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Thursday, November 21, 2002


In Proxy Bid, Vt. Gov Taps AIPAC Vet: Married to Jew, Courting Others

posted by Jerome at Thursday, November 21, 2002 permalink View blog reactions
In Forward, an interesting piece that gives detailed information about Dean's religious feelings. Pro-Israel to the same extent he is pro-Taiwan, yet a visceral connection with Israel (I wonder if Dean will come out in support of Ben-Eliezer over Sharon? I sure hope) . After the religious details, an excerpt from the Grossman angle:

Grossman, the former AIPAC and DNC official, said Dean would appeal to American Jews because Jews, in effect, like doctors: "He is a physician who built a track record on health care... The Jewish community will respond." Grossman said Jews would also approve of Dean's stance in support of civil unions for gay Vermonters because of the Jewish affinity for civil and human rights.

"In order for him to be totally credible to the Jewish community in issues, people will want to see a well-developed foreign policy on Israel and the Middle East and be supportive of Israel's effort to maintain its qualitative edge," Grossman said. "He will have to address this and no doubt will. Based on private conversations I am absolutely confident about where he is ideologically and substantively in bringing him to the American Jewish community."

Grossman said all Americans would relate to Dean because "he's not a career politician. He still sees himself as a citizen." He described Dean, who has a reputation around the Vermont statehouse for being thin-skinned, as "strong, blunt, likeable and decisive."

"No one's going to be elected president if people don't like him," Grossman said, demurring when asked if the remark was a jab at the Democratic frontrunner, former vice president Al Gore.

According to New York political consultant Henry Sheinkopf, Dean's naming of the Massachusetts-based Grossman to his campaign is smart politics, especially if the first primary of 2004, New Hampshire, shapes up as a strongly regional contest featuring Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

"It gives him more credibility nationally, it gives him more credibility regionally and it assists him in raising money," Sheinkopf said of the move. Dean's best hope is if the primary stays regional in focus, Sheinkopf said; otherwise he has minimal chances of emerging in a Democratic field that includes Gore, Senators John Edwards of North Carolina and Tom Daschle of South Dakota.


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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.