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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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Saturday, September 13, 2003


Dean, Pelosi Find Agreement

posted by Christopher at Saturday, September 13, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dean's opponents are rapidly finding that simply jumping on every word the frontrunner says will not pay dividends - either in terms of public policy, or public awareness. That game can rapidly backfire, and be turned against other candidates - especially when the general meaning of a candidate's statement should be clear (as was the case when Dean said we should be "even-handed" in our negotiations. I think for most of us it was clear he was simply referring to being an "honest broker" at the negotiating table, rather than saying that we should radically alter our existing relationship with Israel and put US relations with Israel and the Palestinians on equal footing... clearly that was not the intent). Is there anyone out there who really believes that Dean would question Israel's right to exist? Clearly, Pelosi quickly realized this was not the case and has shifted on the issue and now says she is in accord with Gov. Dean.

The other candidates should focus more on finding their own messages (and, ahem, finding their own styles) rather than simply trying to parse and spin every word out of Dean's mouth. The fruits of that approach are short-lived (as this article shows), and will not ultimately win over new voters to their candidates. Rather, I suspect negative campaigning simply turns voters off.


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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.