From a DNC email:
How we'll beat John McCain
Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are done. John McCain will be the Republican nominee -- he's the only one with a reasonable path to the nomination.
So how do we beat him? We stand up -- right now -- start fighting, and show the American people that he's not who they think he is.
We can't wait for Hillary or Barack to win the nomination. Now that the Republicans have a candidate, the dollars are starting to pour in from special interests who will do anything to beat the Democratic nominee. They're just waiting for us to decide so they can start smearing [...]
John McCain is a media darling, but don't trust his carefully-crafted image - he's worked for years to brand himself. From Iraq to health care, Social Security to special interest tax cuts to ethics, he's promising nothing more than a third Bush term.
After championing campaign finance reform and ethics legislation to score political points, he now has a staggering amount of lobbyists involved in every aspect of his campaign. In fact, two of the top three sources for John McCain's campaign cash are D.C. lobbying firms, and he looked the other way as Jack Abramoff bought and paid for the Republican Party and the Culture of Corruption.
On immigration reform, he's run as far to the right as he can, aligning himself with the most extreme elements of the Republican Party.
On the war, McCain scoffed at Bush's call to leave troops in Iraq for 50 years, saying "Make it a hundred!"
On a woman's right to choose, McCain has vowed to appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade.
On the economy, one of the issues that the American people care most about, McCain has said: "I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated."
We can't afford four more years with a President who drives the economy into the ground. We can't afford four more years with a President who fights an endless war in Iraq. We can't afford four more years with a President who gives tax cuts to companies who ship jobs overseas; with a President who can't get every American the health care they deserve; with a President we just can't trust.
This is extremely smart to be thinking about this immediately. In 1996 the Clinton campaign defined Bob Dole so fast it made the general election campaign irrelevant. And the increased technology and the ability to go viral will improve upon that feat. The progressive movement has done a very good job of defining the Republican candidates, and Dean's frames on McCain are pretty accurate, and are already being seen in the traditional media. "He'll make Cheney look like Gandhi." "Less jobs, more wars." You can see these being used all the way to November.
Howard Dean is doing right by the party. I don't think Hillary or Obama will keep him around come 2009, but his 50-state strategy is too a major part of the story, in terms of driving turnout in all these primary states. They should commit to keeping that structure in place; it's been enormously beneficial.
You can help out Dean here.