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Dean's legacy

Howard Dean's presidential campaign ended this week much as it began: lagging in the polls and nearly broke. But along the way, the campaign used the Internet in sometimes radically new ways -- a legacy that experts predict will live on as they try to divine the lessons of Dean's innovative if, ultimately, unsuccessful bid.

Was it the political equivalent of Pets.com, the widely mocked Internet start-up from the late 1990s that ran on little more than hype? Was it a glimpse into the future of campaigning -- a blueprint that other candidates will someday adopt as a matter of course? Or was it something else entirely?

Few quibble with Dean's success raising money online. The former Vermont governor entered the race a virtual unknown, with little in the way of a national fundraising network. But he raised $41 million in 2003 -- much of it online -- eclipsing all his Democratic rivals and breaking former president Bill Clinton's party record for money raised in a quarter. -- Dean Leaves Legacy of Online Campaign (washingtonpost.com)