One hundred days into his tenure as the high-energy, higher-decibel chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean is in trouble with party moneybags. Some big donors are sitting on their wallets.
The bottom line: Republicans have $26.2 million in the bank vs. $7.2 million for the Dems.
According to his defenders, Dean is doing just fine in the money wars. Internet and direct-mail appeals have started pulling in $1 million a week, says party spokeswoman Karen Finney, and the chairman 'is pleased overall with [the pace of] fund-raising.' Former DNC Chair Steve Grossman, a close ally, says Dean 'is becoming more comfortable with [asking for money] by the day.' Dean may yet find ways to build bridges to reluctant donors, but few think he'll ever be another Terry McAuliffe, the human money machine whom he replaced. 'McAuliffe was like a vacuum cleaner,' says Rutgers University political scientist Ross K. Baker. 'Dean is kind of a dustpan.'