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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, May 15, 2003


Primary of Ideas

posted by Ezra at Thursday, May 15, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
If you aren't signed up for the Note daily E-mails, you wouldn't have gotten this. But if you were, along with the announcement that today's Note was posted, you would have seen this bit of "breaking news":
Senator Joseph Lieberman has asked his fellow candidates to agree to hold
one debate per month starting in July--but hold them in "neutral" forums
moderated by respectable journalists.

Here's the text of a letter from Lieberman campaign manager Craig Smith to
the other campaigns:

"On behalf of Senator Lieberman, I would like to propose that all of our
campaigns agree to one nationally-broadcast, media-sponsored debate a
month for the duration of the campaign. For practical scheduling reasons,
we suggest that these debates begin in July."

"If we all agree that the Democratic primary should be one of ideas, let's
all agree to appear regularly before the voters on television in
media-sponsored, neutral debates that have the potential of reaching the
widest possible audience. Doing so would not only help ensure that the
voters hear our voices but that the Republican Party is not permitted to
dominate the political debate with its fundraising resources and with the
media power of the presidency."

"I urge all of our campaigns to accept this challenge and to work together
to make this happen."

"We hope to be able to work with you, with the media and with sponsoring
organizations to organize these monthly debates."
As far as I'm concerned, nothing could be more positive for the Democratic field as a whole, and Dean in particular, than a monthly debate. I hope the Dean campaign, Kerry campaign, and every other campaign that seriously wishes to win this election takes Lieberman up on his offer. We, as a party, desperately need to test our ideas and bring exposure to our candidates. A series of debates is will allow us to battle test both our ideas and our candidates. And Dean, in particular, will be able to put his skills on the stump in front of a national audience...what could be 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.