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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 08, 2003


Reaction to the Decision

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, November 08, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
"I'm a strong believer in the campaign finance system. I think it brings integrity to the process. I'm disappointed Governor Dean has reversed his position." - Sen. John Edwards

Translation: I wish I'd raised as much money as Dean.

Analysis: Would he be as strong a believer in the system if he had met expectations of his own fundraising ability?

"It's a shame that Howard Dean has broken his word and abandoned his earlier pledge never to bypass the public financing system. America needs a leader who will stick to the promises he makes. We call on Governor Dean to comply with the spirit of the law - and his own previous statements - and pledge to spend no more than $45 million in the Democratic primaries and to limit his spending to the specific spending caps in the states." - Sen. Joe Lieberman

Translation: Candidates who can actually raise money should be prevented from spending it.

Analysis: As if the spending caps would matter! Whether Dean spends $45 or $100 million won't change outcomes for Joe.

"It's disappointing that Howard Dean so conveniently abandoned a long-held position of principle out of mere political expediency. After Howard Dean so passionately and ardently announced that if any candidate left the public system it would be an issue, then sought a political fig leaf in an Internet poll slyly worded to predetermine its results, it's clear an alleged straight talk candidacy has turned out to represent politics as usual." - Sen. John Kerry

Translation: Next week, when I tap my wife's fortune, it will be because I am principled.

Analysis: That fig leaf is 200,000 strong. But Kerry was never running a campaign for the people. Rather, a campaign for John Kerry. And isn't "political expediency" the point?

"Forget all of the gimmicks and rationalizations, the plain truth is that Howard Dean wants to outspend his opponents in the early states and has therefore violated his pledge to stay within the public financing system. Just like President Bush, Howard Dean has effectively undermined campaign finance laws for his own personal, opportunistic political advantage." - Rep. Dick Gephardt

Translation: By following the rules, and changing his mind, Dean has violated the law. The plain truth is that Dean wants to win the nomination and refuses to surrender to me, and that's SO opportunistic!

Analysis: I suppose the pending endorsement of the SEIU and AFSCME are also gimmicks and rationalizations?


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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.