Monday, February 17, 2003
"Defending American Values - Protecting America's Interests" http://www.deanforamerica.com/dean.cfm?section=about&page=speeches&drill=021703
Here is Dean's schedule for the coming week, for any of you that want to get out there and give us notes:
Mon. 2/17 – Dean makes speech at Drake University in Des Moines; attends Iowa Federation of Labor meeting in Warren County; attends Warren County off-year caucus.
Tues. 2/18 – Dean campaigns in Silicon Valley, Calif.
Wed. 2/19 – Dean speaks to ITUP, a group fighting for improved insurance in Sacramento at convention center; Campaigns with Sen. Barbara Boxer, doing fundraising for her.
Thurs. 2/20 – Dean in Los Angeles.
Fri. 2/21 – Democratic National Committee's winter meeting in Washington. Dean speaks in the morning.
Fri. 2/21 – Dean speaks to College Democrats at Hyatt Regency in Washington.
Sat. 2/22 – Dean speaks at Human Rights Campaign dinner in Los Angeles.
Sun. 2/23 – Dean meets with Democrats Abroad in Washington.
Sunday, February 16, 2003
Dean's wife Judy to remain invisible? http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030215/ap_on_el_pr/doctor_first_lady_3
SHELBURNE, Vt. - In the nearly dozen years that Howard Dean served as governor of Vermont, Judy Dean was all but invisible. No speeches. No interviews. No campaigning.
That's changing now that her husband is in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but there are still limits.
Dr. Judy Dean this month gave her first extensive interview, talking about her husband, her family and her career. But she said still has no plans to join her husband on the campaign trail, and even if he is elected, she plans to continue practicing medicine.
"Some of the public may be disappointed in that, some of the public may say that's terrific," she told The Associated Press. "In this day and age there are a lot of two career families."
Gov. Dean, also a doctor, supports her decision.
"If I win, Judy will practice medicine in Washington," he said. "That doesn't mean she will never go to a state dinner, but I don't see her job as entertainer.
"When she married me, she didn't know I was going to run for president of the United States. I didn't either."
I've got some news for both of them: As the campaign heats up and the election draws nearer, Dr. Judy will indeed have to put in a LOT of appearances and she will be subject to the same intense scrutiny that all candidate's wives have.
And if Dean were to win the election, Judy might be able to practice medicine part-time but she will be expected -- indeed required -- to be at his side for the numerous presidential functions that occur every week including dinners, funerals, entertaining heads of states, etc.
Still, it would be nice to have a First Lady who actually does something besides being a prop. And it would certainly be an inspiration to the millions of women in America who have to or want to have a career.
Quick note: My thanks to Aziz for inviting me to join the team here at Dean 2004. He knows I have mixed emotions about Dean but invited me anyway. I promise NOT to rant here -- I save that for my own blog, Alphecca. This is my first experience with Blogger so I hope this posts correctly...
Friday, February 14, 2003
Dean flyer available courtesy of New York for Dean group http://www.abde.net/images/deanblog/DeanHalfBW.pdf
Wanted to forward the flyer we just made for the national rallies on Saturday. Feel free to let people have this if you wish.
Its a double sided flyer (2 half page fronts and 2 half page backs).
We're going to be handing them out this weekend and I wanted to share the wealth with other groups that may want to use it.
Click to download the flyer in PDF format.
New Hampshire busy weekend http://www.ctnow.com/news/politics/hc-caucus0213.artfeb13,0,4035781.story?coll=hc%2Dheadlines%2Dpolitics
From PoliticsNH, is a report that Dean has hired experienced organizer Karen Hicks to run his campaign in New Hampshire:
PoliticsNH.com has learned former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has hired experienced organizer Karen Hicks to run his campaign in New Hampshire. Dean will be attending a house party on Sunday. The event will be at the home of Gary and Meg Hirshberg in Concord from 4:30-6pm
Anyone in NH who can attend the event this Sunday and send us pictures?
This will be a busy weekend in NH, with candidates Edwards, Gephardt, and Dean visiting the state, as well as potential candidates Carol Moseley-Braun and Wesley Clark.
Meanwhile, a poll of likely NH primary voters last week by University of Connecticut Center for Survey Research and Analysis showed the following results:
John Kerry - 32%
Joe Lieberman - 18%
Howard Dean - 12%
Dick Gephardt - 7%
Jon Edwards - 3%
Al Sharpton - 2%
The poll also shows Kerry and Lieberman with name recognition and favorability ratings light years ahead of the other candidates. When asked which candidate has the best chance of winning, 43 percent said Kerry followed by 16 percent for Lieberman. When asked who had the best chance of beating President Bush - again Kerry wins with 32 percent followed by Lieberman with 13 percent.
Its clear that Dean is a better challenge to Bush by simply looking at his position on the issues. Therefore, the fact that more primary voters in NH think Kerry and Lieberman are better positioned to beat Bush is more a function of Dean's lack of exposure. Hopefully as we get nearer to the primaries these dynamics will shift.
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Vermont economy "better than most" states http://rutlandherald.nybor.com/News/Story/60548.html
“As bad as this is, it could be a lot worse had we not been fiscally conservative in the past few years,” House Speaker Walter Freed, R-Dorset, said Tuesday. “I want to attribute it to our own fiscal conservatism over the last two years. … It’s important that people in the state who hear this message realize we’re here because we’ve been fiscally conservative in the past few years. Everyone’s had a piece in this.”
One of those policies was to use surpluses in flush years for onetime expenditures rather than for additional programs, said Rep. Martha Heath, D-Westford, vice chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee. “I think you can give (former Gov.) Howard Dean and the Legislature the credit,” she said. “We learned valuable lessons from the early 1990s. We established rainy-day funds and we’ve been vigilant about filling them and keeping them filled.”
Certainly doesn't sound like fodder for "Fleecing of America", does it?
*thanks to reader Christopher Curtis for the link*
Dean courts Boston: Presidential hopeful accepts runner-up role in Bay State http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/local_regional/dean02132003.htm
Dean knows that it is almost impossible to defeat a Senator JFK (D) in Massachusetts. Pragmatically, he figures second-place is just fine:
BOSTON -- A second-place finish in Massachusetts wouldn't bother former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
In fact, when Dean's fledgling presidential campaign rolled into Boston yesterday, the Democrat said he has no designs on beating U.S. Sen. John Kerry on his home turf.
"Massachusetts is an important state," Dean said. "Obviously Senator Kerry is going to win his home state, but we're going to campaign in all 50 states, and this is one of them."
Dean visited the State House yesterday to meet with supporters. He also made a surprise appearance at a rally organized by advocates for early-childhood education.
"We're raising money in Massachusetts and we're doing a lot of work on issues," Dean said, adding, "I'm here both to learn from the activist community and also to talk about what we've done (in Vermont)."
A handful of Massachusetts lawmakers -- including Rep. Jay Kaufman, D-Lexington -- already have lined up behind Dean.
Dean's supporters include former Democratic National Committee chairman Steve Grossman, a Newton resident who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor last year.
Grossman is helping Dean raise money in Massachusetts and beyond. Dean said he plans to return to Massachusetts in March for a major fund-raiser. Although Kerry can bank on widespread support among Massachusetts' elected officials, some lawmakers are reserving judgment.
Unless there is a brokered convention, however, it's not clear how "second place" would actually help Dean in his bid for the nomination. Should he bother to campaign there? Or spend his resources elsewhere?
Dean's "Champlain Flyer" to appear on TV's "Fleecing of America" http://rutlandherald.nybor.com/News/State/Story/60542.html
MONTPELIER — The Champlain Flyer, a money-losing commuter train recently canceled by Gov. James Douglas, will make its third — and likely final — appearance on a national news program dedicated to government boondoggles.
Crews from NBC Nightly News were in Montpelier Tuesday to film a story on the Flyer for the program’s “Fleecing of America” segment, which is devoted to exposing wasteful government spending programs.
The commuter train between Burlington and Charlotte — championed by then-Gov. Howard Dean — made its initial appearance on the show in 1998, two years before it even began regular operation.
Now Douglas has proposed ending the train’s run in March, and NBC plans to air a segment next Thursday documenting the move.
“They’ve been here a day or so, they rode the train yesterday to experience it themselves,” Douglas said. “I said (to them) what I said the other day, that ridership did not meet expectations, that revenue has been insufficient, and it’s been operating at a loss. I like trains, but when we’re facing such tight revenue times it’s just not a priority.”
Even the most charitable analysis by the Joint Fiscal Committee put the projected capital cost of the project at nearly $4 million, while the actual expenses were almost $15 million. And the projected annual operating cost of about $1 million turned out to be closer to $2.6 million.
