Monday, June 30, 2003
WP on the Deanathon http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A54865-2003Jun30?language=printer
Thanks to a wide-open field and the power of the Internet, Dean has gone from dark horse to serious contender at a time when many Americans are only vaguely aware that a nomination battle is underway.
Dean's online gold mine -- he also has signed up 45,000 supporters to attend "meet-ups" across the country Wednesday night -- stunned his rivals.
An adviser to another candidate said: "Ever since 1996, people have been talking about the potential of the Internet to organize and raise money, but no one figured out how to do it. Not even Al Gore. The thing about Dean is, not only is he using it, he is building an organization through it and he is raising money through that organization."
The last hours of Dean's effort bore a faint resemblance to the woozy end of a Jerry Lewis telethon. Dean's Web site -- DeanforAmerica.com -- featured a running total of contributions received. Every half-hour, the number rolled a little closer to $7 million. Online donors were offered the chance to chat on the phone with the candidate himself -- normally a privilege reserved for the rich. Dean said he would call five contributors chosen at random from the virtual pool.
"What this campaign and the Internet is about is putting the grass roots and the community back into politics," said Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi. "It puts back what television took out."
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Obama 2008 - I want my country back
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.