Howard Dean Vs. Joe Trippi in Florida

Howard Dean's 2004 presidential run is still talked about as the campaign that brought politics into the digital age, and the man who collects most of the praise, in that department, is Joe Trippi, the campaign manager credited with the digital vision.

But the two now find themselves on opposite sides of the Florida Senate race.

Trippi, it's been reported, is working for Jeff Greene, a billionaire self-funder who just announced that he will will challenge Rep. Kendrick Meek in the Democratic primary.(Trippi is among a brain trust said to include Democratic strategists Doug Schoen and Paul Blank; news of Greene's bid broke last night.)

Coincidentally, Dean is backing Meek. He sent out a fundraising e-mail to supporters of Meek's campaign this morning, mere hours after Greene's bid became official (in a YouTube announcement dated Thursday).

"I am supporting just one candidate in the Florida Senate race: Kendrick Meek," Dean wrote. The former DNC chairman offered that statement as a refutation of any notion that he might be supporting Florida Gov. Charlie Crist--"You may have heard a ridiculous - and completely false - rumor that I'm backing Charlie Crist," Dean opened the e-mail. Crist left the GOP for an independent bid on Thursday.

But the assertion of supporting "just one candidate" sounded a bit odd, when taken out of its context and considered in another, rather obvious one: that Democrats now have two choices in Florida, and that Meek's new competitor is being guided by Dean's own former campaign guru.