Ridership was projected at 214,562 passenger trips annually and was expected to generate more than $160,000 in revenue. Instead, the train has managed about 83,000 riders annually and taken in about $53,000 in the last year.
Attempts to reach Dean for comment were unsuccessful, but Rep. John Tracy, D-Burlington, said he was “very disappointed that our commitment to public transit and to rail is taking a hit under this administration.”
He blamed many of the train’s opponents, who pushed for restrictions on the use of the train’s horn at crossings — necessitating costly gates — with driving up the project’s cost, and said that taxpayers heavily subsidize the airline industry and the highway system, yet balk when the subject of rail subsidies come up.
Given that Dean runs as a budget-balancing fiscal conservative, this issue is perfect fodder for attack. It is almost certain that there are other failures in the closet (after all, being Governor for 6 terms, you are bound to have some slipups). Dean's emphasis on his executive record (rather than the legislative backgrounds of all his opponents) is especially vulnerable to this kind of thing.
UPDATE: edited a typo, to read "6 terms" instead of "6 years". Thanks to DaveB for pointing out the error.
President's Day promotion for Dean gear
That said, Dean merchandise does play an important role in promoting the candidate, by increasing name recognition and ultimately helping to attract more supporters (and hence the pool of people who donate!). Dean bumper stickers are especially effective, because they are the most highly visible, and several Meetup organizers have been buying them to hand out at meetings. There are a number of other products in the Dean Store including postcards, t-shirts, and other gear. We are working to get mini-posters also made that can be displayed in public areas and mounted as signs. Imagine how cool it would be if Dean were to attend an event and see all the attendees wearing Dean hats and waving Dean signs :) Given that the campaign is strapped for funds, we are basically able to act as a distributed and free marketing campaign.
CafePress has announced that in honor of President's Day, any order on CafePress.com between 2/17 and 2/28 that is $40 or more, is eligible for a $5 discount, by using the coupon code PREZDAY. This seems singularly appropriate for Dean :)
Note that there are two bumper sticker styles - one with the URL for the campaign, and the other more plain (click the thumbnails above). Check out the Dean Store (and annex) for other products. If anyone has ideas on designs or products, please send me email or leave a comment.
UPDATE: David in the comments section writes, "My understanding is that credit card donations under $10 actually cost the campaign more than they are worth.
So if you're going to donate those 3 dollars, send a check."
 Note that you don't need to only shop in the Dean Store to qualify - the $40 can be spent across multiple Cafe Press stores.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Anti-war sentiment in Iowa is good for Dean http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=710&e=1&cid=710&u=/usatoday/20030212/pl_usatoday/4858863
via The Daily Kos, comes this news story about the rising tide of anti-war sentiment among Iowans. Given that Dean is the only candidate who has not kissed Bush's rubber stamp, this gives him a marked advantage in that critical state for the primary run:
Harkin was the warm-up act for the Democratic presidential candidate who is best positioned to ride the groundswell of dovish sentiment into next January's Iowa caucuses. Former Vermont governor Howard Dean earned the most enthusiastic standing ovation of the evening when he said: ''We ought not to resort to unilateral action unless there is an imminent threat to the United States. And the secretary of State and the president have not made a case that such an imminent threat exists.''
It wasn't too long ago that Dean was the Rodney Dangerfield of the Democratic race, the long-shot candidate from a minuscule state who didn't get much respect. But all that is changing fast, largely because of Democratic doubts about war. As Iowa party Chairman Gordon Fischer, who is neutral in the presidential race, put it Monday: ''I can see Dean winning the Iowa caucuses. He's as much a player here as anybody.''
Good strategic advice for Dean would be to publicize the essentially media-ignored story about the bi-partisan bill to repeal the Iraq Use of Force Resolution. There was one small mention in the AP newswire, but none in teh major outlets. Blogger Lisa English has a detailed post on the issue as well as links for advocacy.
It's virtually certain that Lieberman, Edwards, and Kerry will not support any such repeal. This makes them especially weak in Iowa, if Dean can leverage it and get people's attention.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Governor Dean's personal wealth http://www.bop2004.org/dtaweb/bop2004/default.aspx?SECTION=CANDIDATE&CID=8
Salomon, Smith Barney Cash and Money Account ($910,000 - $910,000 )
US Treasury Bonds ($441,000 - $441,000 )
T. Rowe Price Cash Reserves ($316,000 - $316,000 )
560 Acres of undeveloped land in Lowell, VT ($300,000 - $300,000 )
Vermont GO and Agency ($250,000 - $250,000 )
Cash, Savings $1,441,000 - $1,441,000
Stocks or Bonds $1,045,000 - $1,045,000
Real Estate $550,000 - $550,000
Other $390,000 - $390,000
General Investment $366,500 - $366,500
Feel free to peruse the site and check out the other contenders.
Sen. Kerry to Undergo Surgery for Cancer http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-elect/2003/feb/11/021105279.html
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will have his prostate removed Wednesday after being diagnosed with "a very early, curable" form of cancer, his doctor said.
Dr. Patrick Walsh, a urologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital who pioneered the safest form of prostate removal, said the Massachusetts senator should be back at work in a couple of weeks following the surgery.
Kerry, 59, who is otherwise fit, has a 95 percent rate of being cured, Walsh said, citing his own newly published study of 2,000 patients who have undergone surgery.
Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who was elected to the Senate in 1984, scheduled a 5 p.m. EST news conference at a Senate committee room to announce his diagnosis. Aides said the surgery will not effect his presidential campaign.
Kerry, whose father died of prostate cancer while he was in his 80s, was diagnosed at a fairly young age. Walsh said that helps his chances of recovery.
"Every expectation is that this is a simple procedure and that John will be back at full speed within days," said Chris Lehane, a spokesman for Kerry.
About 220,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and 28,900 will die, the American Cancer Society estimates. It is the second-leading cancer killer of men. But caught early, it is highly curable.
Surgery is the most common treatment for prostate cancer that has not yet spread beyond the doughnut-shaped gland that surrounds the urethra.
Men over 50 are routinely screened routinely for prostate abnormalities with a blood test for the prostate specific antigen, or PSA.
Monday, February 10, 2003
Dr. Dean, or Former VT Governor Dean
UPDATE (by Aziz, via Lawrence): It seems that Dean has let his medical license expire:
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) Former Gov. Howard Dean has let his license to practice medicine in Vermont expire.
But Dean, who is a physician and a candidate for president, said it was an oversight caused by his busy schedule. He plans to pay the $25 penalty for a late renewal.
Dean's license lapsed Nov. 30. The regular renewal cost is $350, said John Howland Jr., interim director of the state Medical Practice Board.
Hundreds of nonpracticing doctors are similarly tardy in filing for renewal, Howland said. If Dean were practicing medicine, the lapsed license would be a much bigger deal.
''I find it quite unremarkable that he would not be renewing his medical license,'' Howland said. ''He's busy doing other things.''
Dean said his busy schedule contributed to his not renewing his license.
Dean told Modern Physician magazine that he wasn't in Montpelier last fall to receive the renewal application.
''I wasn't there much in November and December, so I never saw it,'' Dean told the Chicago-based magazine, which first reported the story on its Web site Wednesday. ''It will be taken care of, but I do have to pay a $25 fine.''
In light of this, I think emphasising the "Dr." when referring to Dean is going to be an easy opening for critics. The best strategy for Dean is not to insist on any title whatsoever, and let individual journalists decide on their own.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
Transcript: address to the National Conference of Democratic Mayors http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/dean/dean012303spt.html
Courtesy of Democracy in Action, here is a link to the transcript of Dean's remarks to the Conference of Mayors. Lots of emphasis on economic issues, of course, and unfunded mandates. Much is a repeat of the content from the NPR speech, but still, Dean stays on message. Excerpt:
I'm a fiscal conservative, a real fiscal conservative--I'm not a borrow and spend, borrow and spend, borrow and spend Republican who gives tax cuts by raiding Social Security and gives all the money to people who make more than a million dollars a year.
No, what we did was--I've also been governor long enough so I had the pleasure of serving through two recessions, not one [laughter]. And after we got through the first one in 1990, we began to set aside money to pay off nearly a quarter of all our debt in the last decade. I never let the legislature spend too much more than the rate of growth and we invested in infrastructure, we invested in cities; we put all our state buildings in down towns and as a result--we have a terrible revenue problem in our state just like everybody else--but we're adding money to Medicaid, we're adding money to higher education, we're adding money to K-12 education, maybe it's not as much as we'd like.
Photos from Dean Meetups http://dean2004.meetup.com/hq/
The Meetup service is brilliant. There are present almost 900 people signed up for Dean Meetups - almost three times as many for Kerry and four times as many for Edwards. Check out the HQ and you can see photos from the meetups in DC and Minneapolis - and if any participants in other meetups have photos, you are encouraged to post them to the HQ. One thing that strikes me about the photos is the sheer diversity - not just race, but age as well.
