Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Dean mailing lists http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DeanInTheNews/
Dean's foreign policy: what about Israel/Palestine? http://www.msnbc.com/news/752664.asp
Howard Dean says it wonderfully in a major foreign-policy speech he delivered in Iowa on Monday. He comes as close as I’ve heard any Democrat come to laying out some of the above; he even takes a punch at Colin Powell for the “sketchiness” of his evidence.
Dean is far and away the most serious of the Democratic candidates to this point. Of course, he benefits from the dynamic of being behind and needing to win press notices, so he has to say attention-getting things that will differentiate him from the pack. If he gains ground, will he then trim his sails and speak more cautiously? We can’t know, but we know right now that he’s the only one saying virtually all the things a Democrat ought to say. My ticket right now is Dean-Clark, as in General Wesley, profiled by moi in the current American Prospect but the story is strangely un-linkable.
However, a reader of Alterman's has some critique of Dean regarding his (lack of?) stance on the Israel/Palestinian issue. They write:
Dean recently told the Jewish newspaper, FORWARD, that when it comes to Israel, “I stand with AIPAC.” And he hired a former President of AIPAC, Steve Grossman, as his finance director. That means that he essentially shares the worldview of those who support this war. And it means that he will join AIPAC in in blocking any moves toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
AIPAC is a hawkish group which does not support negotiations as a means of resolving the conflict in Israel/Palestine. Dean's hardline on the matter is not surprising, but he certainly hasn't gone out of his way to address the issue. Personally speaking, I think AIPAC is wrong, but this isn't about my beliefes, it's about Dean. Can anyone find documentation in speeches or other media about what Dean's opinions are regarding Israel/Palestine? Given that there is no mention ofthe conflict on his campaign website, it's important that we find out. Whether or not one agrees or disagrees, knowing where he stands is important.
UPDATE: David of the NYC group clarifies the role of AIPAC:
I think it is probably unfair (and potentially harmful to Dean) to characterize AIPAC simply as "a hawkish group which does not support negotiations as a means of resolving the conflict in Israel/Palestine." AIPAC's history is a somewhat more complicated. During the `90s, under the leadership of Steve Grossman (the man who is now Dean's finance director), AIPAC supported Oslo. But, both before & after Grossman, AIPAC's leadership has definitely been more hawkish and wary of peace negotiations. (As an aside, it's worth noting that even though the vast majority of Israelis support a two-state solution, most now also are reluctant to re-engage in negotiations with the present Palestinian leadership.)
This piece in the American Prospect is critical of AIPAC, but I think it does shed light on the organization's evolution over the years. And even though AIPAC's leadership may stand to the right of many American Jews, many of the rank-and-file members do not. Therefore, I think it is reasonable to say both that you support AIPAC and that you support peace negotiations and/or the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Joe Klein can't help himself http://www.time.com/time/columnist/klein/article/0,9565,426084,00.html
There is a certain sadness to watching both men work this time around — especially in Iowa last week, where peace is the issue, hot is the style, and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is rapidly becoming the flavor of the month. Ask an Iowa Democrat about Gephardt or Lieberman, and the most common reaction is a sigh. Meanwhile, Dean is wicked fun, a candidate who works without text and without net, excoriating his fellow Democrats for supporting President Bush on Iraq (while cleverly leaving a way to support Bush himself — if Saddam is found to be developing nukes, and if the United Nations is willing to go along). Dean speaks English, not focus group or legislatese. He sounds fresh — and last Friday, in Washington, he set the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting ablaze. "My name is Howard Dean," he said, after firing off a fusillade of examples of Democratic wimpiness, "and I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party."
By contrast, Gephardt and Lieberman, and North Carolina Senator John Edwards, seem to be moving, and talking, in slow motion. All three spend a fair amount of time telling their personal stories, which are compelling. All three say they are fighting for average folks like their parents. All three voted with the President on Iraq and try to confront that issue straight on. Edwards is best at this: "I know you don't agree with me on Iraq," he told an audience in Indianola, Iowa, which seemed to be entirely composed of peace activists, "but I want to tell you directly, from my own mouth, why I feel the way I do about this." And then Edwards — Gephardt and Lieberman do almost exactly the same — said Saddam is a real threat who needs to be disarmed, but quickly moved on to the President's "cowboy mentality" and diplomatic depredations: "Your family is safer in a world where people look up to America than in a world where we are hated." At this, an elderly woman named Jane Majors scribbled a sign with Magic Marker and held it above her head: BUT WAR WILL MAKE THEM HATE US MORE.
And so there's a tortoise-and-hare quality to the campaign. Dean dashing, the others slogging along, ducking brickbats and trying to explain themselves.
