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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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Thursday, March 06, 2003


Dean Says He'll Stick to Anti-War Stance

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, March 06, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

Dean has clearly recognized the danger in being labeloed the "anti-war candidate" or the "hyper liberal candidate". He is clearly being aggressive in trying to counter that emerging conventional wisdom:

"I think I'll have traction no matter what happens," the former Vermont governor said in an interview Tuesday. "I represent a whole generation of Democrats that has felt beaten down."

The 54-year-old physician said of his rivals for the nomination: "Everybody else is afraid of taking Democratic positions." But he said, "There is no reason to be timid about what we believe in; a timid messenger is a losing messenger."

Dean noted at a Washington fund-raiser Tuesday that some in the media have taken to calling him the liberal Democrat in the race.

"Well, if being a liberal is balancing the budget, that's fine with me," Dean told a crowd. "And I'll bet it's fine with most Americans. If being a liberal is joining Canada and Britain and France and Germany and Japan and Italy and Israel in having universal health insurance for all of its citizens, then you may call me what you want."

And Dean said if it is liberal to fight the Bush administration's education policy for establishing federal standards for local school boards, "then you may call me what you want. I'm proud of it."

During the Democratic National Committee meeting last month, Dean drew loud applause when he said he was from "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Since then, some have wondered why Dean failed to credit the politician best known for using that line the late Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, a lawmaker proud of his liberal credentials.

Dean said Tuesday that he used to credit California State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, a Democrat who represents Santa Monica, with the line.

"I got a lot of e-mails from Wellstone's people," Dean said. "I'm not going to give it up. I admired Wellstone, though he's a bit more liberal than I am."

A fiercely anti-war candidate, Dean said he doesn't worry that a U.S.-led offensive against Iraq would end his appeal.

"I'll be back where I started," he said, "talking about health insurance and balancing the budget."


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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.