Saturday, February 08, 2003
On his 25th visit to NH, Dean slams Bush budget http://www.politicsnh.com/archives/pindell/2003/february/2_07_03.htm
All presidential candidates were invited to address the USCM’s Urban Economic Policy Committee, but only Dean accepted. Manchester Mayor Bob Baines chairs this committee. Nine mayors from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Arkansas attended the day long meeting. "Politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, like to say how they believe in local control and then when they get in office it’s another story," Dean said. "I know from my time in Vermont that local implementation is the best for government programs. I believe in partnerships because they have worked for me in the past." ...After the morning speech, Dean headed over to the classic primary stop of the Merrimack Restaurant in downtown Manchester before heading over to Keene. It was his 25th trip to the state since he began exploring a presidential.
Friday, February 07, 2003
Dean's polling numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/main.asp?sectionID=25&subsectionID=354&ArticleID=73096
A pair of reports show improvement in Dean's polling numbers. From the Nashua Telegraph is this report of polling numbers from the American Association of Health Plans:
Kerry: 36 percent
Lieberman: 18 percent
Dean: 16 percent
Gephardt: 8 percent
Edwards: 6 percent
Sharpton: 1 percent
Undecided: 15 percent
Kerry: 24 percent
Gephardt: 23 percent
Lieberman: 13 percent
Edwards: 9 percent
Dean: 8 percent
Sharpton: 2 percent
Undecided: 21 percent
Note that Dean has a rather poor showing in Iowa, trailing behind the Big Four. He has a better showing in New Hampshire, but still sits in third place. Kerry has by far the strongest numbers thus far. Another poll by the American Research Group suggests that Dean might be better positioned to take advantage of the state's legendary independent voters:
Independents make up a tantalizing 38 percent of registered voters in New Hampshire, and every Democratic hopeful wants them in 2004.
A recent poll by Bennett's firm, American Research Group, showed Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry leading the field among likely voters in the Democratic primary, which is a year away. But among those who identified themselves as independents, former Vermont governor Howard Dean has a slight edge.
Though Dean urges Democrats to return to their roots, he also is positioning himself as an independent voice.
"What people liked about John McCain they will like about me," he said during a recent stop in Concord. "With me, what you see is what you get. And you're not going to like every bit of it, but you're always going to know where I stand and why I stand there.'"
As with the other poll, it did find Kerry leading, however. Dean still has a uphill battle ahead.
Dean on Iraq: painted into a corner? http://www.tnr.com/etc.mhtml
Recall that Dean had not been directly opposed to war in Iraq, but stated that he felt the President had not fully made a case for war. With Powell's speech to the UN, many have felt that the case for war has now been made. Dean's non-conformity on the Iraq issue made him stand apart from the other candidates, now he is somewhat in a bind. ABC's The Note perfectly describes his quandary:
"Howard Dean, the Vermont governor, said he had not been moved by Mr. Powell's arguments — although Mr. Dean, who has been strongly anti-war until now, made clear that he was not opposed to action to remove Mr. Hussein if it was not in compliance with the United Nations, as opposed to action by the United States alone." "'I'm not convinced: I don't think the case has been made for unilateral action,' he said."
As for Dean, has he boxed himself in a bit on Iraq? He has said the United States should go in Iraq in the face of convincing evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Now, with his Democratic rivals all talking about how powerful the evidence is, he is left arguing that the evidence doesn't show that.
The New Republic's &c blog takes this ball and runs with it, making a fairly harsh critique:
According to today's New York Times, Dean emphasized after Powell's speech "that he was not opposed to action to remove Mr. Hussein if [Iraq] was not in compliance with the United Nations, as opposed to action by the United States alone." But the point of Powell's presentation yesterday wasn't to make the case for unilateral action per se. It was to make the case that ... Iraq is not in compliance with the United Nations--exactly the case Dean said he needed to see made.
The gaping hole in Dean's logic is that he assumes (or, more plausibly, pretends) there are only two ways of getting to war: (1) Saddam doesn't comply with the United Nations, and this triggers a multilateral war; or (2) he does comply with the United Nations, in which case we have to go to war unilaterally if we still want to go at all. But an obvious third scenario is that Saddam doesn't comply with the United Nations--and Powell clearly demonstrated yesterday that he hasn't so far--but the countries that make up the United Nations choose to look the other way. Faced with that scenario, it seems that someone who's argued we should go to war if Iraq doesn't comply would have to support a non-U.N.-sanctioned war. And yet Dean says he supports nothing of the kind. The man just isn't serious.
(Their hardline, so at odds with the glowing pro-Dean stance last July, is likely due to teh fact that TNR is notoriously hawkish. They see Dean's support of Israel as hypocritical with his lack of resolve for war against Iraq.)
Still, the question remains, what will Dean do now? Thus far his position is awkward. We will have to see how he handles it in future interviews, because the current soundbites are just not sufficient. I feel his strongest arguments relate to his emphasis that the Iraq issue is not related to the War on Terror, and that we should be pursuing that first as a priority. As reported in the Sacramento Bee, this is the general line Dean seems to be taking:
A dissenting view came from Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who said the Bush administration had yet to make clear the need for immediate, unilateral military action. "Terrorism around the globe is a far greater danger to the United States than Iraq. We are pursuing the wrong war," Dean said.
(UPDATE: Matthew Yglesias also offers a some thoughts)
Request for regional links to Dean grassroots groups
Several local Yahoo Groups in support of Dean have been started as a result of the successful round of Meetups (notably New York and Oregon). If you are starting a regional group, please leave the URL in the comments section of this post so that we can update the sidebar with links to you.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
A report on the February Dean meetup in New York City & Portland, Oregon
We had a very good turn-out (around 15 people) at the NYC Dean meetup last night. (The meeting lasted about an hour.) A broad range of people from Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens showed up, and everyone seemed enthusiastic about doing work on behalf of the candidate. Since we currently lack any guidance from the campaign, we discussed ideas that we could work on ourselves. We have already:
* Planned a meeting for next week (Wednesday, Feb. 12th, 7pm, location TBA).
* Created a Yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NewYorkforDean/links).
Our near-term goals are to:
* Raise awareness about Dean through targeted literature handouts.
* Create a "New York for Dean" website (possibly with a group blog feature).
And our longer-term ideas:
* Prepare for petitioning for Dean to get on the ballot (NY has the toughest ballot-access laws in the nation).
* Develop hand-out DVDs with Dean's speeches as a supplement to standard printed literature (if this can be done cheaply enough & without running a-foul of copyright laws).
We discussed other ideas as well, so I hope my fellow meetup-ers will forgive me for leaving anything out. We encourage anyone in the area who is interested in Dean to join the Yahoo group (which will put you on our mailing list) & come to the next meeting. Also, we would love to hear ideas from other meetups about things we can do for the campaign.
Portland's meetup for Dean was well attended, with 5 persons confirmed on the meetup.org site, and 9 showing up for the Dean event! A good group of experienced campaign workers. The host of the event had contacted the Dean campaign, and, with another volunteer having a VCR/TV, two videos were shown: Dean on Meet the Press, and a Dean bio/campaign clip. Ideas generated for future action included:
* A letter-writing, leaflet dropping, campaign
*Having Dean available in a video conference-call for one of the future meetups
*Creating a Yahoo store for Dean-related political nostalgia
*Working with Vancouver, WA Dean-supporters, for their early primary
The group decided that a first priority was getting more people involved with the campaign. The Portland group will likely be meeting at the Eco-Trust next month.
* A Oregon for Howard Dean 2004 Yahoo group has also been formed (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oregon_for_howard_dean_2004).
Dean knocks Bush's energy "policy" http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030205/ap_on_go_pr_wh/democrats_2004_2
"That is our money that is funding that, and if we have no oil policy we cannot conduct the war on terrorism the way it ought to be conducted." He also called the Bush environmental "record" : "...the weakest and the worst of all the things he has done as President."
The article also notes that three other Democrats are considering a run for the White House: Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio (made famous last year for being one of the few representatives to vote against the (un)PATRIOT(ic) ACT), Florida Senator Bob Graham (yea, we know this already, but he's recently had heart surgery and may be reconsidering), and former NATO commander Wesley Clark. Interesting, eh? Didn't someone suggest in the comments section that Dean should take a look at Clark as a running mate? Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.
Democratic reaction to Powell's UN presentation is generally unanimous http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030205/ap_to_po/us_iraq_democrats_1
Dean Meetups are a huge success! http://dean2004.meetup.com
This is William from Meetup.
