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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, May 04, 2003


Dean's Still Winning the Real Tests

posted by Matt Singer at Sunday, May 04, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I've been reading over the reviews of the debate last night (I was working and couldn't watch it) and about all I know is that there wasn't a clear winner. That's pretty clear from the Blogosphere and another critical place - (click the title). Dean2004 is still getting more members a week than any other campaign's sign-up. The only candidates growing faster in terms of percentage growth are undeclared (Gary Hart and Wesley Clark). Dean is about to top 20,000. Kerry just barely tops 1,000. Someone over at Daily Kos commented that Dean's supporters are basically nothing more than astroturf. We're fakers. My experience on the ground is that this commenter is completely wrong.

I'm pretty active on my campus and know a fair number of the active liberals and every single one of them who has settled on a 2004 candidate has settled on Dean. Those still weighing their options all like him - they're just not definitely on board. Dean's meet-ups in Montana have signed up over 40 people last I checked. Kerry doesn't have one. I don't know about the others, but I seriously doubt that any of them do.

And how did these people find out about Dean? The people I'm working with. One of my friends, when I mentioned Dean, quickly said, "Oh, my sister is volunteering for him, let me know what I can do to help." Another said his brother in DC was volunteering and that he would do what he could to help. I didn't have to sell these people on Dean. They were already sold. I haven't had time to do any real organizing, and we've got 25 volunteers signed up in Missoula. Kerry has 0. Graham has 0. Gephardt has 0. Lieberman has 0.

That's anything but astroturf. That's support from real people. Real people who will invest time and energy, laughter and tears, blood and sweat.

We're with Dean.

And he stands apart.


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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.