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Monday, September 15, 2003


The Dean Thing

posted by Trammell at Monday, September 15, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dean’s surge helps Vermont Democratic Party

ROSS SNEYD The Associated Press

MONTPELIER — State Democrats are cashing in, both literally and figuratively, on Howard Dean’s national surge to help them rebuild the state party’s fortunes. This week, in particular, is demonstrating how much the Dean phenomenon is helping invigorate the state party and draw new people into supporting it.

Dean himself is headlining an event today on Burlington’s Lake Champlain waterfront at which state Senate Democrats hope to raise at least $50,000. At the same time, many town Democratic committees across the state will be holding their biennial reorganizations, a sometimes mundane process that also has been infused with enthusiasm from Dean supporters.

“The reality is that Howard’s presence in the race has energized Vermonters, and many of those folks are also saying, ‘Hey, what can I do to help the (state) Democratic Party,” said Democratic Chairman Scudder Parker.

After the 2001 reorganizations, the Democrats had formal committees in about 175 of the state’s 246 towns. This year, “we’re looking at quite possibly being in over 240 towns,” said Jon Copans, the Democrats’ executive director. [...]

“There’s no question that Howard is energizing the Democratic base here in Vermont just as he has nationally,” said state Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch, whose Democratic majority will benefit from Tuesday’s event at the King Street ferry dock. “People see Howard much differently now.”

That has been demonstrated nowhere more this summer and fall than at the annual fairs and field days. The Democratic Party traditionally sets up booths at the fairs, and they’re usually festooned with the campaign literature and paraphernalia of local candidates. This year, nearly all of the booths also contained signs, buttons and bumper stickers for Dean’s presidential campaign.

And the demand for all things Dean was unexpected. Copans told of the reception at last week’s Tunbridge World’s Fair.

“The amount of attention that booth got was totally out of proportion from the way it had been in the past,” Copans said. “People waited in lines four deep. Those people, 95 percent of the time, wanted to talk about the Dean thing.”

NON-RELATED NOTE: I'm back in the saddle and blogging away, thanks much to all those who posted and sent e-mails with kind words. Ma is out of the hospital, at home, and recovering quite well. Again, thanks to all of you. - Scott


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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.