Deborah Norville landed an exclusive interview with deposed Dean campaign mastermind Joe Trippi last night. No, Trippi did not guest on Inside Edition, although Norville's MSNBC show last night also featured news of "another Michael Jackson bombshell."
Shedding tears more than once, Trippi openly discussed how Howard Dean broke the news that he was hiring Roy Neel, Trippi's replacement, and graciously insisted that Dean would still become the Democratic nominee.
"TRIPPI: He said that he made a decision and wanted to bring Roy Neel in. I know Roy very well. I like him quite a bit, and then the governor made clear he wanted me to stay on in some other role, and I just told him that I thought the best thing for the campaign would be for me to leave. That I still supported him. I told him that he really had inspired me in Iowa about a year ago.
NORVILLE (consoling the teary Trippi here): It's pretty emotional, isn't it?
TRIPPI: Well, when you give something -- as much of your life and the sacrifices you make, and he really did, and he still does. And I really believe he will be the nominee of this party. I think, you know, you always go through ... I've seen dark days, and you know a campaign with this much -- this campaign has more heart than any of the other campaigns out there. Again, I think it's the heart of the American people that have joined with it are going to make a big difference."
Lest we think Trippi's losing it, writer Lisa DePaulo who penned that timely profile of Trippi for GQ, says Joe is prone to tears even on good days. Appearing right after Trippi on Norville's show, she said: "You see why he was the heart and soul of this movement, you know, how much he really genuinely cared. And I'm not surprised. I mean Joe is incredibly intense, incredibly passionate. In fact, the first day we met, seven minutes into it he was crying about something. And this was during the hey day of the campaign."