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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002


Governor on quirky, quixotic quest for the presidency

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, October 22, 2002 permalink View blog reactions
Governor on quirky, quixotic quest for the presidency - By JULIE MASON, Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle

This is an interesting profile, in the Houston Chron of all places. It describes Dean in fairly flippant terms:

A 53-year-old physician whose wife is also a physician, Dean wears corny ties and gives windy, detailed answers to questions about his cornerstone issues -- children, health care and balanced budgets. When he travels, he stays at the home of a local supporter or party activist, where he dutifully makes his bed.

but is the first piece I've seen in a while that mentions the Bill Bradley comparison. Specifically, the article says:

Less optimistic but still positive comparisons also can be made of Dean to defeated former presidential candidates Bruce Babbitt and Bill Bradley -- Democrats outside the mainstream who attracted limited but fervent support.

"I think there are some similarities between me and Bill Bradley," Dean said, "although I am shorter."

The most interesting part of this article, though, is the sunny analysis of the impending Iowa caucuses. excerpt:

Few think Dean really has a chance, although a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses 14 months from now could raise his profile. Badamo, a progressive who is making his own long-shot run for the Vermont governor's seat, put Dean's prospects for winning the nomination on par with his own.

"When I first heard about it, I gave him about a zero chance, and I would still rate his chances very low, although he is really getting around and working hard," Badamo said. "He's just a little guy from a little state."

Vermont, always a quirky state politically, in the past two years has wielded significant influence on national politics. The 2001 defection of Sen. Jim Jeffords from the Republican Party delivered control of the Senate to the Democrats and severely curtailed Bush's control of the national political agenda.

As a result of the Senate realignment, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont's other senator, ascended to the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, where Democrats have stymied White House efforts to nominate conservatives such as Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen to federal benches.

But quirky can work in Iowa, and Dean, who has visited more than any other prospective Democratic contender, is managing to impress some of the state's Democratic Party opinion makers.

"He's an interesting, different kind of guy, the kind with not much name recognition," said Dennis Goldford, political scientist at Iowa's Drake University. "But the caucus system works well for candidates like that, where a lot is accomplished through word of mouth, personal contact and retail politics. This is where you can do that."


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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.