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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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Friday, November 15, 2002


Dean for America

posted by Jerome at Friday, November 15, 2002 permalink View blog reactions

Some excerpts:

Above the Vermont Pub & Brewery in Burlington is the headquarters for a presidential hopeful. Vermont Governor Howard Dean, just back from his 19th visit to neighboring New Hampshire, is carrying a television. It's something new in the Dean For America office that's otherwise stuffed with old furniture.

"That I had in my doctor's office for 20 years," says Dean, pointing to a green couch that greets visitors when they walk into Dean for America headquarters.

"Calls come in here, volunteers of various sorts run this it's fundraising, it's outreach, field operations". The campaign now has six fulltime paid staff members. "(This is) the nerve center. Abby has the West, Erin has the east. Of course it will get a little bigger than this".

Binders contain the names of contacts and connections across the country that are helping the doctor Governor. Money is a must. "I have money coming in. Downstairs in the car. Fundraising. Carolyn Dwyer".

The candidate's office is the smallest. The democrat who has a reputation of frugality is about to get a surprise. "And my office. Where did I get my chair? Where did that come from?"

Dean also was pleasently surprised by a new national poll. "You would not think I would be jubliant about four percent, but four percent is four percent."

...The midterm elections were staggering to Democrats. With the Republicans controlling the White House, Senate and House. Dean says it's time for democrats to start acting like democrats. "I think the Democrats have got to stop being a shadow of the Republican party".

Dean says it was a mistake for Democrats to vote for the President's tax cuts. Dean says the money was needed for social programs. "We need to be much bolder and braver. We need to talk about issues like health insurance instead of fighting about the patients bill of rights. We need to talk about fully funding special education instead of passing unfunded mandates. We need a total remake of domestic policy".

It's a policy Dean says should be based on balanced budgets, investments in children, health care for all and renewable energy. "They are not talked about. No one in Washington is bringing them up. They are all terrified of them, they think they are too far to the left. I think we have been co-oped by the right. When our party is supporting the President's agenda there is something the matter with that. The president's agenda is not good for America and we ought to be bold enough to say so".


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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.