Party-poopers

At one level, this Washington Post piece about the partying habits of Democratic campaign staffers in New Hampshire can be viewed as classic inside fluffball. However, the article also makes a point — the Dean staffers don’t party with anyone else. They therefore violate what Post reporter Hanna Rosin says is the unofficial creed of young staffers who work the New Hampshire primary: “By day they are rivals, press secretaries out-spinning each other, field directors fighting for every vote, interns standing at busy traffic corners holding their campaign posters, shouting each other down. But half an hour from midnight, they are fellow partiers, bumming cigarettes, buying each other beers, bound by the weird facts of their daily existence: long, long days, addiction to campaign adrenaline, month-to-month leases.” This creed is based on two truths. First, many staffers eventually will want to work with the staffers of the winning candidate. Second, when it comes to partying, the more the merrier. But the Dean people apparently reject these tenets and choose to keep to themselves.
Rival staffers aren’t amused, although they seem more offended by Dean than by his youthful crew. Says one campaign official, “I’ve done a cursory survey of my staff. None of them would go work for Dean. They hate the guy. His arrogance. The things he says. The way he insults us, like he’s the only one who’s a real Democrat.”
Rosin’s piece even provides us with some interesting inside softball. As she tells it, “In the August softball tournament finals between the staffs of Dean and John Kerry, Dean called in nearly every 10 minutes for results. The stakes went far beyond the diamond: ‘We had them down 13-2 and they came back to win,’ Dean wrote his staff after they lost. ‘They will be just as determined on Jan. 27. This time however the result will be different.'”
But my favorite part of the article is where Kerry’s press secretary hurls the ultimate insult at the Dean staff. Asked what he thinks Dean’s people are doing on New Year’s Eve, the Kerry guy contemptuously responds, “blogging.”

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