I wanted to let you know about last night's Meetups and their huge success. From the polls I've been receiving; it seems that the New York, Boston, Minneapolis, and Baltimore Meetups have essentially declared themselves as field offices for the campaign. THIS IS AWESOME!!! TRULY, TRULY GRASSROOTS! New York has even started a Yahoo! Group 'NewYorkforDean'. I'm in awe of all of your resourcefulness.
Next month's Meetup promises to be even bigger now that the campaign is linking to us from their homepage. Please make sure to sign up for their mailing list, that's the only way that the campaign can maintain direct communication with all of you and harness your abilities.
If any of you are interested in publicizing your Meetups locally through flyers; please let me know, and I'll email you some signs.
Hope you can make it next month,
I'd like to offer some advice to everyone participating in these meetups: collect money! While it's fantastic that we're getting the word out, what the campaign needs most is donations, donations, donations! See, I'm using the old conservative tactic of repeating something until it sticks. ::smile:: My point is that while you are creating grassroots support, you should also be trying to get as many people as possible to support Dean financially. During the early stages of this campaign, raking in money is a priority. We all know that money talks, right? If the Dean campaign gets enough donations early on, they will be stronger in the long run. I would hate to see Howard have to drop out of the race early due to financial concerns. I'm not saying this is even an issue at this point. I'm just saying that I really believe in this guy, and if he's not the Democratic nominee I will be extremely disappointed. Seriously folks. Look at the other choices. Take a good hard look at them and ask yourself if they'll be able to withstand the Bush juggernaut. Yea, that's what I thought.
Now go donate!
Monday, February 03, 2003
H.D. on T.V. in S.C. http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen//idrive/rwh020203.rm
In the mess hall, Dean has what one might call a gaffe when he goes up to an African-American recruit and says, "you're not from Vermont, are you?"
One interesting part of the Parris Island segment was when Dean told a soldier that his brother was POW-MIA in Laos, although he wasn't in the service - Dean doesn't know why he was POW-MIA (was he some sort of spy? He doesn't know).
All in all, the segments (especially the Parris Island part) are quixoitic, if anything.
Candidates eye independents in NH http://www.cmonitor.com/stories/news/local2003/0202_independents_2002.shtml
Independents make up a tantalizing 38 percent of registered voters in New Hampshire, and every Democratic hopeful wants them in 2004....
New Hampshire lets independents vote in either party's primary, and nearly one-third of those who voted in the 2000 primaries were independents. Among independents who voted Republican, more than 60 percent chose McCain, helping him beat George W. Bush by 18 percentage points.
But with President Bush expected to face only token competition for the Republican nomination in 2004, independents looking for choices will be focused on the other side of the aisle.
A recent poll by Bennett's firm, American Research Group, showed Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry leading the field among likely voters in the Democratic primary, which is a year away. But among those who identified themselves as independents, former Vermont governor Howard Dean has a slight edge.
Sunday, February 02, 2003
If the Democratic primary were held today, which candidate would get your vote? http://www.nytimes.com/ezpoll/20030131MAGPOLL.html
Vote Dean For America!
Howard Dean speech at NARAL
You know, we all have our reasons for running. I'm running because I don't like extremism, and I think extremism has taken over our country. I'm going to talk to you as a governor and as a doctor tonight, but I was thinking, as I was listening to the four speakers, how much is at stake. It's not just abortion rights or reproductive freedoms. Title IX is under attack by this administration, and I think if one of us doesn't win, next thing girls won't be able to go to school in America, you watch.
Now, Vermont is the promised land for you folks. I'm the governor--I was the governor until last week. I served on the board of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England for five years. When I became governor, I had to resign because we contract all our family planning services through Planned Parenthood in Vermont. We do not harken to the term "Partial Birth Abortion" in my state because partial birth abortion is like the word "quota". The president used it six times last night--it's a code word--it's designed to appeal to people's fears, to divisiveness. Partial birth abortion is the same thing. The truth is: I went and checked and tried to figure out--because I running against a conservative person the last two times I ran--I checked because I knew this would come up. How many late, third trimester abortions had been done in the State of Vermont in the last four years. The number was...zero. This is an issue about nothing--it's an issue about extremism, it's an issue about appealing to people's fears, it is the wrong thing to do, and people who use the term "partial birth abortion" are leading America into a bad place, they are trying to divide us, people of conscience. It is a wrong thing to do. It is no more honorable than the President of the United States using the word "quota" because he knows that it divides us by race, and using the word "partial birth abortion" divides us by conscience.
There are many good people, who on moral grounds, are opposed to abortion. I respect them. I do not respect the people who defend the throwing of bombs and murders of doctors, however. And some of those exist in our very administration. People who have not stood up against violence--they thought it would be better for their political careers if they didn't say too much about it. The chairman of the judiciary committee, last year who refused to allow the banking bill to go through because it outlawed terrorism at abortion clinics--that is a shameful act, and the American people ought to be ashamed of that.
Let me tell you a story. As many of you know, I'm a doctor, I'm an internist, and I take care of all ages, pretty much--from five to a hundred and five. And one time I was sitting in my office and it was not unusual for young kids to come and talk to me because I knew the whole family. And one time a young lady came into my office, who was twelve years old, and she thought she might be pregnant. And we did the test, and we did the exam, and she was pregnant. And she didn't know what to do. And after I had talked to her for a while, I came to the conclusion that the likely father of her child was her own father. You explain that to the American people who think that parental notification is a good idea--I will veto parental notification. In Vermont we don't have parental notification bills, but you know what? 85% of all minors that seek an abortion bring their parent with them voluntarily. It is the right thing to do. When I was practicing medicine, if a young lady came to me, and she was pregnant, I'd sit with her in my office and the first thing I'd do is try to convince her she ought to tell her folks, because I knew her folks, I usually treated them too. And sometimes she'd even say, "I don't dare, I don't dare--my father will kill me". In a small percentage of cases--that's true. And that's why we don't want the government telling us how to practice medicine.
Abortion is connected to civil rights. Because this government is so impressed with itself, in promoting individual freedom, they can't wait to get into your bedroom and tell you how to behave. And I don't think, as a physician--people ask me "What's your position on abortion?", it's very simple. It's a single sentence: The practice of medicine is none of the government's business and they ought have stay out of it. This is a private relationship, this is a private relationship between the physician, the patient and whoever the patient chooses to involve in that position. If you become pregnant, unexpectedly, and it's an unwanted pregnancy, you have three choices, and you have to live with those choices for the rest of your life. You can give that baby up for adoption, and you can talk to women who have done that, and they wonder for the rest of their lives--where that child might be and what might have become of that child. You can have the baby and keep that child. Sometimes that works out. Sometimes with fourteen and fifteen year olds, it doesn't work out very well. A teenager who has a child, below the age of eighteen, has an 80% chance of being on welfare for the foreseeable future, we can do better than that. And the last choice is to have an abortion. And for those who've had abortions, that is also a very difficult decision, and also a decision that you will wonder about for the rest of your life. This is an extraordinarily difficult decision. It's certainly a decision that has to be lived with by the patient for the rest of your life--and what in the world could the government be thinking about, and the President of the United States and nine old folks on the supreme court, five of whom are so far to the right that we can't see them anymore. What in the world, what in the world could they be thinking that they have the right to decide the life of a young woman who has the choice of adopting, keeping, or aborting. They have to live with that decision for the rest of their life. President Bush can go cut brush on his ranch in Crawford and not give it a second thought. We can do better. We can do better. We can do better!
Financial details about Dean For America http://rutlandherald.nybor.com/News/Story/59947.html
The Rutland Herald carries an AP report about the financial health of the Dean Campaign - its short, so I'll reproduce it in its entirety:
MONTPELIER — Former Gov. Howard Dean started this year with roughly $200,000 on hand for his presidential campaign.
Reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Committee showed that Dean’s campaign committee, “Dean for America,” raised $314,052 last year and spent $148,340, leaving him with $156,812 at the end of the year.
In addition, Dean’s political action committee, “Fund for A Healthy America” ended the year with $50,297, according to its FEC report. Dean spent $149,509 from the “Fund for A Healthy America” last year, which raises the total campaign-related spending last year to $297,849.
Dean has conceded from the start that he will run last among the other major Democratic presidential hopefuls in the money hunt.
The initial reporting Friday seems to prove that prediction true: Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry reported $3 million in his presidential fund as of Dec. 31, about $2.6 million of it from his Senate campaign.
Dean’s major fund-raising campaign just began at the start of this year when fund-raising became eligible for federal matching funds. Reports reflecting January fund raising will not be filed with the FEC until April.
Dean’s campaign fund raising picked up at the end of last year: In the final three months of the year he raised $169,657 and spent $97,867.
