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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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Monday, December 16, 2002


Gore won't run in 2004

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, December 16, 2002 permalink View blog reactions
I confess to being surprised by Gore's decision, just like everyone else who thought his Barbara Walters interview was part of a staged PR rollout.:

"I personally have the energy and drive and ambition to make another campaign, but I don't think it's the right thing for me to do," Gore told CBS's "60 Minutes."

"I think that a campaign that would be a rematch between myself and President Bush would inevitably involve a focus on the past that would in some measure distract from the focus on the future that I think all campaigns have to be about."
Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont officially declared in the spring that he was running. "What it does is make sure there's no front-runner," Dean said after learning of Gore's decision.

The candidate who benefits most is Howard Dean. The true impact of Dean on the field was always filtered out by inclusion of Gore in polls - it will be interesting to see how Dean's numbers are affected by Gore's decision.

Dean has to make the cut for the Democratic primary debates. If he can get on stage, it will be an enormous advantage, because his position on the issues is much more strategically sound and honest than any of his competitors. And with the 800-lb gorilla of a Gore candidacy gone, Dean is no longer eclipsed.

And, in a larger sense, the pessimistic dismissal of Dean's presidential ambitions by his home state political crowd is now seriously undercut - his detractrs at home in Vermont have long since asumed Dean was angling for a cabinet position (most likely Health and Human Services). With Gore gone, Dean can be more independent.

Overall, this is a huge boost for Dean's campaign. The next round of polls will be critical.

UPDATE: More coments from Dean, as related in this WaPo article:

Dean, who went on to assert in an interview that in Gore's absence, he is "the only candidate who opposed the president's request for congressional authorization of military force against Iraq and the only one advocating universal health insurance. It makes it easier for me to distinguish myself from the field."

UPDATE: Jeff Cooper has some thoughts on how this might affect Dean as well.


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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.