Mousepads, Shoe Leather, and Hope: Lessons from the Howard Dean Campaign for the Future of Internet Politics

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Howard Dean’s campaign for president changed the way in which campaigns are run today. With an unlikely collection of highly talented and motivated staffers drawn from a variety of backgrounds, the Dean campaign transformed the way in which money was raised and supporters galvanized by using the Internet. Surprisingly, many of the campaign staff members were neither computer whizzes nor practiced political operatives, even though that is how some of them are identified today. This book allows key individuals in the campaign the chance to tell their stories with an eye to documenting the Internet campaign revolution and providing lessons to future campaigns. Howard Dean’s inspirational statement of what it took for his campaign to get as far as it did—“mousepads, shoe leather, and hope”—holds great wisdom for anyone campaigning today, especially the 2008 presidential candidates. Includes an interview with Howard Dean.

Visit the companion website for Mousepads.

Watch an interview with Larry Biddle on YouTube at:

Zephyr Teachout was interviewed on NOW discussing the similarities between Howard Dean's use of the internet and Ron Paul's internet campaign. Read the full transcript here:

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594514845
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Series: Media and Power
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Zephyr Teachout is Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Duke Law School, where she is researching law and political corruption. She was the Director of Online Organizing for Howard Dean’s campaign, the National Director of the Sunlight Foundation, the Executive Director of the Fair Trial Initiative, and a consultant for several new media companies. In 2005–2006 she was a Fellow at the Harvard Law School Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She received her law degree summa cum laude from Duke Law School and holds a master’s degree in political science from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University.

Thomas Streeter studies the Internet and media at the University of Vermont. His Selling the Air (University of Chicago Press 1996) won the McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communication Policy Research. Other publications include “The Moment of Wired” (Critical Inquiry) and “The Romantic Self and the Politics of Internet Commercialization” (Cultural Studies). He has taught at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Southern California, and in 2000–2001 was a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Redefining the Possible   Thomas Streeter     2
How the Internet Taught Me That You Have the Power   Howard Dean     15
Theories: Technology, the Grassroots, and Network Generativity   Thomas Streeter   Zephyr Teachout     23
Stories of the Campaign
How a Blogger and the Dean Campaign Discovered Each Other   Jerome Armstrong     38
Something Much Bigger Than a Candidate   Zephyr Teachout     55
Swept Up in "The Perfect Storm"   Bobby Clark     74
A Coder Becomes a Political Activist   Aldon Hynes     86
Blogging for America   Mathew Gross     100
The Meetup Story   Michael Silberman     110
Experiences of a Grassroots Activist   Pam Paul     130
The Lessons of Generation Dean   Amanda Michel     147
Fund-Raising: Hitting Home Runs on and off the Internet   Larry Biddle     166
A Web Activist Finds Dean   Nicco Mele     179
E-Mail: Sign Your Own Name   Kelly Nuxoll     192
Participatory Political Culture: Everyone's a Kingpin If He or She Wants to Be   Josh Koenig     201
An Organizer's View of the InternetCampaign   Zack Exley     212
After New Hampshire   Kelly Nuxoll     220
From Media Politics to Networked Politics: The Internet and the Political Process   Araba Sey   Manuel Castells     225
The Legacies of Dean's Internet Campaign   Zephyr Teachout   Thomas Streeter     233
Index     244
About the Contributors     251
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