Dean Campaign Officials Don’t Quite Remember Charles O’Byrne

Photo: AP

In 2004, while he was suffering from his non-tax-paying, clinical depression, David Paterson’s chief of staff, Charles O’Byrne, worked as a speechwriter for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. Or at least that’s the job he says he had with the former Vermont governor, according to numerous press reports. Two senior campaign workers, however, say they don’t recall O’Byrne writing speeches for Dean. Joe Trippi, who was campaign manager, says he remembers O’Byrne was “involved” with the Dean operation but doesn’t know what his responsibilities were. Dean’s policy director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, looking at a photograph of O’Byrne on the Website of the New York Times, says he can’t place the face at all. “The name doesn’t ring a bell,” he says. “I’ve never seen him before in my life. He wasn’t speechwriting for Governor Dean. I can say that pretty definitively.”