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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, January 20, 2003


A Doctor's Certainty

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, January 20, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

This is a weekend Washimngton Post story on Dean - another first-person narrative from someone attending Dean's speech at the National Press Club (Charles has previously blogged extensive coverage and photos of that event). Fairly straight forward coverage, cautiously optimistic, draws all teh usual historical parallels. The meat of the article is Dean's focus on his potential base of support:

"I intend to win," Dean says, which is what they all say -- except he lists his constituencies. One, of course, is gays, who are grateful for his signing of Vermont's civil unions law.

This could make white southerners see red, but Dean says those alienated could be balanced out by a showing by blacks, who he says "respond to my message that I want everyone to be free." One of his African American Yale roommates is organizing for the South Carolina primary.

He thinks he will appeal to fiscal conservatives, because he is the only Democrat in the field who has balanced a budget: He was governor of Vermont. He'll have doctors, he says. They would obviously like one of their own to preside in the overhaul of the health insurance situation.

A less defined constituency, and one that would not mind his deficits of fame and fortune, is that group of people who have a low threshold for guff in their political candidates. So far Dean is the class of the field in that respect. "They're looking for authenticity," he said.

I also liked the clever question, "Will he just provide therapy for liberals whose only comfort is derived from "The West Wing's" lefty Yankee president, Josiah Bartlet?" Guilty as charged, perhaps.


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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.