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Wednesday, July 23, 2003


Hilights from Trippi on Thom Hartmann show

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, July 23, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi offered some real gems during his interview with Vermont talk-show host Thom Hartmann. The question and answer session last an hour and twenty minutes. Here are some hilights:

* Dean supports Instant Runoff Voting. When asked about IRV, Trippi joked, "IRV is easy - Dean supports it. We wish moveon would have done it."
* Regarding the Republicans slashing veterans benefits: "We believe you've gotta keep your committment to the veterans of this country. These people fought and died for our freedom and you've gotta support them."
* On the dumbing down of political discussion in America: "The vocabulary of our politics has become totally meaningless."
* On Dean and the national media that promotes the stupid "McGovern" and "wild-eyed liberal" memes: "Part of what's going on there is when you have five different campaigns who all go drinking every night with the press people in Washington... the press basically gets spun. The McGovern stuff that's not true - its like I said there has been a totally different political vocabulary that's meaningless. This campaign is about restoring the meaning to the dialogue."
* Trippi stated Dean favors repealing the [un]PATRIOT[ic] Act, but feels the main problem is with the way the Justice Departmen implemented the act under Ashcroft's leadership.
* On the Bush Doctrine: "Bush has turned around centuries of foreign policy - since Thomas Paine and John Adams - we were not to become the new Rome. The Governor feels strongly that the preemtpive doctrine must be torn up the first day in office. This is not a left or right idea - it's an idea that's steeped in America itself. To try to define it ideologically is just wrong."
* On what Trippi would change about campaigning if he could: "If I had the power to do one thing, abolish one thing in our politics today, it woudn't be the negative ads, I would abolish polling." He went on to explain how polling agencies - beginning in the 80s - started to only poll likely voters, which led to more conservative poll numbers. People who aren't likely to vote generally don't get polled, and this includes a huge segment of the population that's dropped out of the process because they feel disenchanted, like they can't make a difference. This population is more progressive and more likely to vote Democrat than Republican.
* On the DLC's Dean-bashing: "The DLC - you know - Al From is supporting Lieberman and Reed is supporting Edwards - they're advisors. So you have to take with a grain of salt all these memos they're writing about why Howard Dean should not be elected. They're worried Dean might stop their guy from getting the nomination."
* On Dean taking on a former AIPAC member as a fundraiser: Trippi spun his wheels saying that because Dean's donor base is so large (over 90K people), he will not be beholden to any special interests. But he didn't answer the caller's question, which was how much justice the Palestinian children could expect from a Dean administration. Trippi said that Dean believes there's wrong on both sides (which is perfectly reasonable), and that Israel needs to pull out of the settlements and Palestinians need to stop committing state-sponsored terror.

Fair enough, but Dean's ties to AIPAC - if there are any - need to be clarified. We know he visited Israel on an AIPAC-sponsored trip last year. We know Dean's said (last summer) that his stance is close to AIPAC. But there's been nothing new since then. Has he become more moderate? Has he reached out to any Palestinian organisation, or any aid organisations that are currently working in that area? We also know Dean had a close friend - who recently passed away - who worked closely with a Jewish peace organisation that is not as hawkish as AIPAC. What influence did that friend's work have on Dean? Joe, it's really time to explain this. It's not a deal-breaker, but we need to know if his stance has evolved on this very important issue. Feel free to leave a comment.

Overall, the interview was really good. The host was eloquent and gave Joe plenty of time to answer the questions. Joe sounded like he needed some rest, but overall did a good job of explaining where Dean stands. If you listened, please leave a comment about your impression of the interview.

update Shoot, I forgot that Joe got asked about the VP question. Joe said, "I like Wesley Clark a lot - I think he's a really strong leader. But we're just fighting to get the nomination right now." Sorry for the ommission.


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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.