Dean set up the “Fund for A Healthy America” in 2001 to finance his travels as he explored a possible 2004 presidential bid. He also used the fund to support U.S. House and U.S. Senate candidates who “support the principles of fiscal stability, universal health insurance, better environmental protection, and equality for all Americans.”
In May of last year, however, he decided to be more direct about his presidential ambitions and formed “Dean for America,” which is designed to finance his presidential campaign travels and campaign staff.
It is essential that Dean raise money for simple survival. To that end, I think that the Meetups can greatly help. As MG pointed out in the comments:
Just a thought, and not to take the fun out of the upcoming Meetups for Dean. There are close to 500 people signed up for dean2004 meetup as of today. If 500 dedicated people meet once a month for the next 10 months, each contributing a nominal $25 a month at the meetups, thats $125,000. But with Federal matching funds it would amount to $250,000! I know I will probably spend $25 in food and beer alone! Its also a good way for someone to spread out their support that can't do the $100, $200, $500 a pop contributons. Just a thought, lets put our money where our mouths... and hearts are....
This is brilliant strategy advice. $25 might be a bit much for everyone, but every little bit helps. Note that Dean supporters outnumber the other candidates on Meetup.com -as of this writing, there are 501 Deanites, 227 Edwardians, and 295 Kerrys. Leveraging these numbers, even by as little as $10 a person per meeting, can mean a huge boost.
Saturday, February 01, 2003
The WSJ's Washington Wire
... Kerry says his war vote won't muzzle him: He blasts Bush's "clumsy" and "inadequate diplomacy." With 2004 rivals Gephardt, Lieberman and Ewdards also war backers, students are "flocking" to former Vermont. Gov. Dean's side in Iowa and New Hampshire, says an unaffiliated party strategist.
Dean's been smart to leverage his strong anti-unilateral approach has into maximum press early on. Graham and Kucinich are both likely to join the field of contenders; and with Graham, who also stood against Bush on the vote of invading Iraq, about to enter the contest soon, and Kucinich becoming the Nader-like candidate, it's a window of oppurtunity that's so far been used to the max by Dean to build an early base of activist supporters.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
President Endorses Howard Dean for President http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-ny--dean2004-sheen0130jan30,0,5293453.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire
Sheen was not available for comment Thursday, but Liberty said he'd told her Dean is "the best possible hope for the Democrats because he's not afraid to lose.
"He is determined to create a viable national debate on the real issues," said Liberty of Dean.
But if former Vice President Al Gore were running for the Democratic nomination, Sheen would support Gore, she added.
This is exactly the type of national (non-politically overt) exposure that Dean needs. Hopefully, People Magazine got some nice pictures on the West Wing set of President Josiah Bartlet and Howard Dean together, that will be in the magazine article on Dean this coming week.
Tavis Smiley talks to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/tavis/20030128.tavis.01.ram
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Dean responds to Bush's SOTU address http://www.primarymonitor.com/news/stories2003/vt__dean_stateofunion_21y13y_2002.shtml
Specifically addressing the Iraq issue, he stated that while "every president must be prepared to use military force in defense of the United States...every president must first strive to exhaust all other means of American power at our disposal, including diplomacy with friends and allies." Dean's stated in the past that if a case for war is made, then he has no problem using our military might to ensure our security. However, he reiterated that at this point Bush has yet to make a solid case for war. "These are the young men and women who will be asked to risk their lives for freedom. We certainly deserve more information before sending them off to war."
Governor Dean also reiterated his belief that North Korea is more of a threat to Americans than Iraq. "President Bush continues his single-minded drive to go to war with Iraq, a country that all agree likely does not yet have nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, North Korea openly claims to have a number of nuclear weapons and has declared its intent to make more." This issue has troubled many people who see Bush's actions as inconsistent at best and reckless at worst.
He also offered a few choice quotes that are consistent with his ideals and his message to America.
Regarding Bush's health care proposals, Dean stated, "Not only does he have the wrong answer, he doesn't even understand the question." And Dr. Dean should know, having made health care a top priority during his tenure in Vermont.
With the economy remaining a top priority in the eyes of most Americans, Dean attacked the Bush tax cut once again, hammering home the point that it is irresponsible fiscal policy. "The best way to stimulate the economy is to balance the federal budget." This is consistent with Dean's message from the get-go. By now most Americans are aware that the Bush tax cut only benefits the wealthiest of Americans while doing nothing to help our economy recover. Anyone remember the deficits of the eighties, and the skyrocketing debt? Let us not forget that in 1980, we were the greatest lender nation, and by 1988, Reagan's borrow-and-spend economics resulted in America becoming the greatest debtor. Dean reminded his audience that "The Bush administration's borrow-and-spend fiscal policy does nothing to bolster a shaky economy."
My favorite quote from the speech is the following, which I think sums up the Bush domestic economic policy quite well: "You can't spend the same dollar on a tax cut, a war against Iraq, a fight against terrorism at home, expanding health care, and improving schools and roads. President Bush wants to borrow to pay for it all."
::many thanks to Matt for the link::
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Here's Governor Dean's message on Meetup.com http://dean2004.meetup.com/
I want to thank Meetup.com for creating a platform for people to organize around the issues we all care about.
I hope to attend Meetups of my supporters as I travel the nation, and my campaign will provide suggested issues that need to be discussed, as well as ask for organizational help to build our campaign at future Meetups.
One issue that I think is appropriate for the February 5th Meetup is the pending war with Iraq. I hope that those who attend will look at positions of all the Democratic candidates for President on the war, and square it with the vote they cast on the Iraqi Resolution that gave President Bush a blank check to prosecute the war when he decides to do so. I opposed the Iraqi Resolution and believe the President must make his case to the American people before sending our armed forces in harms way.
Please visit my website at www.deanforamerica.com and I hope to see you at a future Meetup!
Dean on the Confederate Flag in South Carolina http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/local/states/south_carolina/counties/york/5033558.htm
The flag of the Confederacy, emblem of the Southern Strategy but not much else, is a trap for Democrats. The Charlotte Observer has a story about how the issue was addressed by the various Democratic candidates:
So far, Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, a New York civil rights activist, all have spoken out against the flag.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has said in interviews that the flag is a divisive symbol and that he opposes it on the State House grounds. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has said he doesn't personally support the flag, but he believes it's a local issue.
The controversy had quieted until earlier this month. Newly elected Gov. Mark Sanford irritated some fellow Republicans by asking Darby, who supports the boycott, to give the inaugural invocation.
The same week, Gephardt was asked his position on the flag. In an interview with The (Columbia) State, he declined to take sides. Then he quickly revised his position in a news release saying South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag from any official display anywhere in the state.
Note that only Dean has taken the states' rights position, which is intellectually consistent with his attitudes towards civil unions and gun control (especially since the President has absolutely no authority on the matter, only the SC legislature).
Dean Defense Forces: RNC talking points http://www.rnc.org/Newsroom/RNCResearch/research011003.htm
by way of Hesiod, this is a link to the Republican National Committee's talking points on Dean. Essential reading for the Dean Defense Forces. Note the resurgence of the "ultra liberal" theme that I mentioned in my earlier post. Here are some of the major points:
DEAN IS ULTRA-LIBERAL ON CIVIL UNIONS
If Elected President, Dean Would Honor Civil Unions As A Matter Of National Policy
"'As president of the United States, I will recognize civil unions, which will then allow full equality under the law as far as the federal government is concerned,' Dean said in a speech to the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association convention in Philadelphia." (Ross Sneyd, "Dean Would Recognize Civil Unions As President," [Barre-Montpelier] Times Argus, September 14, 2002)
Note how the implication is that Dean would force civil unions on et rest of the country, when Dean's actual quote was that this is an issue for states and that the federal government would not interfere (as the quote clearly attests!)
DEAN IS OUT OF THE MAINSTREAM ON HEALTH CARE AND TAXES
The Centerpiece Of Governor Dean's Presidential Platform Is Budget-Busting Universal Health Care.
Dean Has Said He Would Repeal Most Of President Bush's Tax Cut In Order To Fund His National Health Insurance Program. "Dean not only advocates universal health insurance but also tells audiences that Vermont already has moved in that direction. . . . How to pay for this? Simple, says Dean. Roll back virtually all of President Bush's tax cut of 2001 . . . ." (David S. Broder, "For '04 Run, A Walk In Carter's Shoes," The Washington Post, July 12, 2002)
Here they are equating Dean's incremental approach to health care with the Hillary Plan, and ignoring all mention of the success of teh Dr. Dynasaur plan upon which Dean's proposed plan would be modeled. Also, they claim that Bush's tax cut is "mainstream" - synonymous with "richest 5%" in their usage.