I repeat, this piece is supposed to be about Richard Gephardt. But since Klein actually refers to Gephardt as "macaroni and cheese" and the best he can say about him is "Poor Gephardt: put a microphone in front of him and he sounds like he's trying to climb the down escalator." Klein argues that Gephardt's qualities of experience and plain-speaking are key to a winning strategy, but looking at Dean's record as an executive branch leader, and Klein's admitted awe of Dean's plain english, its clear that Dean fits these qualities far better. We just have to wait for Klein to wake up and realise who he really is in love with.
Monday, February 24, 2003
Text of Howard Dean's DNC speech http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/onpolitics/transcripts/dean_022103.html
Following is the text of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean's remarks at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting.
DEAN: First, let me thank my wonderful and loyal advance team. (And did you all like the maple syrup and the cheese and all that stuff?
What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the president's unilateral attack on Iraq.
What I want to know is why are Democratic Party leaders supporting tax cuts. The question is not how the big tax should be, the question should be can we afford a tax cut at all of the largest deficit in the history of this country.
What I want to know is why we're fighting in Congress about the patients' bill of rights when the Democratic Party ought to be standing up for health care for every single American man, woman and child in this country.
What I want to know is why our folks are voting for the president's No Child Left Behind bill that leaves every child behind, every teacher behind, every school board behind and every property taxpayer behind.
I'm Howard Dean, and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.
If you want young people to vote in this country and if you want the 50 percent of adults over 30 to vote in this country that do not vote in today's election, then we had better stand for something, because that's why they're not voting.
Let me tell you what I want to do for America and what we've done in Vermont. I do want to balance the budget. There has not been one Republican president that has balanced the budget in this country in 34 years. And if you want someone who can be responsible for your money and take care of your tax dollars, you had better elect a Democrat, because the Republicans cannot manage money.
In our state, I had the privilege of serving long enough so I served through two recessions, not one recession. And when all that money was coming in, in between the recessions, between the two Bush recessions... Well, that's what they were.
When all that money was coming in during the good times, thanks to Bill Clinton's being willing to balance the budget, without a single Republican Party vote, when all that money was coming in, we did give some tax cuts, but we also saved money in the rainy day fund, we paid down a quarter of our debt. And today, not only is the budget balanced in these very difficult times, but my successor does not have to cut health care, does not have to cut higher education and does not have to cut K-12 education.
I'm the only governor running for president, and I'm the only one that's balanced a budget, including George Bush, because in Texas the lieutenant governor's in charge of balancing the budget.
In our state, virtually every child under the age of 18 has health insurance. We made Medicaid into a middle-class entitlement. If I become president with your help, the first item of business on our agenda is to do something that Harry Truman put in the Democratic platform in 1948. We're going to bring health insurance to every man, woman and child in America. I'm the only doctor in this race. And I've done it.
I want an environmental policy in this country that respects and preserves public lands, not drill in them. In our state, we've preserved hundreds of thousands of acres that will always be available for hunting and fishing and trapping and hiking and canoeing. It will never be developed. The Vermont that I left as governor in January of this year will be the same Vermont 100 years from now, because we have stewarded our natural resources. And this president would like to drill on our natural resources. We can do better than that.
Let me tell you something else I'm going to do. One of the things that I thought was terrific about Bill Clinton was that when he became president in 1992, he said that his Cabinet would look like the rest of America. And he did it. And he did it.
I want all of our institutions of higher learning, our law schools, our medical schools, our best universities to look like the rest of America. And I thought that one of the most despicable moments of this president's administration was three weeks ago, when on national prime-time television, he used the word ``quota'' seven times. The University of Michigan does not now have quotas. It has never had quotas. Quotas is a race-loaded word, designed to appeal to people's fears of losing their jobs.
I intend to talk about race during this election in the South because the Republicans have been talking about it since 1968 in order to divide us. And I'm going to bring us together. Because you know what? You know what? White folks in the South who drive pickup trucks with Confederate flag decals in the back ought to be voting with us and not them, because their kids don't have health insurance either and their kids need better schools too.
I'm not done yet. Yeah! Most of you know that six months before my last re-election, I signed a bill into law that made Vermont the first state in America that guaranteed equal rights to every person under the law.
That bill was called the Civil Unions bill, and it said marriage is between a man and woman, but same-sex couples are entitled to exactly the same legal rights as I have, hospital visitation, insurance, inheritance rights. All Americans are equal under the law in our state.
This bill was at about 40 percent in the polls when I signed it, 60 percent against six months before the election. And I never got a chance to ask myself whether it was a good idea to sign this bill or not. Because I knew that if I were willing to sell out the rights of a whole group of people because it was politically inconvenient for some future office I might run for, then I had wasted my time in public service.
Because I looked in the mirror and I knew that if my political career were about myself that I would not have signed that bill. But my political career has never been about getting elected. I didn't even seek the governorship. I became governor because my predecessor died in office 12 years ago.
