Continuing the series which started with this post, and then continued on in 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Now we have question 5: Have you studied the campaign of Howard Dean? How are you not going to repeat those mistakes?

  • Dary: By not making them.
  • Michael: Howard Dean did make a few mistakes. I don’t think Ron Paul is the kind of guy to “Scream” as he rambles on in a speech. The key difference is so many people are passionate about Dr. Paul’s message of simplicity and honesty, they are literally taking to the streets in masses. Most people that I speak with always love his message, but are afraid to vote for him because they think it will put the person they ‘dislike’ into office. It’s a sad day in America when people vote for someone for the simple reason as to help prevent a Republican or Democrat into office.
  • Tony Lambiris: I have not, I wasn’t interested in politics back then, not until Ron Paul made it abundantly clear that there was still hope in restoring America back to what made it so great to begin with.
  • coainley: No. I don’t know. Howard Dean was full of crap. Ron Paul is not.
  • Tim: I have not, but thanks for the suggestion. (btw, try not to use the word “crazy” when describing Paul’s campaign in ANY context. I hope I speak for all Ron Paul supporters when I say I’m TIRED of seeing this word linked to Paul.)
  • Ward Ciac: Ron is a doctor he is dignified.
  • Lex: Howard Dean? I thought the Dems should have nominated him. He might have been able to beat Bush. After he screamed “We’re going to (Your state here)!!!!”, he should have really done it, instead of meekly dropping out.
  • Iconoclast421: Howard Dean really didn’t make any huge mistakes. Except counting on liberals and democrats to break out of the mold the mainstream media has set them in! The media simply decided to destroy him. Because of the Dean scream? Gimme a break. That’s not it at all. I thought that was funny. Considering the turkey we have in the oval office right now…
  • PC: Yes, we intend to get more votes than Howard Dean. In the Dean campaign he was the loose cannon, in the Paul campaign it is his supporters, besides Dr. Paul’s record speaks for itself, Dean was nowhere as distinguished. We just need to not buy the media hype and run our own campaign. Dean appeared to rely too much on the media hype.
  • Scott: Yes, I have, and I do by putting faith in the voters, and simply spreading awareness about him as best I can.
  • Corky: Despite superficial similarities, the Paul campaign is not at all like Dean’s.
  • Doofus: For one thing, Ron Paul doesn’t scream “HAAAA!!!” like a madman.
  • John Campbell: No, I haven’t, but it’s a good idea. My general sense is that Howard Dean wasn’t that much different from all the other Democrats. That’s probably why he now heads the DNC. He fits right in. In contrast, Ron Paul is clearly an outsider. I think that’s important this time. Mainstream Republicans are doomed in 08. Only a total outsider can possibly win.
  • Aaron: Dean lost because the Democrats wanted to defeat Bush so bad that they heartlessly dismissed doing the right thing, they were simply afraid, and so they unintelligently voted for Kerry who lost anyway. They were the tin man, lion, and scarecrow all at once unable to find Oz because they were put off by Dorothy’s screech.
  • Jonathan Bennett: I don’t study socialism, well I’ve studied enough to know that it doesn’t work. So, I wouldn’t put much time or effort into studying someone that wants to further implement socialist ideas into our government. Ron Paul’s message is polar opposite of Dean’s, so the campaign is quite different.
  • Buckwheat: Dean and Paul’s campaigns are only superficially similar (antiwar, physicians, both harnessed the internet) and will have different outcomes (I predict). They are substantively different in that there was no there there to propel the Dean antiwar excitement forward; he was just a REALLY big government lefty. Will Paul there is a big there there: making the U.S. a constitutional republic again. Exactly what we need.
  • Dan Warner: The internet is far different than when Dean ran. There are more tools and things like bring people out in real life to become ‘boots on the ground’. Also having YouTube where you can go and really get a feel for the man and what he says is helping bigtime. You can watch him give a speech and his honesty and integrity really comes thru. For me it’s the best way to get my friends introduced to Dr. Paul. Once they watch a few videos they are hooked and want more information. This is probably going to mean alot to campaigns in the future, but the candidate has to be genuine. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million. I also don’t think Dr. Paul is prone to whacky screaming and making a fool of himself on stage. Dean tanked because he made a bufoon of himself. Ron Paul is a far more serious person and won’t let that happen. Besides if Dean can become head of the democratic party after all of that, I would be happy if Ron Paul took the same position in the republican party. He would bring it back to it’s roots where it ought to be.
  • Corey Cagle: I was in Iraq during the 2004 election, so I didn’t really have time to follow Dean’s candidacy. From what I’ve heard, though, he was another big-government liberal who thought our Nanny State should provide us with “free” medical care, a chicken in every pot, and all the other Utopian promises of modern socialist planners. Thus, his wasn’t a campaign I would have been interested in watching, even if I hadn’t been deployed.
  • Jeanette Doney: Howard Dean’s mistake was attacking Nader and then bowing out to Kerry. Ron Paul is not attacking or bowing to anyone. He’s making a point, “We’ve got to get back to our constitutional foundation”.
  • meinaz: Two words “Dean Scream”. The media destroyed Dean. Some claim his loss to be due to a poor performance at a straw poll. I don’t buy it. Ask the average person about Dean and they’ll talk about his scream. His policies and candidacy were ruined in a constantly-looped unflattering soundbite. We’re going to get around these “mistakes” by putting the focus on the media when they resort to smearing. The media needs to be held accountable. If old-media decides to take the low road, we’ll take them with us.
  • Edward Keithly: The Dean campaign spent money like a drunken sailor, and appealed to the farthest left-wing of his party. Ron Paul’s campaign is thrifty, to say the least, and has appeal that runs across the ideological spectrum. And Ron Paul is not the type to bay at the moon on national TV.
  • Vicky: I remember it like it was yesterday. I also remember how the Clinton DLC machine destroyed his chances simply to get Kerry the nomination. I assure you, it wasn’t because that wanted Kerry to beat Bush. If Bush had lost in 2004, Hillary would NEVER of had a chance to become president. The problem for Dean was he is no Ron Paul. Dean had dems and some indies, but Ron Paul has support across the board. Ron Paul is also one of the most disciplined speakers I have ever seen. He will not be tripped up by any “Paul Scream”. Look at how he turned Giuliani’s rant in the second debate into political gold. The other mistake in Dean’s run was Trippi’s spending. Again Ron Paul is too fiscally conservative to fall into that trap. Apples and oranges, Justin.
  • Matt C: I don’t know much about the Dean campaign. But I estimate the opposition to the Iraq war at about twice what it was then.
  • Patrick: Be less socialist? Don’t scream like a crazed cowboy? Ron’s got that covered already.
  • meatwad: Sorry, I haven’t studied the campaign of Howard Dean. I guess I’d just tell RP not to get overly excited and beware of the big corporate media.
  • James Aragon: Howard Dean took for granted that he was the source of his popularity and not his message. Ron Paul is more centered and has already indicated his candidacy as one for ideas and not selfish reasons.
  • Ellis_Wyatt: Dean != Paul. Totally different, and not least because the web’s come a long way in the years between. However, this is REALLY about the absurd policies of the elites. This is a populist revolution against an entire mode of thought, ie: the neocon (Clinton, Obama…) agenda. Dean’s core supporters are now Obama supporters, not Paul supporters, e.g.: they’re in it for schoolgirl crushes and fabian socialist pipe dreams, not rational libertarian principles. Check your premises if you think otherwise.
  • Jordan: Uh, I’m not campaigning for anything… why would I be at risk for repeating Howard Dean’s mistakes?
  • bbartlog: No, I haven’t. If I were Ron Paul’s campaign manager, this would be a crushing indictment. Are there mistakes that a plain old supporter should be avoiding as well?
  • chad: howard dean again, who (that is not involved with politics) has even heard of him? i really dont get how you can compare him with ron paul, technology is light years ahead of where it was then and social networking sites are substantially more popular, so he won a online poll, big wow. ron paul wins every online poll but people just say that us ron paul supporters have somehow hacked into the server and manipulated the results , or better yet, hit the ron paul button 50 times, lol.
  • Tannim: Yes, and no screaming allowed.
  • Spirit of ’76: I haven’t really studied Dean’s campaign in detail, so I don’t know what to tell you here. My impression from a distance was always that the media killed Dean.
  • James Maynard: Yes I have – fortunantly, I don’t think Ron can scream that loudly. LOL.
  • Jim: Ron Paul has a stronger message. He will pull through, regardless of media smear.
  • mike: personally i have not, this is the first time i’ve been excited about politics or even voting. i have been in my internet tube more often and longer than most, yet back then i had no idea what was going on with howard dean. thus i would propose ron paul is MUCH bigger. in an age now of video and youtube i think we are talking about a different internet. btw i am 28.

