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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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Thursday, July 24, 2003


Carville on the "Big Message" for 2004

posted by Editor at Thursday, July 24, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
James Carville gave a speech in San Francisco recently to the American Trial Lawyers Association in which he identified what he predicts the “big issue” should be in the 2004 election. Carville was the Clinton strategist who developed the “it’s the economy, stupid” theme of the 1992 presidential campaign which led to the defeat of the first President Bush.

While Iraq will not be the focus of the election, it should be mentioned:
On Iraq, Carville said Democrats "should not exaggerate the facts," but merely state and restate them. "They lied to get us in. They don't know how to get us out," he said. "How did they not know the country wasn't divided? How do you commit 150,000 troops with no plan to get out? All we have to do is remind people of that."

For the Democrats to have a chance to beat George W. Bush in 2004, they need a big issue to bring to voters. The article on that covers the speech reports Carville saying it is not going to be the economy or foreign policy:
"The issues we now face as Americans are so huge, so great, demand so much attention, we have to look at it all," he said.

So, to keep you in suspense no longer, THE BIG ISSUE OF 2004:
And that lead to what Carville said was the big issue for Democrats in '04, what he called the Bush administration's reversal of "the generational promise of America -- each time we do what we can do to make the next generation better."

"That promise, today like no other time in our lifetime, is under attack," he said. "The idea that we are a society beyond our own self-interest is under attack. We are told America is best when people are interested in ourselves. We know America is better when we're based on a common interest.

"We have a president that is no longer interested in what happens to the next generation. We have a president that is no longer interested in what happens to the promise of America.

"I am telling you that there is so much at stake here. There is so much for us to fight for. There are so many people who don't want to give up the dream of generational promise.

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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.