My political career is about change. And this campaign is about change. What we're going to do here is, we're first going to change this party. Because this party needs to look in the mirror and ask itself: ``Is this party about the next election or is it about changing America--about changing America?''
This party needs to be about changing America, because only by changing America will we win back the White House.
I want a party that stands unashamedly for equal rights for all Americans. I want a party that stands unashamedly for health care for single American. I want a party that stands unashamedly for balanced budgets and taking care of poor kids and voting together and healing the divides, instead of expressing the divides and exploiting them the way the Republican Party has so shamelessly done since 1968.
I need your help. I need your help. We're going to change this party. And then, we're going to change this country. And we're going to take back the White House. And we're going to balance the budget. And we're going to have health care for everybody. And we're going to have an America with its best institutions right up to the Cabinet that looks, once again, like America. We're going to bring hope to America, jobs to America, peace to America. We're going to bring pride to the Democratic Party. I need your help.
Let's go get it. Let's go do it. Let's win the White House in January of 2004.
Thank you very much.
Dean's DNC speech draws praise http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57823-2003Feb24.html
KLEIN: ...as when we make predictions, but I--I got to say I was at the--the DNC, the Democratic National Committee, meetings in Washington on Friday and Saturday--well, on Friday, and Howard Dean, the governor of Vermont came in and he just blew those people away. It was one of the most effective speeches I've ever seen a candidate give. Now he doesn't have foreign policy experience, but I think that at the very least, he is going to sharpen up the other candidates and he's going to make this a very, very interesting race.
SCHIEFFER: In every successful political contest, you will find a phrase or a one-liner that catches the public's attention, a few words that, agree or disagree, caused you to say, 'Hey, did you hear what so-and-so said the other day?' That's why I took notice when I called in from the road last week and a colleague asked, 'Did you hear what Howard Dean said the other day?' Dean, of course, is the Vermont governor and long shot presidential candidate. He had stepped to the microphone at a Democratic National Committee meeting, accused his rivals of trying to copy, rather than challenge, the Bush administration, and then electrified the crowd by saying, 'I'm Howard Dean and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.'
Now whether his analysis is right or wrong is not the point here. But with that one remark he has separated himself from the growing field of Democrats and won the first 'Did you hear what so-and-so said?' primary. Just ask the better-known and well-financed Dick Gephardt, who formally announced his campaign with a big rally last week. Not many Democrats, though, were asking what he said.
It is a long way from knowing who the Democrats' nominee will be, but if I were one of those other candidates, I'd start keeping an eye on Howard Dean.
In addition, the video of Dean's speech at the DNC event is now available here courtesy CSPAN:
UPDATE: LeftLeaner.com managed to ask the Washington Post's Terry Neil about Dean. Check out the transcript of the online chat to see what Neil had to say.
Clinton comments on Dean http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2003/03/clinton.htm
From the James Fallows interview in The Atlantic (in the follow-up questions asked via email)
Governors vs. senators. Mr. Clinton also spoke about the advantage governors have as candidates, based on their real-world operating knowledge. The one governor now in the race is Howard Dean, who is generally believed to be a long-shot. Does President Clinton think that the advantages that come with a governor's background could make Dean a serious contender for the presidency?
Howard Dean has been a good governor. He has done important things, and his background as a governor does bring advantages. However, because I don't plan to endorse a candidate before the party makes its choice, I don't want to 'handicap" the race.
Previously in that interview, Clinton talks about the rumor that he had called Edwards after his Meet The Press interview and told him to "hit the books before you go out in public again." Clinton says that wasn't accuracte, but had a smidgen of truth, and then goes on to give this advice in general to all the Democratic hopefuls:
I told him: John, you're great on TV. You make a great talk. You can talk an owl out of a tree. But my opinion is, presidential elections are won by the strength of the candidate, and having a network of support, and then by the mega message, having the big message. And that it's easier for a governor than a senator to have a big message. It may be easier for a senator than a governor to have the right position on all the issues seriatim.
Every presidential election is really about three things. At the bottom level it's about the specific issues. Then there's the big deal. What's this election about? What's the subject of the election, what's the meta message? And then right at the top is, How do you feel about this person to be President?
It is interesting to discuss how Dean fits these guidelines, arguably better than any other candidate.