The answers I’m reading contain a lot of “no”s or “yes, but Paul is different.”

So yes, there are some superficial similarities between Dean and Paul, but the most striking similarities are what you all need to focus on: outsider candidate with lots of internet support who is polling low, but is starting to make some noise. And sure, Paul is different, but let me share a couple things I learned in 2003-2004.

First, the reason Dean got big was ALL about his message. And don’t be naive Paul supporters, just because you don’t like Dean’s message doesn’t mean that Dems and indies weren’t attracted to him because of it. He was one of the first to come out very strongly anti-war on the Dem side. He was also the first to talk openly about our health care crisis. And you can call his ideas socialist, but he had an A rating from the NRA and was, for all intents and purposes, a moderate Dem.

Another similarity between Dean and Paul is that Dean also brought a lot of people into the political process who had never been part of it before. And it really has yet to be proven that Paul is pulling THAT many people in that have never been involved before. The internet has a tendency to make things seem bigger than they are. Take heed of that last sentence, because it was part of Dean’s downfall. Sure, he had a lot of people come to Iowa for him, but he didn’t have Iowans come to the polls for him…or folks from New Hampshire, South Carolina…you get the picture.

And Iowans don’t take kindly to rabid political supporters. Kerry’s people knew this and they were on the ground well ahead of the game, recruiting the most trusted Dems in loyal neighborhoods to gather support before the caucuses started. That’s how Kerry won, and that’s most likely how a GOPer will win there too.

Also, I hear a lot in this comments section about the “media” and how corrupt they are. I’d drop this immediately if I were you. The media simply reports and echoes. Drudge was the one who broke the scream story, and because it was funny and really weird the rest of the media picked up on it. You can call them corrupt all you want, but you need the media to get elected. You may not think so, but you do, and you’d do well to figure out ways to make it work for you instead of saying, “It’s the media’s fault!”

And to that point, the scream didn’t do Dean in. Coming in 3rd in Iowa did. Overpromising and underdelivering. We can talk all day about how the Clintons anointed Kerry, but I was on the ground in Iowa in 2004 and Dean lost because his campaign was disorganized and relied too heavily on “people power.”

So then what’s the biggest difference between Dean and Paul? Dean could never have run as an independent. Paul still could.

In any event, thanks again for all of your answers and comments. Stay on the lookout for the answers to questions 6 and 7, as well as a recap of what I think are the best answers for each question.

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