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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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Friday, September 26, 2003


Dean to Air Spanish Language Ads

posted by Christopher at Friday, September 26, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Continuing the trend of groundbreaking moves within the Democratic primary, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is launching a spanish-language ad campaign to attract more support from the latino community in America - an extremely important consituency in the coming election. Two things are important about this outreach effort. First, we all need to do our best to make this the most inclusive, diverse campaign in America in 2004. That means all of us need to reach out. Second, the ad features Dean himself doing all the talking (he learned spanish working one summer working alongside Cuban co-workers). It's important that the message is coming from Dean himself.

One thing I've been struck by is Gov. Dean's willingness to talk openly about controversial issues in this campaign - including civil unions and race. The point he's beginning to make, quite persuasively, is that the Bush Administration is "dividing and conquering" this country based on fear (both of outsiders, and of each other). The xenophobic stance of the Bush Administration makes many afraid of people of other nations, and translates into subtle efforts to divide us as a nation along religious, ethnic, racial, and class lines. By doing so, they continue to ensure that a very small minority of extremely wealthy people control political debate in this country.

I'm not saying that Dean can cure ALL of the nation's ills, or bind its racial wounds, but I am saying that by working together we build understanding and a shared future. I think Dean understands that. Perhaps I make too much of this ad campaign - but I believe reaching out counts for something. You might call it leading by example.

An excerpt from the AP story by Will Lester:

"The most important values in the Hispanic community are family, children, education and work," Dean says in the Spanish-language ad. "As governor, I created thousands of new jobs, we provided health insurance for all children and youth and a first-class education system."

"The values of the Hispanic community are the values of Howard Dean."

Dean learned Spanish while working on a ranch in Florida with Cuban exiles during a break in high school, aides say.

Earlier this month, the Dean campaign launched radio ads in South Carolina aimed at attracting black voters, who could make up almost half the electorate in that state's presidential primary, set for Feb. 3. New Mexico holds its presidential caucuses Feb. 3. "


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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.