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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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Thursday, November 13, 2003


Dean is Reagan

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, November 13, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
This is another sober essay by a conservative, recognizing that Dean is a major threat to Bush, according to the assessment of two major Republican pollsters, Bob Moore and Hans Kaiser:

The two pollsters do some Electoral College math and conclude "a Dean candidacy is a lot more realistic than people think." They figure he could claim enough electoral votes to win the White House without Florida.

But won't Republicans paint him as a hopeless "left-winger"? The prospect makes many Republicans giddy and Democrats who fret about Dean's electability jittery. Moore and Kaiser counter with a parallel that will likely fluster Republicans and Democrats:

"Dean's appeal is closer to Ronald Reagan's than any other Democrat running today. . . . The Democratic party used to chuckle about Reagan and his gaffes, which they believed would marginalize him to the far-right dustbin of history. But when his opponents tried to attack him for some of his more outlandish statements, the folks in the middle simply ignored them. Voters . . . looked to the bigger picture, where they saw a man of conviction who cared about them and had solutions for their problems."

Moore says he's never had more reaction to a memo. Tellingly, almost all Republicans -- fellow pollsters and clients -- thought the memo was dead-on. And they were dead serious.

I'd like to modestly mention that we on Dean Nation have been talking about "Dean Republicans" in analogy to the Reagan Democrats for months now. The parallels are quite strong, but of course they aren't complete. However the main promise of Dean's campaign is that he is "for America" - an inclusive message of unity and identity rather than the partisan division that the current Administration came to power promising to eradicate, but ended up pursuing with all the more vigor. It's not Gephardt who the GOP fear, and the unions who endorsed Dean recognized this.


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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.