Wednesday, June 18, 2003
FOX Interview Transcript http://wwwdeanforamerica.com
John Gibson: More politics. Some think the Democratic nomination may be won or lost on the Internet. The opportunity to capture the attention and contributions of younger voters could be key. Of the nine candidates so far, no one stands up for his online presence like Howard Dean. The good doctor has set up an online home page, one that rallies supports and gathers cash. With more on this from Vermont, Howard Dean’s campaign manager, Joe Trippi. The big question, Joe: Is the net the key to success in 2004 or just a handy little tool?
Joe Trippi: I think we’re proving every day that it’s a key to success. There are thirty four thousand people around the United States right now that go to meetings once every month on the first Wednesday for Dean. We’ve received well over a million dollars of contributions from people who visit deanforamerica.com and self organize around the country, and so far we’ve built thirty two hundred people in Austin that came to see Howard Dean; twelve hundred in Seattle; we’ve built the biggest crowds out there, and they’re not by paid staff, they’re from individuals who are sending emails out and asking people to come out and visit with the Governor.
John Gibson: Joe, you’re the political pro here, but that doesn’t sound like huge numbers to me.
Joe Trippi: Those are huge numbers.
John Gibson: They are?
Joe Trippi: Yeah. John McCain had forty thousand people who came in after his win in New Hampshire – Internet activists – and they contributed five million dollars to him in the days right after New Hampshire. We’re sitting here with thirty three thousand today seven months before New Hampshire and frankly, those are the public numbers. I mean, the numbers of actual people who volunteer is much closer to one hundred thousand people around the United States who’ve come to our website, signed up to volunteer, signed up their own tabling or leafleting events. These people aren’t just emailing their friends, they’re out there every day working for Howard Dean.
John Gibson: Now Joe, you’ve been in this business for a while, and there’s nine candidates, and the New Democrat Network – the guys who were just on before you – they think the Democrat who has a chance to win is going to be a centrist Democrat. At least by reputation, Howard Dean is one of those to the left of the center. Do you think Howard Dean has to move into the center? Or can he stay out there on the left?
Joe Trippi: I think Howard Dean is not someone you can define. I think that’s a big mistake. It’s actually part of the failed vocabulary of American politics, that everything’s described as left and right, democrat/republican, conservative/liberal, when the fact is, those definitions don’t work anymore. Howard Dean is standing up for American values, and the principals that have sustained this country for quite a while, and I think that’s what people are responding to, he’s talking straight, he’s telling people what he believes and it’s not a linear liberal left/right kind of thing if you look at all the issues and where Governor Dean stands.
John Gibson: I have looked at the issues, and you know, I’ve seen his positions, going to your very website, looking what he has to say about things, and you know in the usual fashion, candidates statements sound like mom and apple pie, but you detect he is on the left end of the spectrum and not in the center, at least the center defined by those democrats who think they can challenge the president on security, on homeland defense, on the war on terror and on the economy.
Joe Trippi: I mean, he’s for balancing the budget. Which is not exactly...Where would you characterize that John? There are a number of issues...(cutoff)
John Gibson: (interrupting) Well all right, what about the military? I mean, he made that remark about maybe we’re not going to have to be the strongest military in the world someday.
Joe Trippi: He supported the president going into Afghanistan because he believed that was the right thing to do. The doctrine of pre-emptive war which this president has installed – which basically just turns forty years of bipartisan agreement in the world on how U.S. military force should be used in this world upside down – is something the Governor is against. And what’s really strange about all this is you can literally...This is the same foreign policy and use of military force in the world of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Nixon, every president up to this one has practiced the same use of military force as Howard Dean espouses, but for some reason, that’s now a liberal on the fringe reaction.
John Gibson: The reason is 9/11. Eisenhower wasn’t president after a 9/11.
Joe Trippi: You know, the president said that we learned something big and important on 9/11 – and that was the oceans don’t protect us anymore. The American people know full well that while the Soviet Union was in there the oceans didn’t protect us either from a missile attack that could wipe out our entire nation. I mean, some of the rhetoric that’s being used, not just against this candidacy, but for anybody who stood against the war – which by the way was supposed to go get a bunch of weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat to the United States, that we still have not found – and now we have to defend that that’s some kind of liberal position, it’s about the truth. It’s not about left or right.
John Gibson: Right Joe, but remember the polling, like 70 percent of Americans – darn close – saying they don’t care about WMD.
Joe Trippi: John, you know sometimes even when you know where the American people stand, it’s called: taking a stand, convincing people you’re right. That’s not a left or right thing.
John Gibson: Joe, you come back. Howard Dean’s campaign manager, it’s a long haul, Joe Trippi, you come back.
Joe Trippi: Thanks John, of course.
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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.