Sunday, February 23, 2003
RSVP DC Fundraiser for Dean
Bill Karen Bates,
Pat Carolyn Fulton,
Stephanie Ridder and Dana Singiser
Invite you to a lunch honoring
Governor Howard Dean, M.D. of Vermont
Democratic Candidate for President
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
12:30 to 2:00 pm
"Top of the Hill"
319 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Host ~ $500 write or raise
Individual ~ $50
Payable to ~ Dean for America
(Please print and fill the contribution form prior to the luncheon)
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Jenny Lehner at
(802) 846-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, February 21, 2003
McCain acknowledges Dean http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/local/5223310.htm
McCain, who loves causing a political stir, shrugs off any perception that he is a disloyal Republican. "I'd like to check with Howard Dean to see if he has any ideas perhaps in the medical area," he said mischievously, referring to the former Vermont governor, a physician, who also is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
Take it any way you want, but the bottom line is that Dean isn't flying under the radar anymore. For someone like McCain (whom many have compared Dean to) to even acknowledge his existence really says something about the threat Howard poses to the Republican establishment. His momentum has continued to build as more people are exposed to his message. This was evident at the DNC's winter meeting, which Aziz blogged about directly below this post. At one point, Dean took the stage to chants of "Howard, Howard!" (I've linked that in the comments section of Aziz's post)
*thanks to Christopher Curtis for the link*
UPDATE: added the direct quote. Also, check out this old post on the DeanBlog for more on Dean and McCain, as well as a truly horrendous pun :) Also see this old Slate article about the Men Who Would be McCain --Aziz
Candidates prostrate before the Party Elders http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=2268515
But Dean, an outspoken opponent of a potential Iraqi war, opened his speech by asking why Democrats have been so reluctant to challenge Bush on the war, tax cuts and health care policy.
"What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the president's unilateral attack on Iraq?" asked Dean, who also questioned why Democrats have not asked tougher questions on the need for tax cuts or fought harder for universal health care.
"I am Howard Dean and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," Dean said to loud cheers, adding that if the party wanted to attract young people and new voters "we had better stand for something."
Mosely-Braun also got in a great soundbite, saying in reference to Bush's supposed foreign policy advantage, "Duct tape is no substitute for diplomacy." I think underestimating her is a bad idea for Dean, and suddenly I wonder if she would be interested in a VEEP position...
The Washington Post has an article on the meeting as well, with a cogent summary of each candidates' chances and outlook. The article notes that this meeting is extremely important:
Twelve years ago, Bill Clinton lit up a similar gathering in Chicago with a performance that helped propel him to the front of the Democratic ranks. The current candidates know that a strong showing before the Democratic National Committee (DNC) today and Saturday could boost their fundraising, build activist support and attract endorsements that will lend heft to their campaigns.
In addition, Sen. Harkin is reveling in his kingmaker role regarding the upcoming Iowa caucuses, having arranged the schedule for the various "town meeting" opportunities for the candidates:
North Carolina Sen. John Edwards will make the first appearance in April in Polk County, the state's largest. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's representative drew June in Cerro Gordo County in northern Iowa. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will appear in Davenport in May. Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt will be in Dubuque in July. The Rev. Al Sharpton will be in Sioux City in August, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman will be in Cedar Rapids in September.
In Iowa, Dean will face a serious challenge from Gephardt, whose candidacy has been met with yawns, but should not be underestimated.
Thursday, February 20, 2003
Rob Reiner Endorses Dean http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-me-dean20feb20,1,7720821.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Da%5Fsection
The actor-director's backing is a big boost for the little-known Democratic candidate.
By Rachel Abramowitz
Times Staff Writer
February 20, 2003
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's active opposition to an American-led war on Iraq has earned him an early boost in Hollywood's presidential sweepstakes, in the form of an endorsement by director and key Democratic activist Rob Reiner.
"Dean's the only major Democratic candidate speaking out against going to war without the support of the United Nations," said Reiner, who will be the California co-chairman of the Dean campaign. "My urgency to support him right now is to give him as big a forum as possible so that his views can be heard. It's a very dangerous time right now."
Winning Reiner's endorsement is fantastic news for Governor Dean. The endorsement not only raises his profile nationally, it should make a major difference in Dean's ability to raise money. As the article notes:
...Reiner's endorsement had been sought by several Democratic presidential candidates because of his energetic advocacy.
In the last presidential campaign, he hosted or co-hosted at least a dozen fund-raisers for former Vice President Al Gore, including one that raised $4.5 million.
Update: Here’s another article on the Reiner endorsement from Yahoo Financial News.
A particularly nice sample paragraph:
"Governor Dean embodies the absolute best of the Democratic party ideals," said Reiner. "Dean has a stellar record of accomplishment on children's health care and education. Dean delivered for the people of Vermont and I believe he will deliver for America."
On the campaign trail with the un-Bush http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/02/20/dean/index.html
Caption to the photo: Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, right, answers questions at a gathering in Concord, N.H., Feb. 16. Story excerpt:
...the story Dean wants to tell me happened when he and Romer met with the Democratic House leadership, including House Speaker Tom Foley, D-Wash., Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., and others. Dean, he recalls, was brash. He remembers telling Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the Democrats' leader on healthcare reform, that he "didn't know what he was talking about." Then, he told Foley that healthcare reform was an issue that needed to be tackled, and that the governors were prepared to lead the way. Foley told him to hold back, that the Democrats wanted to do it at the congressional level.
