Trippi was great at engineering the machine that would get the most out of a given message; he was not so good at devising the message itself. Now there was clearly a point in the campaign when that didn't matter, since the machine was the message--i.e., the idea of bringing new blood into the political system and making an end-run around the Washington establishment. But, as we found out in Iowa last week, when it came time to actually pick a candidate, voters wanted a worldview, not just a set of procedural innovations. With Trippi at the helm, the campaign didn't make that leap until the eve of New Hampshire, by which point it was probably too late.Note: They won't admit it, but TNR reads FauxPolitik first.
Hoffer's famous leadership chain holds true in any number of situations. You need your brilliant revolutionary to begin the rise. But after that, you need a cold-blooded disciplinarian to run the "permanent revolution." (Okay, Castro was able to do both, but only with an established, heavyweight, "permanent revolution" world power backing him.)
More: So uber-insider (Scheiber calls him "the grayest of the gray suits") and Gore advisor Roy Neel will be Dean's enforcer, to bring some discipline to a flabby, decentralized machine. You'd think this wouldn't go over terribly well with the Deaniacs -- if they were inclined to notice, that is.