, aides said. The courtship is well underway -- at least a dozen major fundraisers from other camps say they have agreed to work for Kerry -- and the campaign collected $6.5 million in the 23 days after his Iowa victory.
There's more on his strategy--how as soon as a candidate drops out of the race, Kerry's on the phone to their former fundraisers and the like. To the Kerry campaign's credit, they admit they don't know how to tap into the Dean well (he might try being a real person instead of just a candidate, but it's a little late for that).
But they know they've got a tough row to hoe.
The next hurdle will be winning over Dean and his donors. In recent weeks, Democratic National Committee leaders have traveled to Vermont, Massachusetts and North Carolina trying to extract pledges from the three camps that they will raise money for the eventual nominee. Sources said Dean has not made such a promise, but at a minimum might assist the party with its fundraising.Everywhere you go on the blogosphere, you see Dean supporters pissed at the system at the very least, and at Kerry directly in many cases.
But we need to harness the energy and the money that these people can bring, and I'm talking about myself here. So here's my suggestion to both John Kerry, and Howard Dean, if he should drop out of the race in the next month or so.
Don't ask us to give money to the candidate, and if you're the candidate, don't ask us for money. Many of us will resent both the candidate (if it's not Dean) or will resent Dean for asking us to transfer our allegiance. Instead, get Dean to start fundraising for Congressional seats throughout the country. That way you keep people excited and giving money, you get them directly involved in their communities, and you keep these people feeling like they have a stake in politics again. Remember, the most important demographic of Dean supporters is that they're people who have never given or worked on a campaign before. So whaddya think?