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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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Sunday, August 17, 2003


The View from Vermont...

posted by Christopher at Sunday, August 17, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Here's a great special to the Washington Post by Vermont journalist Darren Allen. Vermont can be a quirky place, and this perspective piece is a good primer on understanding why Dean and his record so confound those 'flatlander' reporters who come up here looking for the 'real' Howard Dean. There's also some info on how Dean got to where he is and his predecessor, Republican Richard Snelling.

An excerpt:

"I can't claim to be an insider yet -- my grandchildren, if they're born here, probably won't be able to shed the "flatlander" label -- but I have watched with some amusement as members of the national media have come scouring the Green Mountains in search of the "real" Howard Dean. I think many have left with a distorted picture of the state and its politics.

As most close observers of Vermont politics note, Dean the Democrat continued to pursue much of the agenda established by Snelling the Republican. Dean worked at balancing a deficit-plagued budget, resisting urgings from the left to abandon Snelling's tightfisted ways. As he told Vermont Public Radio in an interview two years ago, "I think there was an expectation among some of those on the farther liberal ends of my own party that I was going to come in and now things were going to be different, and the facts were that we had a big serious financial crisis and somebody had to deal with it and that somebody happened to be me by chance." "


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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.