Volume 17 • Issue 34 • Jan. 14 - 20, 2005


Trippi goes local

He turned a long-shot candidate into a frontrunner in Howard Dean. Now, top the cutting-edge campaign manager Joe Trippi is taking on another dark horse as general consultant for Brian Ellner’s Manhattan borough president race. Trippi said Ellner will bring a “new and open approach” to the office, as opposed to established candidates’ top-down way of doing business.

The Dean campaign revolutionized the use of the Internet for fundraising, but Trippi said the Web won’t be as important in a low-turnout Manhattan race. Trippi lives in Maryland, but said he’ll be in the area several times a week for his gig in Secaucus, N.J., as an MSNBC analyst. It was Trippi’s old pal P.R. guru Ethan Geto who hooked him up with Ellner. Trippi, had brought Geto to Dean, becoming the campaign’s New York State campaign manager. As for his former boss’s quest to be Democratic National Committee chairperson, Trippi said he thinks Dean is too ideological.

“I think Dean would make a great U.S. senator, but I think there are better candidates for party chair,” he said. “It’s hard for someone as ideological as he is to hold everything together.” Of course, Dean forced Trippi out of his campaign by hiring a second campaign manager. Trippi said he wasn’t technically fired, but that from experience he knew two campaign managers can’t steer the same ship…. So was it Dean’s Iowa yelp that did his campaign in? “No, no, no,” Trippi said. “We were done way before that — that was the finishing blow.”


—Lincoln Anderson



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