There is much more detail on these and other issues (including his critique of teh education billo, which has even been attacked by other conservatives).
Dean MUST find a clear way to articulate his defense from these charges in tiny soundbites, or he is absolutely toast. This is a mortal threat. And that's where we, the Dean Defense Forces, come in. DDF regulars, please respond in the comments thread below with your suggestions for Deanbites.
Hilariously, one of their points is that Dean is "at odds with fellow Democrats".
Monday, January 27, 2003
Presidency beckons for a Yale prankster http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=21441
"He loved the album, ran around singing it all the time, and seemed to land on 'I am the Walrus,'" Bill Kerns '71 said. "When you ran into him singing 'I am the Walrus' you knew he was identifying with it and laughing at himself in the same breath. We all sang along with Howard, buzzed by his phenomenal energy."
Now, the former Beatles-belting Yalie and longtime governor of the nation's 49th-most populous state is trying to harness this energy in his campaign for the presidency....
Robson, an Iowa native and resident, said he has been following Dean's progress in the state, which holds the nation's first caucus and has traditionally played a key role in the presidential nomination process. Robson said politicians often think the race comes down to "who can pump the most money into the media machine."
But Robson added that the American populace is "not that stupid."
"He's going to surprise a lot of people," Robson said. "I've had a dozen different people in Iowa come back to me after meeting him and say they were very impressed with him, with how he relates to people. I think people are underestimating how well he'll do, especially in Iowa."
Working hard... for you! http://www.cafeshops.com/cp/prod.aspx?p=dean2004.4403785&zoom=yes#zoom
Click on the link to see the new sticker, then take a few moments to browse the rest of the products. Buy now and buy often!
UPDATE (by Aziz) : I'd just like to make a note, that merchandise from the Dean store is NOT the best way to contribute financially to the Dean campaign. If you want to support Dean, the best way is to contribute money directly to Dean, not to cafepress. The Dean merchandise is important, in that it helps raise Dean's profile and gets the word out - which is essential to Dean's campaign (because it broadens the pool of potential contributors!). And items like Dean 2004 bumper stickers are critical in helping to build that critical mass which Dean will need to conquer Iowa and NH and ultimately, the nomination.
But, if you have a fixed budget, and have to choose between buying a bumper sticker or sending three bucks to Dean's campaign, donate, don't buy. Dean will benefit more from the direct donation than he will from the sticker show of support. Right now it's crunch time for his campaign.
Of course, if you can afford it, please do buy Dean merchandise (especially Dean 2004 bumper stickers). Dean needs all the help he can get, and the stickers are a powerful way to build his "brand". I just wanted to clarify the priorities, however, not scare you away from buying Deanstuff :)
Is Howard Dean for real? http://www.rollcall.com/pub/48_51/kondracke/273-1.html
A scathing article in Roll Call insinuates that Dean's critique of Kerry is hypocritical:
Is Howard Dean For Real? Well, Not Entirely
By Morton M. Kondracke
Roll Call Contributing Writer
January 27, 2003
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean ought to do well in the Iowa Democratic caucuses — unless the anti-war folks out there find out where he really stands on Iraq.
Unfortunately, the full text of teh article is available to subscribers only. If anyone can provide a transcript, please email!
Sunday, January 26, 2003
Dean rips Kerry for two-sided policy on Iraq http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/kerr01242003.htm
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Dean noted tartly that Kerry (D-Mass.) and other Democratic White House hopefuls voted last fall to give President Bush authority to use military force against Iraq.
``Now they're trying to say, ``We tried to constrain the president,' '' Dean told reporters in the leadoff primary state. ``Nonsense. They all voted to give the president a blank check.''
Dean's sharp words came as Kerry delivered a major foreign policy address at Georgetown University, ripping into Bush for failing to build international support as he pushes toward a risky war with Iraq.
``I say to the president, show respect for the process of international diplomacy because it is not only right, it can make America stronger - and show the world some appropriate patience in building a genuine coalition,'' Kerry said. ``Mr. President, do not rush to war.''
After his speech, Kerry took heat from a student questioner who asked him to explain how he could have voted to approve the use of force against Iraq in his Senate vote last fall while now criticizing Bush's push toward war.
``I don't see any inconsistency at all,'' said Kerry, noting that at the time of his Senate vote, he called on Bush to work with the U.N. before going to war.
``I believe leaving this man (Saddam Hussein) unfettered with nuclear weapons is unacceptable,'' added Kerry.
Kerry contradicts himself with his last statement, by basically endorsing Bush's characterization of the Iraq war as all about WMD. Kerry is trying to have it both ways. His comment that he "called on Bush" to work with the UN is irrelevant - after all, Bush technically DID consult with the UN. And if he really wanted to "call on" Bush to do anything, he should have voted no.
Reading to the end of the article, Kerry tried to critique Bush, but is unable to do so with the same clarity as Dean, given that he is hamstrung by his own record:
Kerry sketched a broad vision urging enlightened American engagement with nations and cultures that are the breeding grounds for terrorism such as the Arab world.
``I am here today to reject the narrow vision of those who would build walls to keep the world out - or who would prefer to strike out on our own instead of forging coalitions,'' said Kerry. ``As much as some in the White House may desire it, America can't opt out of a networked world.''
The United States, Kerry said, should work with Arab nations to build democracies and encourage economic development. ``What America needs today is a smarter, more comprehensive and far-sighted policy for modernizing the Middle East,'' said Kerry.
Does any of this make any sense? "enlightened American engagement" ? "work with" Arab nations? "more comprehensive" policy? These are empty words that sound like critiqe but have absolutely no meaning. Unlike Dean, who has invoked the Marshall Plan and has been very specific, Kerry is floundering with empty rhetoric, the kind that conservatives will have absolutely no problem tearing apart into the empty shreds that they are.
Saturday, January 25, 2003
"We're not going to beat Bush with Bush lite" http://www.cmonitor.com/stories/news/local2003/012303dean_2002.shtml
The Christian Science Monitor has a report from a Dean interview with the press in Concord. Excellent story, with great soundbites of Dean in full I-am-different mode. It reveals that Dean has taken to referring to his primary opponents as "the four guys from Congress" which is a brilliant catchphrase. Excerpts follow:
Former Vermont governor Howard Dean accused his Democratic presidential primary opponents yesterday of trying to run against the very Republican policies they'd supported in Congress.
"I think our party is suffering because we keep nominating people who will say anything they have to say to get elected," he said.
"Our candidates think the best way to get elected is to talk to everybody about voting for things like the leave-every-school board-behind education bill, which is going to cost the New Hampshire taxpayers $109 million," he said. ". . . . I can't wait for those four guys from Congress to come up here and explain to us why they wanted to raise your property taxes after they supported a tax cut for the wealthiest people in America," he said.
Dean also criticized his opponents for voting to give Bush a "blank check" on military intervention in Iraq - and, now, changing their tune on the issue.
"Today, they're running around telling you folks they're all anti-war," he said. (Later, he acknowledged that Lieberman's vote was consistent with the senator's comparatively "hawkish" position on Iraq.) "We're never going to elect a president that does those things. If I voted for the Iraq resolution, I'd be standing in favor, supporting it right now in front of you."
Al Qaida is a far greater menace than Saddam at the moment, Dean said, and Bush has not done enough to deprive such fundamentalist terrorist networks of the American oil money that helps fund their organizations.
"We can do better, but it requires a renewable energy policy and an oil conservation policy that makes sense," Dean said. "We are not going to change that unless we change presidents."
So Democrats, he concluded, must nominate a candidate who can win.
"Remember," he said, "we're not going to beat Bush with Bush lite."
Dean didn't spare Bush in thesed remarks, but it's good to note that he is spending equal time bashing Bush and differentiating himself from his opponents - in the context of bashing Bush!
Dean Defense Forces
Attack Bite #1: "Bush is the Taliban"
During Dean's NARAL speech, Yahoo reports Dean to have said:
Dean's medical background gave him an aura of credibility, but it may have been undercut by some jarring rhetoric. One example: Criticizing the Bush administration for steps to curb abortion, he said that if they continued on that path, soon U.S. women wouldn't be able to go to school. The implicit comparison was to the repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
This was interpreted by Glenn Reynolds as equivalent to "Bush is the Taliban". The best response to this mischaracterization is to point out that Dean was criticizing the Administration, not Bush personally. Second, that while there may be an implicit comparison, that is not the same as a direct one. Third, the point was an analogy, not a literal equating of the two. The main point to repeat is that the Administration's policies towards women demonstrate little concern for women as sovereign entities capable of making their own decisions.
