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Wednesday, September 18, 2002


Who’s for real in Democrats’ race: Iowa caucus list shows Edwards,Dean, Kerry are serious entries

posted by Jerome at Wednesday, September 18, 2002 permalink View blog reactions
Shelia's list is the subject of the article, a carefully culled and cross-checked computer list of the 105,000 adult Iowa Democrats who have attended presidential caucuses-- The cost — complete with phone numbers, post office boxes, cell phone numbers (the works) is $65,000. So far, Dean and Edwards have been the only ones to buy the list (which is a sure sign of running. Kerry is apparently about to buy the list. Here's Freidman's presentation of Dean:

Dean — son of a stockbroker, Yale grad, physician who moved to rural Vermont to practice medicine — has a “narrative,” too: the Good Doctor who wants to heal society’s wounds, especially its medical programs. Small and compact, with a low-to-the-ground wrestler’s build, Dean has a no-nonsense sense about him, and a combative streak. Though he is a fiscal conservative (and a proud opponent of gun control) he is an unabashed liberal in other ways: for civil unions, for Hillary-style “national health” care and very dubious about U.S. military action in Iraq. He isn’t on the floor of the Senate to debate the issue, which, from his point of view, is a good thing. Doing it the old-fashioned way, Dean is traveling the key “early” states exhaustively, meeting people one or two at a time, planning the grass-roots seeds he hopes will sprout at the right moment. His model isn’t really Clinton, it’s even more antique: Jimmy Carter.
Dean’s rise is a mixed blessing at best for Kerry. Now there will be two New Englanders competing for votes in the always crucial New Hampshire primary; on the other hand, the burden won’t be as great on him to win it convincingly. Edwards just needs to stay in the mix there as he points toward his own must-win backyard brawl in South Carolina. All of which means: In 2004, gaining “momentum” in the Iowa caucuses is going to be critical. That hasn’t always been the case in recent years. It will be this time. Which, in turn, makes Sheila’s List a bargain.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.