"Well, why don't you?" Dean asked. Foley told him that the Democrats, who then held more than a 100-seat advantage in the House, didn't have the votes.
"Well, then let us do it at the state level," Dean said. Foley told him that he'd prefer if they didn't.
Exasperated, Dean lashed out, saying, "Well, Mr. Speaker, if I were in charge of an organization that had a 25 percent approval rating, I might move on healthcare one way or another."
There was silence in the room. Finally, Foley smiled. "Actually, it's 27 percent," Foley joked.
Finishing the story, he smiles again. Later, over breakfast at Henry's Diner in Burlington, he says, "It's not a story that reflects well on me. I hope I've matured since those days."
But of course it's a story that reflects quite well on Howard Dean and he knows it. Dean generally uses his blunt comments like an inmate with a shiv. And already, he's used it to set himself apart not only from the bland, cautious Democratic bench of presidential wannabes, but from the bland, cautious Democratic Party in general. In an interesting contrast, when I ask Waxman about Dean's 1991 anecdote -- without telling him where I heard it - Waxman, through a spokesman, followed Washington protocol and praised Dean while denying such an incident ever occurred. Dean's brashness could prove not only refreshing but awfully successful in an era when both the media and the opposition party seem cowed into submission by the White House.
Dean to attend NYC Meetup http://dean2004.meetup.com/
Dr. Dean is scheduled to attend the March 5th Meetup in New York! The New York Meetup is the second-largest group after Washington DC, with 92 supporters, so this will be a very exciting opportunity for Dean to see for himself just how strong his netroots are.
William Finkel, who has done a lot of important legwork in getting the Dean Meetup infrastructure setup, writes:
I think the fact and manner in which Dean has embraced Meetup reflects his commitment to grassroots, community and technology. All the candidates are aware of our service, but Governor Dean, personally, understands what we can do. What we can do is exemplified by what our chapters have done; create self-organized, autonomous field units that will be prepared to support the Governor, however he needs, whenever he needs them.
True! The only difference being, that Dean has 1590 supporters signed up, whereas Kerry and Edwards have 499 and 298, respectively (as of this writing). Dean has pledged to try and attend as many Meetups as possible, so it is clear that he understands and appreciates his netroot support. Show yours by attending your regional meetups, and you just might see Dean there too :)
Also, I would like to re-iterate the call for regional Dean groups to post their URL in the sidebar coments, so I can continue to update the list. And, don't forget to get your Dean gear from the DeanShop to wear at the meetup, especially bumper stickers!
NPR Interview with Tavis Smiley: transcript
HEADLINE: Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean discusses his emphases on health care and a balanced budget
From NPR in Los Angeles, I'm Tavis Smiley.
On today's program, actress Rene Russo talks about saving Mother Nature one tree at a time. Also, Black Enterprise founder Earl Graves says his money is where his mouth is when it comes to Richard Parsons, AOL Time Warner's chairman and CEO. And I'll sit down with the talented Ben Vereen.
But first, we continue our series of discussions with announced candidates for president of the United States. Yesterday we spoke with Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. Today, physician and former Democratic Vermont Governor Howard Dean. A self-described commonsense moderate, Dean signed a law legalizing civil unions for gays, but also has the stamp of approval from the National Rifle Association for his opposition to strong federal gun control. I began by asking the Ivy League-educated former governor why he wanted to run for president instead of going back to practicing medicine.
Dr. HOWARD DEAN (Democrat, 2004 Presidential Candidate): Tavis, I think the country is fundamentally going in the wrong direction. You know, the president has run up a $350 billion deficit. We can't afford that. He keeps wanting to cut taxes more and more and make the deficit bigger and bigger. The problem with that is it means we are never going to do anything for seniors and their prescription benefits. We're never going to be able to do anything like fund special education so people's property taxes could maybe go down or we'd get more teachers and better-paid teachers. The president is borrowing money from seniors to pay tax cuts to people who don't need them, and he's borrowing money from our children so he can give tax cuts to people who don't need them. I think it's a very, very bad and dangerous direction for this country to be going in.
SMILEY: Vermont, of course, is a gorgeous state, but a small state, not one that allows you necessarily to have a national platform, so your name identity is not that of others in this race. And so you're running behind most Democrats at the moment in the polls. Most think your campaign is a long shot. How are you going to turn that around?
