Howard Dean is shaking up his campaign staff, and campaign manager Joe Trippi is a goner. The AP reports that former Gore aide Roy Neel is coming on as campaign chief. Earlier, Dean told the AP's Nedra Pickler that he was considering revamping his staff, but "I'm not asking anybody to leave. There may be some additions, but nobody is leaving, at least I hope they're not leaving."
It seems, though, that Joe Trippi is taking the fall for Dean's consecutive losses in Iowa and New Hampshire. Trippi told the Dean staff in Burlington today: "I may be out of the campaign, but I'm not out of the fight." Dean reportedly asked Trippi to stay on payroll in some lesser capacity, but Trippi said no.
Deaniacs hanging out at blogforamerica.org had different reactions to the ousting of Trippi, who was an immensely popular figure among the faithful. One blogger saw the move as evidence of Dean's fighting instincts. "Thank God, I say. This is not to disparage those who have worked so hard on staff to date, but fresh ideas are needed for the next phase, just as a rocket needs three phases to get into outer space ... It sounds to me like Howard is still in 'Full Bore' mode, while some of his staff were falling back into 'Prevent Defense' mode. Take it to 'em, Howard!" Another posting simply said: "Trippi got fired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad move in my opinion."