Wednesday, December 18, 2002
The Doctor Is In, and Busy Hanging a Bigger Shingle http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/18/politics/campaigns/18DEAN.html
When former Vice President Al Gore and Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes" ran through the potential Democratic field as Mr. Gore dropped out of the race on Sunday night, neither mentioned Mr. Dean.
Yet Mr. Dean, 54, hopes he can mimic the maverick victory of another little-known governor, Jimmy Carter. His standing in some early polls in New Hampshire, while in single digits, has been comparable to that of richer, more prominent contenders like Representative Richard A. Gephardt and Senator John Edwards. And his dark-horse status and scrappy personality have combined to let him take stands — like his call to roll back almost all of President Bush's $1.3 billion tax cut — that make him stand out.
"The disadvantage is all the other guys in the race on the Democratic side have national fund-raising organizations; I don't," Mr. Dean said at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan the other day, between fund-raising meetings and speeches. "The big advantage is I'm a governor. They can say they sponsored a bill, they tried to get something through. I did it."
He added: "The Democrats can't win unless we have somebody who's a) willing to stand up for Democratic Party principles, b) has a track record to show it's not just talk and c) can directly communicate with the American people about things that are important to them."
Mr. Dean has hired the consulting firm of Joe Trippi, a veteran of the campaigns of Gary Hart and Mr. Gephardt; and a campaign manager, Rick Ridder, another Hart veteran, who will start work next month. He has also discussed strategy with former Presidents Carter and Clinton. He has been to Iowa 16 times this year, New Hampshire 20 and South Carolina 5. The three have the first contests on the presidential calendar, and party leaders there by no means dismiss him
Dick Harpootlian, the South Carolina Democratic chairman, said: "When I say `He could be the nominee,' people look at me strangely, but I think he's a player."
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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.