AttackBite #2: "Dean is a hyperliberal"
Dean has many conservative positions on his issues pages, including a pragmatic and localized approach to gun control, and policies of tight fiscal responsibility. This gives him crossover appeal, which makes him dangerous to conservative opponents in ways that the other contenders (Kerry, Edwards) are not. Thus there is a growing attempt to paint Dean as a "Kennedy" liberal (which is also unfair to Senator Kennedy, but Kennedy supporters can run their own blog in his defense). The standard ammunition for this attack is Dean's historic and courageous stand on gay unions while serving as Governor.
Stanley Kurtz, neoconservative warrior, wrote an attack piece on Dean's stand during the wane of the 200 election. In certain ways, it is remarkably prescient (though not in the way that Kurtz would prefer). Prior to that, there were dire predictions of disaster as outcome of Dean's decision. And conservative bloggers have already experimented with the "Dean is so liberal, he has no chance" dismissal.
The meme is spreading - Howard Fineman (noted for his vacous approach to commentary) has recently penned an article that leads with, "Sharpton aside, [Dean] is the most left-leaning of the candidates." and is generally dismissive in the "another outsider trying to make a splash" vein.
Fineman also mischaracterizes Dean's support of universal health care as akin to Hillary Clinton's enormous plan. This is likewise grossly false, and plays right into the GOP talking points. Dean actually favors an incremental approach, outlined by Charles in the coments:
[Dean's approach] expands medicaid to all people under 23 (who are cheapest to insure), add a prescription benefit to medicare and subsidize small businesses and the self-employed between 23 and 65. Dean says that he favors this method because it will win the support of, among other groups, small businesses.
The best response to these attacks is to be aware of and strongly emphasize Dean's actual positions on the issues. Since he has no legislative record, watch for any conservative successes to be ascribed to the Vermont legislature than credited to him, but liberal decisions hanged upon his peg. This is a tricky meme to combat because it requires detailed knowledge of Dean's record as Governor as well as all of his positions on the issues.
Friday, January 24, 2003
Jeffords on Dean: "The next President"
“I came here for one reason,” said Jeffords, who arrived in the middle of Dean’s speech, “I wanted to be with the next President of the United States.”
The event, which took place in the house of a supporter in Washington’s Seward Square, was unexpectedly well attended. As many as 150 people crowded the house, each donating between $25 and $250 towards Dean’s efforts to qualify for federal matching funds. People were pressed up against one another from the front to the back door, with people looking down from the second-floor balcony, unable to make it down the stairs due to the size of the gathering.
In what was perhaps the most memorable line of his speech to the packed house, Dean said, “anyone who embraces supply-side economics has a serious cognitive problem.” Also covered at the event were Dean’s views on missile defense (Dean supports boost-phase missile defense instead of what he termed Bush’s “intergalactic” system) and the death penalty (Dean supports it in cases where a child or a police officer is murdered but does not consider it to be a deterrent. Vermont does not have the death penalty).
Dean a hit at north Texas fundraiser
Wednesday night I attended a Dean fundraiser in Dallas, Texas, hosted by Dr Adam Starr and his wife Heidi. First I'd like to say a big thank you to the Starrs for opening their home to us, and for being incredibly gracious and enthusiastic Dean supporters. Now onward with the update...
The fundraiser was a small but successful event. Everyone who attended ended up writing checks, and some were so charged up after hearing Dean speak that they have promised to help organise future fundraisers. Dr Starr created a very informative handout which explained how the federal matching funds work. Essentially, Dean must raise $5000 in twenty states (these contributions must be made in increments of $250 or less) in order to be eligible for federal matching funds. This is why it's so important to raise this money now: the sooner Dean gets the funding, the better chance he has to become the Democratic nominee. We fell slightly short of reaching the $5000 goal, so I'd strongly encourage my fellow Texans to please contribute to the campaign. Every dollar counts! If you make a donation, please notify me so I can notify Dr Starr and the Dean headquarters. I'd love to report that we reached our goal here in Texas!
The hilight of the evening was a phone call from our candidate, which Dr Starr kindly took the time to arrange. Dr Dean called us from his son's hockey game ("I'm on a cellphone and it's fifteen degrees here, so if I get cut off I'll call you right back!") and spoke for about fifteen minutes before taking questions. While he was speaking, you could hear the passion in his voice. Clearly this is a man who believes in what he's saying. He'll also talk your ear off if you give him the chance (::smile::). He was articulate and honest, and didn't dance around any questions (how refreshing!). He radiated enthusiasm, and by the end of the night I had no doubt in my mind that Howard is the candidate I'll be supporting.
Here is a brief summary of the questions which were asked:
Dr Adam Starr: "When are you coming to Dallas?"
Dean: "February or March."
Dr Starr: "How are you going to convince an oil rich state like Texas to move to renewable sources of energy?"
Dean: "I'm not going to do anything to hurt Texas. What I'd like to see is better standards for fuel efficiency, to cut emissions and to lower fuel consumption by cars and SUVs".
Me: "Hello Howard! It's so nice to finally speak to you. My name is Anna and I help run the Dean blog..."
Dean: (interrupting me) "Oh, are you one of the people from the site that's been sending people our way to make donations?"
Me: "Yes sir, that's us."
Dean: "I love you guys! You're great!" (serious enthusiasm in his voice here)
Me: "You just made my day, sir! Now seeing as I'm on the internet, I've had the opportunity to get a list of questions from some friends, and most of them focus on privacy. First I'd like to ask you about the Total Information Awareness Office. Do you feel the intelligence community has all the information it needs to keep Americans safe, and if so how do you feel about the TIA?"
Dean: "Well, since I'm not privy to the information the intelligence community has, I'm not sure whether they have what they need. However, I am troubled by the privacy issues raised by the creation of the TIA. And if I am elected, I'll be more informed and better able to make this judgement."
Me: "Okay, let's keep talking about privacy. Would you support repealing the PATRIOT Act?"
Dean: "I would support repealing parts of the PATRIOT Act."
Me: "Well for example, the PATRIOT Act lets law enforcement come into our homes and conduct searches without a warrant, and they don't even have to tell us they were there. How do you feel about that?"
Dean: "That is completely unconstitutional! I would repeal that part and any other part of the PATRIOT Act that violates our Constitution."
Me: "Excellent. With this being the thirtieth anniversary of Roe V Wade, I have one more question. Would you support a litmus test (meaning a pro-choice stance) for Supreme Court judges?"
Dean: "Now I hope you all know my stance on abortion. I am pro-choice. However, I would not support a litmus test because I think it's unfair. Just as it is unfair for Republicans to support litmus tests for the Supreme Court, it would be unfair for me to do that. But I would take that issue into consideration when picking a nominee. I would nominate judges who are balanced, but in all fairness I couldn't support a litmus test."
Paul: "How do feel about Bush's faith-based initiatives?" At this point I'm going to paraphrase because I can't recall -exactly- how he said this. Regardless, the gist of his response was that he supports some faith-based initiatives because he believes that charities do very good work. However, he does not support giving tax money to organisations who do not abide by federal anti-discrimination laws. He stated that if elected, he would try and ensure that organisations that discriminate would not receive federal funding.
As you can see, Dr Dean doesn't dodge the hard issues, and he doesn't say something he doesn't believe just because his audience wants to hear it. He speaks his mind and believes passionately that the country is "going in the wrong direction." He is a compelling figure... a real idea man who doesn't seem to have a problem with the "vision thing". It seems to me that once Dean is given an opportunity to present his message, he converts people on the spot.
It's not hard to support a candidate who is willing to fight for the good of the country instead of on behalf of corporate interests and campaign contributors. And it's obvious that Dean is not going to be your typical scripted, poll-chasing candidate. He is a true man of honor, and he deserves your support.
Dean for America .com redesigned http://www.deanforamerica.com/
I've actually spoken with Joe Trippi, Dean's media consultant, via email and he has mentioned that this redesign is going to encompass much more than mere layout changes. I've asked for an archive of Dean speeches and video, and transcripts, I hope they are able to deliver. Joe also promises that Dean will send the DeanBlog a personal message shortly, so keep tuned right here :)
The main advantages of fervent netroot support are communities. The Dean Forum is one, Dean Meetup is another, as are the considerable number of readers on this site who frequent the comments section and send us email about new content. Unlike email lists, these foster an interactive atmosphere without the intrusion and clutter in a mailbox. I hope the Dean campaign can effectively leverage these resources, because after all we share the same goals.
Dean speech to NARAL - video, analysis http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/odrive/c04_012103_roe.rm
In addition, TNR has an analysis of the speech up. The article analyses each of the candidates speeches to the powerful pro-choice group, and unsurprisingly, Dean gets the best reviews
Edwards's NARAL speech was another unexpected dud. Edwards is still better at retail politics than he is at wholesale politics. The charm he exudes in small groups rarely comes across before large audiences.
