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Friday, December 19, 2003


Dean = Dole?

posted by Trammell at Friday, December 19, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Last night on FAUX news, Greta Van Susteren spoke with Laura Ingraham, and she tossed in a whole new comparison that I had yet to hear: Dean is like Dole. No transcript -- unlike CNN, FAUX picks and chooses -- but to paraphrase:

"Like Dole in 1996, Democrats really like the guy but he's not going to beat the incumbent. And like Dole, it looks like they are going to nominate him anyway."

What a great illustration as to why we shouldn't take campaign advice from the opposition. Ingraham obviously has zero clue what is happening right now in the Democratic Party. The battle, in my view, is to not make the Republican mistake of 1996 -- namely, nominatiing some old party hack-saw like Gephardt, Lieberman, or Kerry. Dean is nothing like Dole. Dole received a consolation prize for years of service, something the Democrats are poised to avoid by nominating Dean, or perhaps even Clark, not vice-versa -- thus their appeal. Dems don't just wanna fight Bush, as the pundits seem to claim -- we wanna win.

Now, as I count them, the pro pundits (and even yours truly) on both sides of the aisle have now compared Dean to: FDR, Truman, McCarthy, Goldwater, McGovern, Carter, Reagan, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton and Dole. Do you realize that the other Dems have been compared to, well, really not one single president that I can recall? Two exceptions: a short-lived JFK exception for Kerry -- and that a comparison his campaign pushed hard -- and the unavoidable Eisenhower comparisons for Clark. Dean has been compared to at least 11 presidents and nominees from both parties in the last few months, and with alarming -- quite frankly, frustrating -- frequency.

So, any doubts that we have a candidate who's "presidential" on our hands? Not me. Obviously, on this our critics and our supporters seem to agree if all the comparisons are to be believed, and the fact that they can't pin him down to any one of them is an encouraging sign -- very encouraging.

But ultimately, you know who he reminds me of most? President Dean.

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Points West


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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.