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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 23, 2003

 

phase II: Steve Grossman and Howard Dean

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, July 23, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees. ;^) After throwing out a blanket solicitation to Trippi to help explain Howard Dean's ties with AIPAC via Steve Grossman, one of our readers (DavidNYC) came through. He leaves this link and it says:

During his four years as AIPAC's president, Grossman remained on excellent terms with both Clinton and Rabin. In 1993, after Rabin signed the Oslo peace accords and shook hands with Yasir Arafat in the White House Rose Garden, Grossman coaxed from his board a unanimous declaration of support.


Grossman is the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, and his father was both an entrepreneur and a Boston political activist. Steve has a long history of being politically active and aligned with the power players in the Democratic Party. The Boston Phoenix's bio includes this gem:

It was after business school, in 1970, that Grossman had a "political epiphany" about the power of grassroots activism. The occasion was a caucus at Concord-Carlisle High School, where Grossman's uncle Jerome, co-founder of a statewide peace organization called MassPAX, planned to nominate Father Robert Drinan, an anti-war cleric, to challenge Representative Philip Philbin, a pro-Vietnam hawk. A lantern-jawed Vietnam War hero named John Kerry threatened to throw a wrench into those plans. But Jerome Grossman took Kerry aside and urged him to back away, saying the progressive wing of the Democratic Party would remember his decision. Kerry did so, and Drinan went on to serve in Congress for a decade.


Steve Grossman was part of the effort to elected Michael Dukakis in 88, and supported Ron Brown for Democratic Party Chair. Brown later invited Grossman to become part of - drumroll, please - the DNC. He's well known for rebuilding the Massachusetts Democratic Party after he became it's chairman in 1990. After Paul Tsongas dropped out of the 92 race, he got behind Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

He became the head of AIPAC in 1992, and played a key role in drumming up American Jewish support for the Oslo Accords (as mentioned above). He left AIPAC in 1997, and the organisation was more bipartisan and balanced than it had been in it's history.

Essentially, Grossman is one more connection to the Democratic Party power centers (check out this article, in which his fellow Democrats sing Grossman's praises). As we talked about last week, Dean's beginning to reach out to people inside the Beltway. People power can certainly win this election, but Dean's going to have to work with the power players once we get him elected. Reaching out to them now and building bridges is definitely smart, and Steve Grossman (fundraising capabilities aside) can help make that happen. Ahhh... I get it! ;^)


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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.