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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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Sunday, March 23, 2003


Dean's rhetoric on war creates a campaign stir

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, March 23, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

From the Boston Globe, a story on how Dean's comments, misinterpretation by the press, and his own admitted gaffe are playing out:

In animated conversation on the floor of the US Senate on Wednesday, Kerry placed a hand on Edwards's shoulder and nodded in agreement as the North Carolinian spoke to him with visible passion. Then, pointing at the podium where the Senate's presiding officer sits, Edwards said to Kerry in a voice loud enough for a reporter in the overhead press gallery to hear, ''He got up there and lied.''

Edwards was referring to the speech Dean delivered to California Democrats last weekend, in which he stood at the podium at the party's annual convention in Sacramento and lambasted Edwards and Kerry by name for supporting the war. Dean, who has won a following with his antiwar pronouncements, sought to distinguish himself further by telling the delegates that both of his rivals had refused to stand by their position during their speeches to the crowd. The remark triggered cheers for Dean - even though he would later acknowledge it was wasn't true.

The part where Dean acknowledged his remarks weren't true is expanded upon near the end of the article, based on an interview he did with the Boston Globe on Friday:

In an interview with the Globe on Friday, Dean argued that his position about the war and his rhetoric surrounding it has been clear and consistent. ''I'm not going to use red-meat criticism and attack the president, but I'm not going to support his war policy, but I'm going to support the troops,'' he said.

While Dean said he was staunchly opposed to the war and planned to continue criticizing it, he also said the United States should keep fighting, putting him at odds with other antiwar activists who have been calling for an immediate cease-fire.

''We're in. We don't have any choice now. But this is the wrong choice,'' Dean said. ''There will be some who think we should get out immediately, but I don't think that's an easy position to take.''

In the interview, Dean acknowledged that he had mispoken in telling the California delegates that Kerry and Edwards had reversed their positions on the war.

''I didn't know what [Edwards] had said because I hadn't been in the hall and nobody told me,'' Dean said. ''Had I known what Senator Edwards had done, I would not have said that.''

This is going to get uglier before it gets better.


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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.