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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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Wednesday, December 18, 2002


An outsider worth backing,,7-516722,00.html

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, December 18, 2002 permalink View blog reactions

Courtesy of Damian McBride in the UK, comes this article in the London Times. It is interesting to see a UK perspective on the Presidential race, since the leaership of America is of vital interest to our greatest ally. Also note that Dean's candidacy is being taken seriously in Israel as well as the UK - Dean was recently in Israel and met with Ariel Sharon.

The article illustrates how Dean uses his position on the issues in true opposition mode, with a clear statement of how he is different from Bush, and why that difference is positive. For example, he links Bush's incestous environmental (lack of) policy to foreign policy andthe War on Terrorism:

Vermont also has one of the most progressive environmental programmes in America, anathema to a White House administration dominated by former oil executives. “The President has no energy policy, so he is beholden to the Saudis and cannot stop Saudi money being channelled to Hamas,” Dr Dean says. “This lack of an energy policy is leading to Israelis being blown up. I advocate much more reliance on solar and wind energy, and improved fuel efficiency in cars. I am not anti-car. I have two SUVs (the gas-guzzling Sports Utility Vehicles) myself.

This is an elegant example of political kung-fu. It is Dean's willingness to go on the offensive that separates him from the other candidates in the Democratic field, a point that is heavily made by an accompanying piece in the Times called "Six men who stand in Howard's way". It is clear that Dean is generating as much buzz outside the US as within, and this bodes well for his efforts to raise money and his profile.


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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.