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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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Friday, March 07, 2003


New York Meetup report

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, March 07, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

David of the New York group sends in this report of the New York Meetup, featuring Dean himself:

The New York City meetup was a smashing, beyond-all-expectations success! We had over FIVE HUNDRED people in attendance, surprising ourselves, the venue, Meetup, the police (!) and Gov. Dean himself. But let me start at the beginning. As it was everywhere else, the meetup was officially slated to start at 7pm. Essex, the restaurant/bar which hosted us, began filling up well before then. New York for Dean volunteers canvassed the room, handing out flyers & donation forms and collecting names & e-mail addresses. One exceptionally generous fellow was disappointed to learn that he could only give $2000!

Not long after 7, Essex started getting quite packed and a line formed outside. Inside, several hundred people were busy schmoozing & getting to know each other. New York for Dean took this opportunity to announce an exciting development. Liz, one of our co-chairs, got on the PA system and explained that our group is now co-ordinating with the official Dean for America campaign in Burlington. What this means in practical terms is that anyone interested in volunteering here in New York City should get in touch with us - we'll be planning lots of activities and events in the coming weeks and months. (E-mail your contact info to

Around 8 o'clock, we got word that the Governor was arriving. Despite our best efforts to get people inside, there was still a big line outside. (Which prompted the NYPD to wonder, what on earth is such a big crowd doing on the lower east side on a weeknight? - and to do a little impromptu, but of course unnecessary, crowd control.) Fortunately, those waiting outside got a chance to meet-and-greet as the Governor "worked the line", going up and down shaking hands and introducing himself. Dean finally walked into Essex to raucous cheers and chants of "Howard! Howard!" It was too packed for him to mingle, so he proceeded to the upstairs balcony area. Jason introduced the Governor, who stood at the front of a balcony before a rapt crowd of over 300 people.

And he delivered! Dean gave a rousing speech which prompted cheers and applause at almost every line. He started off by saying that we need regime change - in the White House in 2004. The crowd went wild when he announced that he was, as always, "from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party". He hit many of his familiar points: The need for universal healthcare, the urgency of dealing with North Korea and Al Qaeda as opposed to the foolishness of invading Iraq, and the importance of caring for our nations' children. He also discussed how our generation has tremendous tools at our disposal to effect social change - tools that his generation lacked. He specifically discussed the importance of the Internet, both how it brought people to the event and how we can use it to continue to help the campaign. Dean left right after he spoke - again, to enormous applause and cheering.

Words really aren't enough to express how amazing last night's event was. The number of people, and the crowd's reaction to Dean, was unbelievably encouraging. And the fact that this event was completely a grassroots effort makes it all the more remarkable - the campaign didn't lift a finger, and yet over five hundred people came out to support the Governor. And some of those people, I should note, came from at least as far away as Connecticut and Massachusetts. There was also a ton of press, including the New York Times, New York Post and Fox News, so hopefully, we'll be seeing some stories soon.

Again, if you'd like to join us here in New York, please send your contact info to and be sure to check out our website, And let's go Howard!

(Photos are available on the meetup site and David promises there will be more forthcoming. We will put some up on the DeanBlog but check the NY Yahoo group for the latest.)


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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.