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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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Tuesday, June 17, 2003


Dean regrets slighting Graham

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, June 17, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Under the media spotlight, simple mistakes by normal human beings are often inflated to epic proportions. Given that the Democratic nomination race is so competitive, there is even more pressure - and Dean still labors under the burden of the (false, inverted) conventional wisdom that he was "mean" to Kerry. So it's entirely understandable why Dean publicly retracted and apologized for his dismissal of Graham's campaign - even though this throws oil on the fire to some degree:

Dean said, "Bob Graham is a wonderful, decent human being, but at this time he's in single digits in all the states you can't be in single digits in. I have enormous respect for Bob Graham, but at this point he's not one of the top-tier candidates. I think that's widely recognized."

He added, "That's not to say he couldn't get to be one."
Later in the day, in a telephone call to The Associated Press, Dean said, "I regret having made the remark, and I regard Bob Graham a good friend. My remark was not intended to be dismissive of his chances."

Naturally the Graham campaign issued a defensive retort, "With all due respect, Bob Graham created twice as many jobs when he was governor of Florida than there are people in the state of Vermont." Fair enough. This is a grueling race and there are just some hits we are going to take. The alternative is to try and monitor/pre-vet every utterance of Dean, but that would sap the vitality out of his speeches. Our candidate is a straight-talker - and the occassional black mark is a small price to pay for the benefits that brings us.


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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.