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Wednesday, June 04, 2003


The Policy Director

posted by G at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
From The Forward, a progressive Jewish paper:
The new policy director of the presidential campaign of former Vermont governor Howard Dean spent a number of years toiling for Israeli and American Jewish philanthropies.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, a veteran of the Clinton administration's policy shop, worked in 2002 as the New York director of the New Israel Fund, which funds projects promoting peace, women's rights and social justice in the Jewish state. From 1997 to 1999 he lived in Israel and worked with Israeli not-for-profits and "a handful of minor politicians," providing them with strategies for reaching out for support and funds in the United States, he told the Forward in a telephone interview. Among the groups he helped were the Van Leer Institute, the Jerusalem Foundation, Peace Now and the Center for Educational Technology.

Ben-Ami, who grew up on Manhattan's Upper West Side as the son of an Israeli, worked for Clinton from 1992 to 1997 on welfare reform, education, women's issues and AIDS policy. He bristled at the idea that Dean might be perceived as a more liberal politician than his former boss.

"I took a long time to research and get to know the field and felt there's only one candidate putting forth an alternative for the Democratic Party," Ben-Ami told the Forward. Noting that Dean is a fiscal conservative who "implemented welfare reform following the Clinton model," he said, "it's a big mistake...if people take a simplistic, left-right, single-word label and attach it to Howard Dean."


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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.