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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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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

 

LA Times Today http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-insurgent9jul09,1,4093360.story?coll=la-home-headlines

posted by G at Wednesday, July 09, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The LA Times has a very good analysis of both the advantages and challenges Dean faces in his quest for the nomination. Excerpts:
No previous insurgent has demonstrated as much support as early as Dean, who led the Democratic field in fund-raising over the past three months and is running strongly in the latest Iowa and New Hampshire polls.

Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager, said his candidate's early emergence has defied the pattern of nomination contests. Usually, he said, the establishment candidate like Walter F. Mondale or George W. Bush dominates attention in the early stages of the race, and the insurgent struggles for notice and money until Iowa and New Hampshire.
....
"This is still a very steep hill," Trippi said. "But the process has totally been turned upside down. With all the focus being on Howard Dean, we are becoming the strongest insurgency in the history of the party."
The main challenge is the fact that 37% of the convention delegates are "super-delegates"--elected officials and "distinguished party leaders" like Clinton. The conventional wisdom is that the super-delegates will see Dean as unelectable. I think that the CW is wrong. By January, the situation in Iraq will look even more dismal than it does now and the public opinion pendulum will more strongly against the war. Already polls show that the fraction opposing the war has risen from 23% in April to 42% now. Dean's stance on the war will widely be seen as the right one, and he will overcome the "unelectable" hurdle.

The Note today mentions that Dean recently pointed out that he was chair (and vice chair) of both the Democratic Governors' Assocation and the National Governors' Association, "and those are not positions one gets without having (and leaving with) national political ties and experience." Consequently, his super-delegate support even now is probably greatly underestimated.

Also, as I wrote way back on May 29, however the super-delegates vote, Dean will be unstoppable if he does three things: 1) win Iowa, 2) win New Hampshire, and 3) have a national organization in place to follow up on the early victories. On the strength of Meetups and money, the national organization is well on its way, and he's tied for the lead in Iowa and New Hampshire. If it weren't illegal to bet on elections, I would take anyone's wager that Dean will be the nominee and the next president.


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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.