Saturday, October 25, 2003
Veep Watch: Edwards http://www.prospect.org/weblog/archives/2003/10/index.html#001683
Edwards is going over ground that other Dems have covered. And, in fact, the North Carolina senator has been giving virtually the same stump speech that Liebovich recorded since at least last May. But the raw anger coming out of the Edwards camp these days -- the shift in tone from pleasant good humor to spittle-splattering rage -- is a relatively new thing.
It all seems to have started back in September, the week Clark got into the race and Hurricane Isabel hit North Carolina. Something shifted that week. An aide to a competing campaign told me he thinks it was that suddenly the middle-tier candidates all realized they were no longer fighting Dean for the nomination, but fighting each other for the chance to face off with Dean later in the contest.
Whatever it was, you could see it on Edwards' face when he appeared on Face the Nation on Sept. 21. You could see it in the DNC debates in New York City and Phoenix. Edwards looked worried. Something was bothering him, and it showed. And something strange started to happen as the worry furrowed his brow and the unhappiness -- or whatever it was -- soured the expression on his youthful, open face. Edwards started to look serious. His expression did something that had previsouly seemed impossible: It made him look older. Old enough that he began, for the first time, to look presidential. Aides to two of his competitors told me they'd noticed it, too. And, deep in the comment threads of the same online communities that fueled Dean's rise and drafted Clark, a slow groundswell of support for Edwards -- as VP, as second-choice and even as the nominee himself -- began to rise.
emphasis mine - Franke-Ruta has been to Dean Nation before as well as Kos and I think the observation is valid. I'm almost 99% sure that I prefer Edwardds to Clark as veep myself, because of the real substance to what he says. The shift in tone by the Edwards camp is very Dean-adulatory in style. He's becoming a good match.
It;s also clear that Franke-Ruta is sympathetic to the Dean campaign - an earlier post on Tapped makes explicit the assumption above:
In the past week, I've been surprised to discover a consensus emerging among the journalists and political consultants with whom I speak regularly -- namely, that Howard Dean is very likely to win the Democratic nomination. I say surprised because two weekends ago I was up in Burlington, where Dean's team isn't yet acting like it's convinced of any such thing... In a field this big, overconfidence is an error no campaign -- even a top-tier one -- can afford.
The strategy of the campagn has been to pursue inevitability - run a national campaign, amass money for taregeted ads, respond to critiques, fathfully attend all major debates and events, etc. All aimed at growing Dean's base (and delegates) one person and one vote at a time, systematically, methodically. But to successfully pursue inevitability, you must never actually achieve it. This the campaign understands well and you won't see them take a Kerry-like mantle of frontrunner presumption. Even if every poll in the universe makes it obvious.
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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.