- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2004

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Howard Dean ousted campaign manager Joe Trippi yesterday and replaced him with Roy Neel, who worked for former President Bill Clinton and for Al Gore in the 2000 election.

Mr. Dean told congressional supporters in a conference call yesterday that Mr. Neel, who joined the campaign as a senior adviser Jan. 1, is the new chief executive officer of the campaign.

In his final entry at the campaign Web site he kept at www.blogforamerica.com, Mr. Trippi announced his resignation and told Mr. Dean’s Internet supporters not to abandon the campaign.

“I may be out of the campaign, but I’m not out of the fight. Don’t give up — stay with Howard Dean’s cause to change America,” he said.

The shake-up comes after Mr. Dean’s collapse in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, where he came in a distant second after having led in polls for the last few months.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry, fresh on the heels of his Tuesday night victory, flew to Missouri as he began a weeklong effort to compete in all seven of next Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses.

The other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination were evaluating where they have the best chance to win a state or two and gain enough momentum to make the nomination process last months instead of weeks.

In Tuesday’s primary, Mr. Kerry won with 38 percent of the vote, or 84,239 votes. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was second with 26 percent, or 57,788 votes; Wesley Clark, a retired Army general, was third with 12 percent and 27,254 votes; and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina was fourth with 26,415 votes, also good for 12 percent.

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut garnered 9 percent, or 18,829 votes, while Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich was sixth with 1 percent, or 3,104 votes. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who didn’t campaign in the primary, drew 345 votes.

But Mr. Dean’s second-place showing, after his third-place Iowa performance, has left his campaign reeling. Now, even though Mr. Dean has organizations in the states with contests Tuesday and has run ads in most, he seems to be partially looking past that date and on to Feb. 7 and Feb. 17.

Michigan and Washington hold caucuses on Feb. 7, while Wisconsin holds its primary on Feb. 17. Over the next five days, Mr. Dean has two stops set for Michigan, one for Washington and one for Wisconsin. No other candidate has travel plans for those states this week.

“We compete everywhere,” Mr. Dean told NBC’s “Today” show yesterday. “We’re going to be in 13 states, including the District of Columbia, in the next 12 days … We want delegates from every state, and we’re going to work as hard as we possibly can to get them.”

Mr. Kerry plans to visit all seven Feb. 3 states in the next six days, beginning yesterday in Missouri and ending Monday in Arizona.

Of the delegates won in Iowa’s caucuses and New Hampshire’s primary, Mr. Kerry leads with 30, followed by Mr. Dean with 16 and Mr. Edwards with 15.

But the seven Feb. 3 states offer 269 delegates, with Arizona’s 55 delegates and Missouri’s 74 delegates offering more than Iowa and New Hampshire combined. South Carolina, which will gain the bulk of news coverage, accounts for 45 delegates.

Mr. Edwards has set a definite bar for next week.

“I’m going to win South Carolina. I need to win South Carolina, to answer your question, and I will win South Carolina,” Mr. Edwards told Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” program.

In addition to South Carolina, his campaign hopes to do well in Oklahoma, pick up a share of the large number of delegates from the wide-open Missouri race, do well in the Southwest and see where he stands going into the Feb. 10 primaries in Tennessee and Virginia.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, whose fifth-place showing in New Hampshire did nothing to dampen his public pronouncements of viability, sent an e-mail to supporters yesterday declaring he’s moving on to friendlier states.

Mr. Lieberman had planned to fly to Delaware, where he has sewn up the major endorsements in that state, and was seen as the front-runner. But poor weather forced the senator to fly instead to Oklahoma, where he campaigned yesterday and plans to campaign this morning.

For his encore to New Hampshire, Mr. Clark yesterday visited four states — South Carolina, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. Those states, along with North Dakota, are his focus for Tuesday.

Campaign spokesman Bill Buck said New Hampshire’s results didn’t change their game plan from earlier, which called for them to skip the Iowa caucuses and, after competing in New Hampshire, try to win in the South and Southwest. He said Mr. Clark is first or second in their own polling in all the Feb. 3 states other than Missouri and Delaware.

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