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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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Friday, June 27, 2003


Jake Tapper defends Dean's MTP perfomance in NY Times

posted by G at Friday, June 27, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Have you ever been pleasantly if mildly surprised by a movie the critics have panned? I had just such a feeling when I watched, two days late, a recording of Howard Dean's now infamous appearance last Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Dr. Dean, the Democratic presidential candidate and former Vermont governor, has gotten notice for bringing some energy to the dismal Democratic ranks. But after his appearance his candidacy was immediately suffused with bad buzz. "If Dean wants to have any chance of getting into the White House, he needs to learn some basic facts about our country," said Joe Scarborough of MSNBC. Even The Associated Press reported that Dr. Dean "did not help himself with an uneven performance."

But many of Dr. Dean's answers seemed perfectly reasonable. His response to Tim Russert's pop quiz about the number of soldiers on active duty — he said one million to two million; the answer is 1.4 million — seems acceptable, especially at a time when the number is in flux. His answers about the solvency of Social Security were glib. But they were no more dishonest than any other candidate's.

Dr. Dean did seem perturbed during some of the program, and many of his answers — especially an evasive response about whether Canadian same-sex marriages should be accepted in the United States — showed he is all too aware of the political consequences of his self-proclaimed boldness. But his appearance was no disaster.


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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.