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Tuesday, June 17, 2003


DDF: Explaining the "Approve" Language to Pundits

posted by G at Tuesday, June 17, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I sent this to the DDF, but I'm posting it here to be sure we head this off before it takes on a life of its own. In a column on the MSNBC site, Howard Mortman writes
Howard Dean, Dr. Cocky?
Howard Dean has been riding high among the political and media wise men. Which means he’s due for the inevitable pundit-driven bruising.
What will pundits find wrong with Dean? Perhaps his cockiness. Let’s take that out for a spin. Three recent examples:
1) In his new TV ad, Dean talks jobs and health care. Then he concludes with this line: “That’s why I’m running for President, and why I approve this message.”
He approves of his own message? Wow, what a relief! How gracious. Let me give that construction a shot — I’m Howard Mortman, I’m writing a column, and that’s why I approve this paragraph.
.... [the other two items are his quotes about Graham and voting against the war]
I wrote Howard Mortman an e-mail that quoted the column and then said the following:
One provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law is that television ads must include "a statement that identifies the candidate and states that the candidate has approved the communication." Such statement-- '(i) shall be conveyed by-- '(I) an unobscured, full-screen view of the candidate making the statement, or '(II) the candidate in voice-over, accompanied by a clearly identifiable photographic or similar image of the candidate ..."

Clearly, it's absurd for you to ridicule Dr. Dean for simply complying with the law.

For your reference, the full text of the law is here:
I submitted the letter using the on-line form on the page with the column, and I also sent it to and (Mortman is a producer for Hardball.)


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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.