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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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Monday, May 05, 2003


explainer: post-debate press releases

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, May 05, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
ampaign manager Joe Trippi left a great comment in the comments about the scramble after the debate for the campaigns to issue press releases - not all of which make it into the press, but which do play a powerful behind-the-scenes role in shaping the conventional wisdom that gets printed.

During the debate each campaign has a team that literally anwsers any exchange in the debate within moments of the exchange occuring. The SC Democratic Party assigns runners between the campaign and the press to each campaign -- so the press is getting almost instant response and has the facts to shape the story of what is happening in the debate. There had to be dozens of releases last night from serveral of the campaigns each. No reporter is going to use any of those releases -- but if they had not thought of the "Bush lite" line being Howard Dean's for instance-- at least they are all aware of it. Experience teaches that if you even want them to look at it you have to say something in the "release" headline that makes them take a second look at what you are saying. We actually got a release out within seconds for instance of Joe Lieberman saying he wanted to strangle George S. saying "The Dean campaign conceded only one point in the debate tonight -- that the best line was delivered by Joe Lieberman...." Alot of the flurry included health care stats during John Kerry's question of the Governor's record -- which many in the press concluded was unfounded on Kerry's part. All of this is unseen by the public -- and as I have said -- not one of those releases from any campaign will make it into a news story. Lieberman actually put one out in the middle of the debate that said something like "Howard Dean tonight stood firm in his opposition to the war" Seriously it was a one line release -- and we are still scratching our heads over that one.

Aside from building the strongest grassroots organization of any Presidential campaign in history -- one of the other things I hope occurs in this open discourse -- is from time to time -- help explain how things really work -- and why they happen -- so there is a better more open understanding of the process. If you read ABC's notepad tomorrow -- we have a tongue in cheek parody which includes the Joe Lieberman press release exchange noted above in this post.

Joe Trippi
Campaign Manager
Dean for America

Also of interest is Joe's explanation of Dean's closing statement - which many have critiqued him for having read instead of memorized.


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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.