Dr. DEAN: I don't think it's a long shot. I'm the only person running for president that's ever balanced a budget. I'm the only person running for president that's delivered health insurance. Everybody in our state under 18 has health insurance. We can have health insurance for every American if we do it the smart way, the way we've done it in Vermont: not to have the government run it, but simply to help people like small businesses and help kids get health insurance. I have a platform that matters. I'm not interested in running this race so that I can get elected by saying anything anybody wants to hear. I'm going to say exactly what I think people need to hear. People are going to know exactly where I stand on every issue. And I think there's enormous hunger in the Democratic Party for some leadership like that, and as a governor and as a doctor, I have an ability to do that, I think.
SMILEY: As governor, you allowed passage of the first law in the nation allowing civil unions for gays and lesbians--quite controversial in certain quarters of this country. Are you concerned at all, Governor Dean, that America may not be ready for a president with an agenda that is so progressive?
Dr. DEAN: I don't see equal rights for all Americans being all that progressive. The right-wingers will call this gay marriage and all that stuff, which it's not. Our law says marriage is between a man and a woman. But it also says that gays and lesbians have equal rights, same as everybody else. This is an issue that I think the president is horribly deficient on. The president has taken us back a generation in race relations. I was totally shocked when the president of the United States said in a national speech that the University of Michigan used quotas. 'Quotas' is a racially charged buzzword that appeals to latent racism among white people who are afraid that they're going to lose their jobs because some person of color is going to get a position in a law school or a job.
For the president of the United States to use the word 'quotas' in a national speech when he knows very well that the University of Michigan does not now and has never had quotas, I think, is emblematic of what the Republican Party does in this country. They divide us by race. They divide us by sexual preference. They divide us by anything to avoid talking about the bottom-line issues, which I think are balancing the budget, health care and making sure we have a decent education.
I was horrified. The combination of that and the nomination of Charles Pickering, who was rejected once before because of his racial views, I think, has sent the message to Latino and African-American and immigrant people in this country that 'We want fewer of you in medical schools and law schools and the best colleges of this state.' I cannot imagine anything more destructive that this president could have done.
SMILEY: Governor, you just suggested that the president and the Republican Party of late are sending mixed messages on race. Where do you stand specifically on affirmative action, and what would you do to advance the conversation about race in this country?
Dr. DEAN: First of all, I think you have to talk about race. For the president to use the word 'quotas' is the way the Republicans always talk about race. They appeal to people's worst instincts, and then they run around and pretend that there's nothing really racial about what they're talking about. Let's talk about race. Race is a tough issue in this country. Diversity is critical. We don't have a majority population in California anymore. There's a series of minorities. There's African-Americans, there's Latinos, there's Caucasians--a series of minorities. The whole country is going to be a series of minorities halfway through this century. We have got to get beyond this notion that we're going to subtly appeal to each other's fears about each other and start talking bluntly about why we ought to celebrate each other's differences and the things that each one of us can bring to America, no matter what group that we come from. And the president of the United States--for him to delve back into the 1950s, appealing subtly to white fears, I think, was the greatest disservice in his presidency.
SMILEY: When it comes to gun control, Governor Dean, you don't fall in lockstep or in line with most other Democrats. Tell me why you oppose strict gun-control measures.
Dr. DEAN: I come from a very rural state, Tavis. Our homicide rate was five per year one year; the most we ever had when I was governor was 25. We have no gun control, pretty much, of any kind in Vermont. Now I think that you may need gun control in New York and Los Angeles or Washington, DC, and my attitude is, have as much as you want. But don't tell Vermont and Wyoming that they need gun control. Here's what my position is and what it would be as president. Keep the assault weapons ban. I favor that and it ought to be renewed. Keep the Brady bill, close the gun-show loophole, and then let every state decide for themselves what additional gun control they need.
SMILEY: Let me turn your attention for a moment, Governor, to the notion of foreign policy; the country on the brink of war with Iraq. Do you see a way to avoid war and at the same time ensure that Saddam Hussein doesn't have weapons of mass destruction?
Dr. DEAN: I do, and I think after the president began to listen to Secretary Powell instead of the more conservative members of his administration, things began to go right in Iraq. I think the notion of getting the Security Council to support the disarming of Saddam Hussein was the right notion, and that was a good thing to do. I think that making it clear to Saddam Hussein that inspectors are going to go back in and going to be able to have a free hand and find evidence is the right thing to do. But I prefer a diplomatic solution, and I think we can get to a diplomatic solution.
I think the problem--one of the problems with Iraq is that that is not the biggest threat. The biggest threat is al-Qaeda. Bob Graham, a senator from Florida who I admire greatly, voted no on the Iraq resolution because he did not believe it was addressing the real problem, which was Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Hamas. These are groups that really do threaten America. Saddam Hussein is not at this time a threat to America. The president has never made the case that he's a threat to America, and it's beyond me why we have 250,000 troops over there when we're not paying the kind of attention to security at home and the intelligence agencies and improving those agencies, particularly the FBI, that we ought to be paying.
