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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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Monday, July 14, 2003


Joe Klein Warms Up to Dean,9565,464429,00.html

posted by G at Monday, July 14, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
His Dean-Kerry comparison comes up pointing at Dean as the guy to beat. On Dean:
There is a misapprehension that the Dean phenomenon was created by the Internet. It was created by Dean's mouth—and by the fury of many Democrats at what they perceive to be a radical Republican Administration.
Such sentiments have been misinterpreted by assorted Beltway savants as a leftward lurch by Democratic Party activists; it seems more a reaction to the rightward lurch of the Republicans. Dean, who has been mischaracterized as the reincarnation of George McGovern, is certainly no traditional liberal or even a traditional dove. "I told the peace people not to fall in love with me," he told me over breakfast in Manchester, N.H., last week. He said he had opposed Vietnam, but he had supported the first Gulf War, the interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo, and the war in Afghanistan. In the 1980s he had "mixed feelings" about Ronald Reagan's support for the contras in Nicaragua and opposed a unilateral nuclear freeze. "I'm not a pacifist. I believe there are times when pre-emptive force is justified, but there has to be an immediate threat, and there just wasn't in this case."
On Kerry:
A sense of aloofness has always been a Kerry problem—"You shouldn't hold John's looks against him," former Senator Bob Kerrey once told me—and Dean's chesty informality has only exacerbated Kerry's air of dour Brahmin solemnity. In truth, he isn't so much aloof as he is courtly, in a formal, afternoon-tea sort of way. The shoutathon of modern politics discomforts him. He is a serious, experienced, thoughtful man; his policy speeches have been among the best of any Democrat's. But he is also a cautious man who has surrounded himself with an overstuffed stable of consultants and pollsters—the very same geniuses who brought you the dreadful 2000 Gore campaign and the Democrats' even more dreadful 2002 campaign. Their presence reinforces Kerry's tendency to carefully edit every word he utters. His campaign seems massaged, tactical—an act of marketing rather than of conviction. His Senate vote authorizing the war in Iraq is Exhibit A. Unlike Dean, Kerry has longtime antiwar credentials. He investigated the Reagan Administration's support for the contras and opposed the first Gulf War. He turned more hawkish in the 1990s, supporting Bosnia and Kosovo and of course Afghanistan, but the question persists: Did Kerry vote for this war with his heart or with his ambition?


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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.