WASHINGTON—Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean—now cast in the role as top level surrogate for Democratic presumptive nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)—said Wednesday the DNC will now disclose previously secret fund-raising events and allow press coverage.
Obama has been signaling that he will not take public financing for the general election, despite saying he would if details with his GOP rival could be worked out. Dean said it would be “wrong and unfair” to criticize Obama if he chooses to opt out.
Dean said the DNC will now “do what Obama does.” Once Obama locked up the nomination, his team seized control of the DNC—totally routine—and Dean said the Obama new policy of disclosing all fund-raising events and allowing at least a pool reporter in will also be the norm at the DNC. Dean made his comment in response to my question at a breakfast with reporters organized by the Christian Science Monitor. I immediately e-mailed DNC spokesman Karen Finney for a list of fund-raising events.
Footnote: The DNC finance chair was recently in Chicago prospecting among big Clinton fund-raisers.
Dean ducked a direct answer Obama’s judgment in tapping former Fannie Mae chief Jim Johnson to lead his vice-presidential search team. Instead, he noted that McCain and the Republicans take money from lobbyists. (Stories are circulating about how Johnson—a Washington insider’s insider—got a sweetheart mortgage deal with Countryside—a subprime lender blasted by Obama.)
Dean on Obama use of the internet:
“The genius of the Obama campaign is to understand that the internet is not a machine, or even just a means of communications. The internet is a community. It just doesn’t happen to all be people that live in one place.”