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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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Saturday, November 15, 2003


On the road from Iowa

posted by annatopia at Saturday, November 15, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Hey guess what? I have net access! That makes me one for four. *wink* This morning at 8:30am we (myself and three of my Texas Ranger buddies, Jen, Kim, and Laura) left Dallas and headed north to Iowa. We arrived in Des Moines right on schedule at 9:00pm despite being snarled in traffic three times (I35 just *stinks* right now - construction everywhere).
So far it's been a fantastic experience. Every time I hang out with "Dean People" I'm struck by the instant comraderie that I feel. For example, on the drive up we stopped to gas up in The Middle of Freakin' Nowhere, Kansas. And I mean The Middle of Freakin' Nowhere, which is about an hour outside of Kansas City. We're about to take off, and I'm partaking in one of my many bad habits (yes, I smoke cigarettes) when a tour bus pulls into the rest stop. People begin unloading from the bus and we notice that they are covered in flair (apologies to the writers of Office Space)... Dean People! As it turned out, it was an entire bus full of Dean supporters from Stillwater, Okalahoma who were headed to Des Moines for the Jefferson-Jackson dinner. Serendipity, I tell ya, serendipity. We chatted with several of them for a while, and a few of them recognised Kim from the Democratic forum a few months back. This small moment in time reminded me that we really are doing our best to restore the community that used to exist many moons ago.
When we called Des Moines headquarters as we left Kansas City, the phone was answered by one of the regular O-Blog commenters, Joe (aka Speedracer). We chatted for a few moments, and he offered all four of us crash space in his hotel room if we didn't get a room in Des Moines. As it turns out we did get a room (in the same hotel as Speedracer), and the first person I saw when I walked in the lobby was Trippi, who graciously gave me a warm greeting.
After a quick refresher (which was desperately needed after twelve hours on the road), we went downstairs to the hotel lounge and hooked up with Joe and Yvette (again, serendipity). Most of the DFA staff was milling around there as well (big *hooyah!* to Hunter Allen, who was incredibly hospitable to me on the SST and who is doing a fantastic job here in Iowa). I got to meet the leader of Dean's efforts in Iowa, Ms. Jeannie Murray, and...Congressman Jerry Nadler of Manhattan. Nadler is amazing. I only intended to shake his hand, thank him for endorsing Dean, and go on my merry way, but when he found out that I was a Texan he asked me about our recent redistricting battle. Well, never miss an opportunity... I ended up speaking with him for about twenty minutes. He's a very affable gentleman and he was very receptive to what I had to say about the situation. I give Nadler a big thumbs up.
So after a smooth road trip and a whirlwind evening, I'm going to close this with a promise to post the picture of myself and Congressman Nadler sometime this weekend. From what I understand, there *will* be net access at the JJ Dinner (Matt from said it and I'm taking his word for it), so I'll try to crank out a live blog post during the event. Pictures will be posted at annatopia after our server upgrade tomorrow night. For now, it's 3:00 am and I have *got* to get some sleep. Goodnight all, and I'll post another update tomorrow.


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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.