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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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Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Tuesday's ABC's The Note

posted by G at Tuesday, September 02, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
If Howard Dean stood 6 foot 4 tall, was the former two-term governor of Georgia and had even the barest of military backgrounds — and kept his exact message, he would be the odds on favorite to be his party nominee and would likely prove a strong challenger to George Bush in his general election.

Howard Dean can't raise his height, can't redo the past, and can't retroactively move to Atlanta.

Now that the biggest real poltick doubt about Dean has been put to rest — that he couldn't raise the money — the press has moved onto put other things to rest as well.

That his grassroots support was limited to cyberspace. That his staff wasn't professional enough to run a credible national campaign. That the candidate was undisciplined and unlikable. That he has no momentum outside Iowa and New Hampshire.

What remains is the electability question, which agitates the deep emotional cortices of Democratic voters and 49 percent of the Gang of 500 who share the party name.

Is Dean making progress on the electability front? More and more … It's not just that his stump speech is flashing its centrist blinkers. It's in simple accoutrements, like, say, a steady drumbeat of (somewhat) important, (semi-)resonating endorsements.

And in the dirty little (actually: "massive") secret of this stage of the campaign, the national political press corps is nearly united in its views that Dean (a) CAN be the nominee and (b) just might be the most fun to cover in the general.


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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.