Dean Obama 4 America

Among the numerous unofficial “draft” Barack Obama websites that have been popping up lately, one struck me as particularly professional looking:

The company that created the website, it turns out, is registered to Joel Berman, whose email address is for a California-based company called Catapult Strategies. That’s the company co-founded by Howard Dean’s former campaign manager Joe Trippi, who now works there “on a project-by-project basis,” according to his bio.

I called Berman to ask whether the website was part of some potentially more involved relationship with Obama, but after I introduced myself, he hurried me off the phone. (He said he was going into a meeting and would call me back.)

On a related note, Ben reported earlier today that Obama has been reaching out to his inner circle indicating he was indeed going to run for president, and Obama blog ads are up and running.

UPDATE: Jude Barry, the company’s CEO just called and said the site is a personal venture of his, and that Trippi is not involved. He also said no one else at the company is working in any capacity with another 2008 contender.

And when asked about why he put up the site, he said, “We’re trying to convince Obama to run and help him out.”

Fair enough.

He is the same Jude Barry, for the record, who was Howard Dean’s California state director and who worked on Dick Gephardt and Gary Hart’s presidential campaigns in the 1980s.

— Azi Paybarah Dean Obama 4 America