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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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Wednesday, November 26, 2003



posted by Trammell at Wednesday, November 26, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Michael McCord writing for the Democratic Underground -- which has not been a hot-bed of support for Dean I hasten to add -- turns in this report on Dean from the campaign trail:
A year ago the notion of a "Dean Juggernaut" would have been fantasy. Even six months ago, the concept was a punch line in the making but today with the New Hampshire primary fast approaching, it's a sobering - no make that horrifying - fact for the rivals of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. "Every day I wake up sick," a staffer from a rival campaign responded when asked about Dean. "They (the Dean campaign) act like it's Mardi Gras every day and we're just dressing for a funeral." The candidate who couldn't afford a pollster at the start of his campaign is now at the top of primary opinion polls. [...]

The place [in Rochester, NH] was mostly filled with more than 375 Dean fans and potential supporters who waited patiently as Dean ran almost an hour late from a previous campaign stop. The patience of his audience was one thing - the fact that they were there at all on a Friday night in November (the night life in southeastern New Hampshire is actually quite lively) speaks volumes about his current star quality.

At this and other rallies I've witnessed, Dean's support cuts across class and cultural lines and includes the young and old, independents who voted for John McCain, liberals who supported Al Gore and Bill Bradley, environmentalists, stray Republicans, blue collar workers and professionals of all stripes. And the collective mood is like a trip to a political Disneyland where it's a small world after all and all things are possible. [...]

The Dean campaign man on the spot was James Moore, 26, a New Hampshire native who a few months earlier quit his job as a grass roots organizer at Greenpeace in Washington, D.C. "For two years I saw how things are done in D.C. I'd had enough of Bush and what he was doing especially his systematic unraveling of 30-year of environmental laws," Moore told me. "I decided I had to do something. I packed everything I had in the car and moved up here." Moore joined the campaign as an area coordinator, working 80 to 100 hours a week, and it's been an enlightening baptism as he's never worked for a political candidate before. He has been leading as many as 11 house meetings a week, he says, educating scores of engaged voters. "They range from students to housewives to everyone. What's interesting is how many have never been this involved before, Some have never registered or voted before. And we are seeing this throughout the state."
The article often veers negative, as if McCord is in full accord with the beltway pundits who criticize Dean. McCord can't decide whether to agree with them or deride them, but as I've stated before: love him or hate him, folks can't quit talking about Dean, Dean, Dean. Thanks to Heath for the link.


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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.