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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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Tuesday, July 29, 2003


The Dean of Surprises

posted by Christopher at Tuesday, July 29, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Brian McGrory writes in today's Boston Globe that Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is not what he expected... and he clearly is not going away:

'What I found was the candidate standing amid a couple of hundred fascinated people inside Elliot Hospital, taking questions that centered not on Iraq, but on health care. With national reporters ringing the room, Dean spoke off-the-cuff in a way that few politicians do anymore.

To be sure, there's little of the backslapping and two-fisted handshaking that send the message that he deeply cares. Nobody's ever going to mistake him for Jerry Seinfeld or, for that matter, Bill Clinton, especially when an elderly man called out, ''Can I ask one more question?'' Dean said, ''No, I want to give others some time.'' Then he turned away.

Later, sitting back at his state campaign headquarters, Dean seemed more relaxed. There was no blood on his lips. When asked whether he worried that his candidacy might be relegated to that of a flaming meteor, much like Gary Hart's or John McCain's in elections past, rather than choke me, he merely shrugged.

''Everyone else is so afraid to lose that they tailor their message so tightly and don't say anything,'' he says. ''If we turn into a fad, it's the American people that will decide.''

Asked how he'll avoid that, he makes the point that has other candidates worried most. ''This is the first time I remember the national press identifying the insurgent before picking the front-runner,'' he says. ''This is uncharted territory."'


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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.