SMILEY: Are Democrats in Congress showing any independence when it comes to Iraq?
Dr. DEAN: Tavis, here's what bothers me about this whole thing. I'm the only--first of all, I'm the only candidate for president that's a governor that's actually balanced a budget or delivered health care, but I'm also the only candidate for president that's said they would not support the president's Iraq resolution. But if you give somebody a choice between voting for somebody who believes in what they're doing and voting for somebody who appears to be taking positions based on polls and will say what they have to say to win, they're going to choose the person who believes in themselves every single time, and they're going to give you some slack on policy. So what I want to do is run the kind of candidacy that, perhaps, John McCain would have run, which is to talk about issues bluntly and plainly, and have a different policy alternative for the people of this country to vote for.
SMILEY: And yet you see that John McCain is in the Senate and not in the White House.
Dr. DEAN: Yeah, but John McCain had some other problems that didn't have anything to do with whether he won or not. He had some money problems. He was also a senator. He hadn't actually had the opportunity to balance budgets and deliver services, which I have.
SMILEY: How is your money? How's your fund raising?
Dr. DEAN: Well, we just started, really. I just hired a full-time fund-raising director this month, and I guess we'll find out over the next six or eight months or so.
SMILEY: Let me stay with this conversation for a moment here about the Democratic Party, because your comments kind of mirror those of one William Jefferson Clinton who, after the Democrats lost their shirts in the '02 elections, said, as I recall, when speaking to the DLC, the Democratic Leadership Council, that 'It is better to be strong and wrong that weak and right.' I guess the question is, your analysis notwithstanding: Can the Democrats do that? Can the Democrats sell? Do they have anything that they are for, as opposed to being against everything?
Dr. DEAN: Here's what I'll do if I'm president, and you make up your own mind about what the answer to that question is. I want a balanced budget. I want a tax policy that rewards middle-class and working people, not only contributors to the president's campaign. I want health insurance for all Americans in a system that does not change everything and have the government run it; it simply expands the present system to cover everybody, the way we've done in Vermont. I want investment in early childhood. I want a strong defense policy and a strong military, but I want a diplomatic policy that relies on cooperating with other countries instead of confronting them and going it alone at all times. That's my vision for what America should look like.
But most importantly, what my vision is--I want a philosophy of government that says we are responsible for and to each other as a people, that we are working together in this and that we will not pit groups against each other based on our ethnic differences, our racial differences, our religious differences. That's what this president did when he talked about his position on the University of Michigan, when he renominated Charles Pickering. We have got to get away from those racial code words and start building a society where we're all respected for who we are.
SMILEY: Maybe it's too early to ask; I do not know, so I won't ask you about names, per se, but any thoughts of the kind of person, should you become the Democratic nominee, that you'd like to have as a running mate--the kind of person?
Dr. DEAN: It is too early to ask, and, you know, as you said, Tavis, right now I'm at 4 percent, although the top guy's only about 8 points ahead of me, so none of us are--you know, we all have a long way to go. But, you know, to consider choices for vice president before you've gotten pretty close to the nomination is probably a mistake. What I'm definitely going to do is pick somebody who can help negotiate the shoals in Washington. I think the mistake that governors have made in the past when they've gotten to Washington is that they think Washington works the way the state capital does, and it doesn't.
Dr. DEAN: Governors have a much more dominant role in their state capital than the president does in Washington, and that's something you have to consider.
SMILEY: Howard Dean is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2004, and has served as governor of Vermont for three terms.
Governor, thank you for your time and the conversation. I appreciate. All the best to you.
Dr. DEAN: Great to talk to you.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Text of the "We Can Do Better!" Speech from Linn County, Iowa http://www.deanforamerica.com/dean.cfm?section=about&page=speeches&drill=011803
On the divisiveness that permeates the Republican Party: "I was deeply, deeply disappointed - more so than I have been in a long series of disappointments - with the Bush Administration. The President of the United States went before a national audience last week and, in response to the question of whether the University of Michigan should be allowed to continue the program that they have to make sure that their classes look like America, he used the word "quota" seven times on national television. The University of Michigan does not have a quota system, it never did have a quota system; the word "quota" is designed to foster racial divisiveness and to encourage other people to be fearful that folks are going to take their jobs. It is disgraceful for the President of the United States to ever use that word. If this were an isolated incident, you might say it was a mistake, but it wasn't. Two weeks before that, the Bush Administration renominated Charles Pickering to the United States Court of Appeals after he was turned down by the previous Democratic Senate because of his racial insensitivities. Let us not make a mistake about which party wants inclusiveness and diversity in this country. It is not the Republican Party. If you want a diverse nation, if you want to have an opportunity for Latinos and African Americans and immigrants, then you had better support Democrats, because this country is moving forward; it is going to be the most diverse country on the face of the earth and only the Democrats can build that country the way it needs to be built."