Joe Lieberman's speech was short and mono-thematic. Here it is in digest form: "We value women's health. ... Those are our values. ... American values. ... Constitutional values. ... Constitutional and American values. ... Neither side has a monopoly of values ... an American value ... an American value ... an American value. ... I am pro-values."
The candidate who most needed to reassure NARAL, though, was Gephardt. For his first decade in the House, Gephardt was staunchly pro-life. ... For a politician who is known for being emotionally restrained, or even inert, Gephardt gave a deeply personal and eloquent speech about his journey from young prolife Baptist to seasoned pro-choice presidential candidate. He was insistent that he had endured a long personal struggle with his conscience over this issue.
While most of the candidates wrapped their pro-choice beliefs in the soft glow of moral language and studiously ignored the most difficult issues of abortion policy, Dean did the opposite. His style is to grab the political live wire that everyone else is terrified of touching. And so Dean took partial-birth abortion, NARAL's most controversial and difficult-to-defend position, and made it the centerpiece of his speech, insisting that the term itself was an artifice manufactured by the right. "This is an issue about nothing," he proclaimed to the most boisterous applause of the evening. He then moved on to the next most divisive issue: parental notification. One of his twelve-year-old patients became pregnant after she was raped by her father, the Vermont physician said. "You explain that to the American people who think that parental notification is a good idea."
Next to Edwards's speech, Kerry's was the least memorable of the evening. It was a serviceable restatement of Kerry's commitment to all the issues NARAL cares about. There was even a sort of checklist at the end of it: "No overturning Roe v. Wade. No packing of the courts with judges hostile to choice. No denial of choice to poor women. No outlawing of a procedure necessary to save a woman's life or physical health. No more cutbacks on population-control efforts around the world." Kerry probably had the least need to impress this audience. His first Senate speech in 1985 was about abortion rights, and he's been a reliable ally to groups like NARAL ever since.
The article also mentions that just as Dean has inherited most of Bradley's campaign infrastructure, so has Kerry inherited Gore's.
However, a Yahoo report on the same event has a less flattering view:
Dean's medical background gave him an aura of credibility, but it may have been undercut by some jarring rhetoric. One example: Criticizing the Bush administration for steps to curb abortion, he said that if they continued on that path, soon U.S. women wouldn't be able to go to school. The implicit comparison was to the repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Glenn picked up on this report, characterizing it as "Dean says Bush is the Taliban" - which I think is unfair. The Yahoo story clearly says that the analogy was implicit. Dean never mentioned the Taliban, and he critiqued the Administration, not Bush.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
Get more on Dean
Here are some of the bloggers commenting on Dean's recent performance, or otherwise: Liberal Oaisis, MyDD, Political Parrhesia, Left in the West, Pleasant, Backup Brain, Into the Breach,
Dean's now led the Democrats.com straw vote poll for the Democratic nominee for three weeks in a row, out-polling the second place finisher Kerry by nearly a 2:1 margin.
From Vermont, here's Seven Days VT's snippet on Dean in DC:
Deanwatch 2004 — No shortage of glowing reviews of Howard Dean’s fiery performance Saturday at the Lind County Democratic Dinner in Marion, Iowa. Ho-Ho shared the podium with Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. John Kerry. C-Span ran the speeches twice on Sunday evening. The contrast between the new guy and the established veterans was like that between two lighted matches flickering in the wind and a bonfire of political sanity.
Dr. Dean opened his 25-minute speech by taking on the issue of the day — Bush’s announced opposition to the affirmative-action program at the University of Michigan School of Law.
“I was deeply, deeply disappointed,” said Dean, “more so than I’ve ever been after a long series of disappointments with President Bush’s administration, when the President last week went before a national television audience.”
Bush “used the word ‘quota’ seven times on national television. The University of Michigan does not have a quota system,” noted Dean, his voice rising with passion. “It never did have a quota system. The word ‘quota’ is designed to foster racial divisiveness and to encourage people to be fearful that other folks are going to take their jobs. That is a disgrace,” shouted Ho-Ho, “for the president of the United States to ever use that word!”
The audience roared. He had them eating out his hand as he strode though a litany of George Bush’s failures, from the economy and foreign policy to health care and education. “We can do better,” was his ringing refrain.
He ridiculed Bush’s “No Student Left Behind” Bill, as the “No Teacher Left Standing” Bill. Members of the audience leapt from their seats when Dean declared himself the only presidential hopeful who opposed the Iraq resolution. He was on fire!
On energy policy, Dean joked that he’d noticed the cars in the parking lot. “I’m not asking you to get out of your SUVs and trucks,” said the Vermonter, “but I want mileage standards for SUVs and trucks that are the same for the rest of the fleet.”
More applause. And a standing ovation when he got to civil unions. Ho-Ho learned forward, rested one elbow on the podium and told the hushed crowd, “I did not do this for gays and lesbians. I did this for America,” said Dean. “I want to be the president where everyone in America has equal rights under the law.”
Should he be the Democratic nominee, said Dr. Dean, “I can’t wait to stand next to George Bush in the debates and have him explain to Americans why everybody, even though they’re willing to go to Afghanistan and die for this country, shouldn’t have equal rights under the law when they get back. I can’t wait to see the President of the United States explain that.”
Tuesday’s ABC News “Political Note” put it best: “If you saw the reaction to Dean’s Saturday night speech and you still don’t think he can be a serious player in the Iowa caucuses (and maybe win them), you need to recalibrate your brain.”
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Video on C-SPAN: Dean in Iowa http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/mdrive/rwh011903.rm
If anyone can send in a transcript, please let us know! This speech is fantastic...
Monday, January 20, 2003
Fiery Dean draw cheers over Kerry, Gephardt in Iowa http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=584&ncid=584&e=1&u=/nm/20030119/pl_nm/politics_iowa_dc
Reuters has a report about the Iowa event this Saturday where Dean, Gephardt, and Kerry all presented themselves to Iowa democrats. By all accounts, Dean came across strong:
The standing-room-only dinner gave the candidates their first major showcase in Iowa, and they used it to take turns bashing Bush and offering their vision for the nation.
The fiery Dean earned the night's biggest cheers, drawing a huge roar when he hammered Bush for characterizing Michigan's college admissions policy a quota system and when he said Democrats have failed to stand up for their principles.
He won a partial standing ovation when he said he was the only Democrat in the presidential field to oppose the congressional resolution authorizing military action against Iraq. Kerry and Gephardt, who both voted for the resolution, sat quietly.
"I came here leaning toward Kerry and I still am," Genie Oster, a student at the University of Iowa, said after the speeches. "But I was really, really impressed with Dean. I didn't know anything about him before tonight."
Nick Maybanks, a prosecutor in Iowa City and head of the local Sierra Club (news - web sites) chapter, said he was inspired by the evening to "go out and spread the word about John Kerry." But he said he had not completely made up his mind, adding he would "leave a little space open for Howard Dean."
"I really enjoyed him, he got everyone psyched up," he said. "I'm going to have more chances to talk to him and I'm going to hear a lot more speeches. We have plenty of time."
If any readers of the DeanBlog can provide us a transcript of the event, we would be grateful. CSPAN carried Dean's speech but they do not yet have a video link up on their website. We will post more information as soon as we get any.
A Doctor's Certainty http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9030-2003Jan17.html
This is a weekend Washimngton Post story on Dean - another first-person narrative from someone attending Dean's speech at the National Press Club (Charles has previously blogged extensive coverage and photos of that event). Fairly straight forward coverage, cautiously optimistic, draws all teh usual historical parallels. The meat of the article is Dean's focus on his potential base of support:
"I intend to win," Dean says, which is what they all say -- except he lists his constituencies. One, of course, is gays, who are grateful for his signing of Vermont's civil unions law.
This could make white southerners see red, but Dean says those alienated could be balanced out by a showing by blacks, who he says "respond to my message that I want everyone to be free." One of his African American Yale roommates is organizing for the South Carolina primary.
He thinks he will appeal to fiscal conservatives, because he is the only Democrat in the field who has balanced a budget: He was governor of Vermont. He'll have doctors, he says. They would obviously like one of their own to preside in the overhaul of the health insurance situation.
A less defined constituency, and one that would not mind his deficits of fame and fortune, is that group of people who have a low threshold for guff in their political candidates. So far Dean is the class of the field in that respect. "They're looking for authenticity," he said.
I also liked the clever question, "Will he just provide therapy for liberals whose only comfort is derived from "The West Wing's" lefty Yankee president, Josiah Bartlet?" Guilty as charged, perhaps.
Election 2008 feed
Obama 2008 - I want my country back
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.