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Friday, August 29, 2003


ABD: Anybody But Dean

posted by Trammell at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Well, I think us and the DDF have yet another task at hand. From yesterday's Hardball with Chris Matthews and punditry from Howard Fineman:

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the unnamed Democrat. It looks to me like in all polling we’ve seen today, pouring in the door, Howard Dean has, as John Zogby said on the show last night, the great pollster-and he is great-said he’s got a ticket to Boston (for) the Democratic convention. Is it that good for Dean right now?
FINEMAN: Well, I, too, don’t see the ceiling on Dean yet. OK?
MATTHEWS: But he’s still growing.
FINEMAN: But he’s still growing. And it’s still a growth stock.
But the thing is, it is still not Labor Day. And September, October, November, December, January before the voting begins. As the frontrunner, it’s a whole different dynamic and people are going to be taking pot shots. And what’s happening now is what’s left of the Democratic Party (NOTE: Fineman sucks up to Matthews on the show every week, and seems much different than he does in Newsweek. Does he need therapy?) is looking for the un-Dean or the non-Dean.
MATTHEWS: Who will be ABD? Anybody but Dean? Will it be John Kerry?
FINEMAN: I don’t know who it will be. I’m not sure. People sort of don’t want the role necessarily. They want somebody else to take it on first so they can come in behind.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let me ask you why it might be John Kerry.
FINEMAN: Other people, by the way, are looking for Kerry to take him on, which is probably going to happen. (NOTE: Hey, bring it on -- every single time Kerry mentions us, our numbers go up!)
MATTHEWS: Let me suggest why it might have to be ABD if you want to stop Dean. That is, the first contest is in Iowa. He’s now, according to our polling we showed tonight, ahead there. He’s clearly ahead by 20 some points in New Hampshire. By the way, he’s killing Dick Gephardt in Iowa, his home area.
FINEMAN: He’s ahead by four points, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Over the guy closest to him. OK. But isn’t he, if he wins both of those (IA and NH) , unstoppable? (NOTE: YES, he is!)
FINEMAN: I think pretty close to it, the way...
MATTHEWS: If Gephardt is going to stop him in one of those two places...
FINEMAN: ... stop him in one of those two place, I think you’re right. But I’m not sure necessarily that Kerry is the one in New Hampshire, necessarily, to do it. It is too early to say that yet. And it’s also too early to write a ticket to Boston, because this is now going to be about Dean. And as one person close to Dean told me just earlier today, the biggest obstacle for Howard Dean could be Howard Dean.
FINEMAN: Well, because...
MATTHEWS: Give me some dirt.
FINEMAN: Well, because they’re going to line up, not the dirt, but the statements and the actions as governor and his statements in the campaign. He’s been repositioning himself rather carefully in a sophisticated but attackable way. He’s taking different positions on different things. As governor and as a candidate...
MATTHEWS: Everything you say reminds me of Jimmy Carter back in ’75 and ’76, a man who clearly distinguished himself in the Democratic pack, became focused when everybody else was getting to be a blur.
MATTHEWS: Mondale, Scoop Jackson, George Wallace. All those guys got beaten. That seems to be what’s happening here. He’s becoming the Jimmy Carter of 2003 and 2004. (NOTE: Hey, at least the McGovern meme is dead!)
FINEMAN: It could be and hear the anger. With Carter it was anger against the Washington system.
FINEMAN: There’s a lot of similarity to that. And Dean has patterned his campaign and his candidacy after Jimmy Carter more than anybody else.
MATTHEWS: We’ve got to get Hal and Jordan (NOTE: I think he meant Ham Jordan, the transcripter was confused I suppose) on the show to talk about it, because Jordan would understand the similarities. He’s probably rooting for the guy.


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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.