WASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's campaign manager, resigned on Wednesday after Dean named a former lobbyist and friend of Al Gore's to head his embattled bid for the presidency, the campaign said.
Dean appointed Roy Neel as the campaign's chief executive officer in the wake of Dean's poor showings in both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, despite spending nearly $40 million on advertising in those states.
"I am deeply grateful to Joe Trippi, who has decided to leave the campaign," Dean said in a statement on Thursday. "Joe has made enormous contributions not just to our campaign but to American politics, revolutionizing the way in which people are brought into the democratic process and helping hundreds of thousands of people to believe in political change again."
Trippi is credited with leveraging the Internet to build grassroots support, which helped catapult Dean into top contender status in the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses. For now, the campaign has temporarily suspended its advertising. Campaign officials said they planned to resume advertising in states where they believe Dean can win.