On how the Republican Party isn't fiscally responsible: "The only person who's balanced the budget in the last thirty-five years - no Republican has balanced the budget in the last thirty-five years - is Bill Clinton. Not one Republican president. And it is not an accident - when Bill Clinton balanced the budget in 1993 without one single Republican vote it ushered in the greatest ten years of prosperity in the history of America. George Bush has thrown that away in two single years. From the largest surplus in the history of America to the largest deficit. We can do better. If you want somebody you can trust with your money you had better elect a Democrat because the Republicans cannot manage money."
On cutting taxes and education: "We need to get rid of the Bush tax cuts that have harmed the economy to subsidize health care for small business people, individuals and people who work for corporations that don't give health care. That would help the economy much more than the President's tax cuts that went to people who made more than $300,000 a year. It's not enough for Dick Gephardt and I to say it. I want to see everyone say it as well. Those tax cuts are a mistake and we should stand up and say so. If we were to get rid of the President's tax cut, which is $1.7 trillion dollars, we could afford a small pittance of that - $27 billion - to get rid of the largest unfunded mandate in the history of education. If I am elected president, in my first year's budget special education will be fully funded. Remember, I'm a fiscal conservative; what am I doing with this fat spending program? It is tiny. In a $1.2 trillion budget, two percent of that is spent on education. $27 billion is a small amount of money, but do you know who benefits? Property taxpayers benefit, because if we were to fully fund special education, school boards all across America could decide how to pay teachers more, how to have smaller class size, how to improve their buildings, and still have money left over for a property tax cut. If you want to cut taxes in this country, Mr. President, don't cut income taxes for people who make $300,000 or more; what about us middle class property tax payers who are suffering because you can't fund education because you've run up the biggest deficit in the history of the country? We can do better!"
Now go read the rest of the speech!
The Unlikely Rise of Howard Dean http://www.newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/politics/national/n_8376/index.html
For better or worse, presidential candidates are judged on their family backgrounds and they way they’ve lived their lives before they jumped into the race. They are required to be both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. They have to be simultaneously Patrician and “just folks”—those of you who remember the Al Gore “he went to St. Alban’s and lived in a hotel” meme from 2000 know what I’m talking about here.
What we are shown of Dean’s life in this article bodes well for his ability to run as an above average, average guy. The son of Park Avenue blue-bloods, he’s not going to be able to run on a “rags to riches story.” However, there’s an appeal to a person who walked away from “a Park Avenue apartment serenely decorated with small African sculptures and modernist paintings and prints” to “a much-lived-in house, with an Oriental rug, a white couch and wing chair that need reupholstering, a chess set, and framed pictures on every flat surface.”
Is any of this as important as his stands on foreign policy or domestic issue? No, but it will be treated as such by the wags of the media. It’s better to be prepared, and this article is a good start in introducing the country to the private side of a compelling candidate.
(Thanks to Jason Rothstein for the catch!)
Dean on The West Wing?
Given that Martin Sheen aka President Bartlett has endorsed Dean, I wonder if perhaps the actor could be persuaded to lobby NBC to give Dean some exposure on the show. It could be as minor as a West Wing staffer wearing a Howard Dean t-shirt, or it could be as major as having Dean himself make a cameo appearance.
Could we, the DeanBlog collective, mount a campaign to get Dean on the West Wing? Use the comment thread to chime in - if anyone can find out email addresses for the show or for Sheen that would be a great start.
Is Kucinich a threat? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22505-2003Feb17.html
The real loser in all of this has to be Howard Dean. As the Post also points out, Kucinich will be making the very same anti-Iraq case to Iowa activists that Dean has been making for months--only without Dean's tortured qualification about supporting war if there were convincing evidence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or whatever Dean is saying these days. And Kucinich also steps on Dean's unconventional-liberal schtick. Dean supporters spend a lot of time playing up their man's fiscal conservatism and his opposition to gun control. Kucinich, it turns out, opposes abortion and has voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning. The more you think about it, the more it seems like Dennis Kucinich leaves Howard Dean without a constituency.
The TNR blog's implacable hostility to Dean blinds them to the obvious counter-argument - Dean is still running as a progressive. Unconventional on certain issues of principle, but ultimately a progressive. Kucinich's abortion stance waffling and his flag-burning voting record are serious black marks against women's rights and free speech. How can he be taken seriously?
The only issue on which Kucinich is any kind of challenge is the war, and frankly I don't think that a single-issue candidate can survive, and while Kucinich has received some media attention, he is too one-dimensional to represent a real threat, unless annointed by the media.
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!
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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.