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Wednesday, February 26, 2003


Buchanan and Press: Dean is the "Bull" of the cattle calls

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, February 26, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Teddy Davis sends in this transcript of an item that appeared on Buchanan & Press yesterday. Teddy writes:

Craig Crawford of The Hotline called Dean "the bull of the cattle calls," correctly pointing out that Dean has done the best at every cattle call of the season from Linn County to NARAL to the DNC Winter Meeting.

There was also criticism of Dean for his foreign policy pronouncements.

I think Dean's foreign policy speech at Drake University was well-thought through and offered an inspiring vision of a tough but smart foreign policy. But Dean's critics have a point when they point out the inconsistencies in his off-the-cuff comments.

The campaign needs to direct people towards his official position.

I think Teddy's analysis is spot-on. Dean needs to explain his positions clearly, because at present they do make him look vulnerable. Here is the transcript:

PRESS: They [ABC NEWS "THE NOTE"] say the big winner was Howard Dean, followed closely by Dick Gephardt, followed closely by John Edwards, but that Dean walked away with the prize of the delegates there. Do you agree?

CRAWFORD: Yes. And that's been the case in all these cattle calls.

He is by no -- there's just no question he is the bull of the cattle calls. He has been winning them all, no matter where it is, here in Washington or out in Iowa. And we've got another one coming in New Hampshire Thursday.

The thing about Dean is, he is coming across to these Democrats -- of course, this was DNC, the platoon leaders from around the country. He is coming across as the No. 1 liberal in the race and a straight talker on the war on Iraq. And I think he has been in that free zone for insurgents, where nobody really criticizes him or challenges what they say, but that needs to happen.

PRESS: But, if I could follow up on that, the read is, from people that I have talked to, is that, because of his stance on the war -- and Iowa has a big peace -- or anti-war, let's say, delegation among Democrats there -- and because of his being a governor to Vermont, a neighbor state to New Hampshire, that Howard Dean could win Iowa and could win New Hampshire.


PRESS: Wouldn't that give him a huge leg up?

CRAWFORD: Well, of course. You ask a lot of DNC members at this thing Saturday, you think he could win Iowa and New Hampshire? Yes, sure. Do you think he could win the nomination? No, he couldn't win the nomination. I don't know how you square that one.


BUCHANAN: They better wake it up, yes. Listen...

CRAWFORD: But on the war, there are some real questions about his position. He is coming across as a straight talker. But if you look at what he said, it's all over the lot.

BUCHANAN: But, look, it seems to me, what he is doing -- there's a couple of routes to the nomination. One is the establishment route, which Kerry has taken. Lieberman has got to take it. But there is a populist liberal anti-war route. And on that track, you have got basically two guys, Kucinich and Dean.

And Dean got out there first. And is he far up that track. And that track got the nomination -- he didn't win in November -- for one George Stanley McGovern. And it seems to so me, Dean is doing -- going the one way he can go and the only way he can go and win this nomination

CRAWFORD: Well, one thing he is doing is, he's protected himself in the words for later on if he does want to moderate, because, if you look at what he is saying, guys, it's not as clear and it's certainly not as anti-war as he is given credit for.

Just last week, for example, on Thursday, he talked to one reporter who quoted him, saying that he supported war if the U.N. approved it and sent troops. He is adding that qualification. They have to send troops. The very next day, he gave an interview and said just the opposite, said under no circumstances did he support military action.

BUCHANAN: But, look, the point is that, frankly, the war has got to go badly, it seems to me, for Howard Dean to win this. In other words, people have got to be anti-war by the time the primary has got to come around next year or they're not going to go with him. If it's a big success, it's Kerry and Lieberman and these guys. And so he is betting on that.

And it seems to me, he is the only guy betting over there. And it's not a bad bet, since all the other guys are on the other horse.

CRAWFORD: He is definitely the contrarian.


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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.