While parousing Ben Smith's blog and watching Barack Obama's most recent ad, I was reminded of something I've noticed before: the similarity between Obama's branding, stategy and messaging and that of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.
First, it is interesting to note that back in 2003 prospective Senate candidate Barack Obama was an early backer of Dean and the favour was retuned in Obama being one of the first "Dean Dozen" in 2004 where the former Vermont governor directed his supporters to contribute to the campaigns of like minded Democrats around the country.
Second, we see Obama use the line "take our country back", a Howard Dean special, run as a strong outsider, fund his campaign with a large number of individual donations, and his campaign committee is even named the same was ("Obama for America" vs. "Dean for America"; as was his 2004 Senate campaign dubbed "Obama for Illinois").
One wonders if his campaign will face a fate similar to Dean? Clinton has the establishment support, Edwards and Dodd the union support and my guy Biden (with Edwards and Clinton) bests him in endorsements all putting them in better positions to mobilize the troops in Iowa. Will Obama's greener troops similarly have a hard time getting the vote out as Dean's did before him? And will a third or worse showing in Iowa derail him in the states that follow as happened Dean?
Food for thought.