SOMEWHERE IN IOWA, Jan 14--On Wednesday, following the USA Today article--which reports that in a letter dated July 1995 the Governor urged President Clinton to act unilaterally in Bosnia--Dean staffers said they were bracing for another round of negative stories as a part of a conspiracy by other campaigns to stop the Governor from winning Iowa. Then somewhere between Des Moines and Fort Dodge on the maiden voyage of the Dean Iowa bus tour, blackberries and wireless computers snapped reporters out of their slumber and to the seat of Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi. The endorsement is expected to take place in Carroll, Iowa today.
Trippi told reporters that his personal friendship with Moseley Braun began in 1992 when Trippi worked for her in Illinois. Dean and Moseley Braun spoke after Sunday's Brown and Black debate and in their conversation, the Governor thanked Moseley Braun for defending him during the debate. The two then met the next morning in a fifth floor room at the Hotel Ft. Des Moines.
On the Ground In Iowa
Sen. Tom Harkin travels with the Governor today and on their first stop in Fort Dodge, the campaign will meet up with Gerry McEntee and the AFSCME bus tour. Thousands of volunteers from around the country are expected to flock into Iowa as part of the campaign's Perfect Storm. This includes a 30-car caravan from California. Volunteers will knock on 200,000 doors and make 50,000 phone calls over the last weekend before the caucus.
People who work together sometimes pick up each others quirks or lingo. In the case of the traveling Dean staff, it's a case of contagious coifs. On his down day in Vermont, the Governor stopped by Dan's Barbershop for a $12 cut. (That's $10 plus $2 tip.) Aide Mike O'Mary stopped by for a trim as well and left with the same style as the Governor. Senior advisor Gina Glantz passed on Dan's and went to colleague Kate O'Connor's hairdresser and ended up with a Kate-like do.
People Powered Express
The Governor will arrive in style to pick up his latest endorsement. A tour of the Governor's new wheels in the For Dodge parking lot, left reporters wide eyed and open-mouthed. The bus is a combination of hardwood floors and carpet and has the smell of brand new leather compliments of soft oversized couches. Bose speakers and wall mounted televisions are installed in both the front and back sitting areas. Driver and Gold Star Celebrity Coach owner Ed Meier says Denzel Washington and Aretha Franklin once used the same bus.
On the Newsstand
Dean staffers says the Governor will be on the cover of People, Rolling Stone and the first edition of Lumina, a new Des Moines-based magazine targeting people ages 18 to 35.
Flak has happy birthday with Dean
BURLINGTON, Vt., Jan. 13 — What do you get the press secretary who has everything, including the Democratic leader in the race for the White House? Well, the best birthday gift for Dean press secretary Doug Thornell might have been a giant hook to pull his candidate away from the podium. Monday, Thornell attempted twice to end a press avail in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, but the candidate insisted on answering all the questions. (Thornell had to console himself with the chorus of "Happy Birthday," which was led by the Governor and erupted mid-avail. Yellow or chocolate cake with the sugary kind of frosting that makes your teeth hurt, followed on the press plane from Burlington, Iowa to Burlington, Vt. on Monday night.)
On-the-record face time with the Governor has decreased as the traveling press has grown and as January 19 draws near. In fact, future availabilities seem doubtful after the governor made the following statement at a pancake breakfast in Pella, Iowa: "It's a struggle between us and the Washington politicians and the established press. They have attacked us for months, every time they have an opportunity, but we are stronger than they are."
Gov. Dean kicks off the Washington D.C. primary in Vermont by speaking to radio and television stations in Iowa, New Hampshire and Feb. 3rd states.