Monday, March 31, 2003
The Big Mo': Dean Picks Up Key New York Endorsement http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-ny--democrats2004-new0331mar31,0,5310760.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire
UPDATE: Jerome points to this link for more information.
Hours to go for Dean www.deanforamerica.com/contribute
The campaign is only $45,000 away from its goal. We need to help Governor Howard Dean now. Howard Dean is the only candidate with the courage to stand up to President Bush and to speak out for what he believes in.
This is important. Please contribute before midnight tonight. Then pass this message on to everyone you know.
A few hours—together we can take our country back!
Dean Meetup passes 10,000 http://dean2004.meetup.com/
Online contribution form.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
Special Guest at Northampton (Springfield), MA Meetup http://dean2004.meetup.com
And, oh yeah, today is March 31st. Last day of the FEC 1st quarter filing. If you have not contributed, do it now.
Message from Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
"I was blown away by the March 5th Meetup in New York City. When I got out of the car, and saw hundreds of people lined up outside the Essex Lounge, and walked inside to find hundreds more, I felt—in a direct, powerful way—the awesome force of the Internet. After that Meetup, I knew we could take back the White House.
Journalists love to speculate about which candidates are doing well in the “invisible primary.” Long before Iowa and New Hampshire, pundits like to think they can assess who will do well in the elections by who is raising the most money. But there is another primary that is only invisible to those who are blind to seeing it. Its place of power is on the Internet, where people who never before had a voice this early in a campaign can speak up and demand honesty and fearless leadership from the Democratic Party, and self-organize around common ideas and ideals to take our country back.
One invisible primary is about money and posturing for position.
Our movement is about taking a stand, and giving people a reason to vote.
To the nearly 10,000 people who have joined our cause, and signed up for the April 2nd Meetup, I give you my thanks. Because of you we are building a nationwide campaign that will surprise the pundits, the other campaigns, and ultimately George W. Bush. And together we will take our country back."
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
Dean Buoyed in Iowa http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/29/international/worldspecial/29DEAN.html
Saturday, March 29, 2003
House Party open thread
The floor is yours, for reports of the Friday Dean house parties. We especially want to hear from those who had phone calls from Dean himself!
Friday, March 28, 2003
Why Donate Before Monday?
If you're not convinced, or are convinced but not compelled to actually go through the few-minute-long process of donating, please take a look at Dean's speech to the California Democratic Convention a few weeks back. Our friend Carl with a 'K' -- thus, actually, Karl -- has on his site video streams for both dial-up connections and broadband connections. Those of you who have seen the speech on C-SPAN or at c-span.org but still haven't donated should take the time to look at Karl's version. His is a different copy, taken from the convention floor, which allows you to "feel" the crowd's reaction to the speech.
It is important to remember that the California speech is for a partisan audience. Many Dean supporters are not liberals or even centrist Democrats but independents and conservatives who like the governor's straight-forward honesty and common-sense agenda. For a more general understanding of what the Dean candidacy is about see the issues section of his official site, read the speech he gave to the New America Foundation/Atlantic Monthly forum in January, or take a look at the story run by the hyper-conservative New York Sun earlier this month.
I gave today, and if you are viewing this site on anything other than free library internet access and/or have a rich spouse, it's likely that you have a better financial situation than I do. You can give anything from two to two thousand dollars right now either by secure online donation or by printing off this donation form.
The Dean Meet-up Challenge calls for a donation of $10.01 and an effort to recruit ten others to contribute the same. (Click here if you have no idea what I mean when I talk about Meet-up.) You needn't scramble to find ten friends before Monday; give now and work on spreading the message over the coming weeks and months of the campaign, which still has a long way to go.
No matter what your reasons for supporting him or how much you give, Howard Dean needs your help. Monday is, for better or worse, a big day as far as the "money primary" goes. Expectations are very low for Dean and a surprisingly strong fundraising total can help his campaign achieve escape velocity from the "underfinanced" and "long-shot" qualifications that virtually every media story about him contains.
But in the end, your donation helps Howard Dean bring his message to America. If you've come this far to learn about him, you surely agree that his message is something people need to hear. Donate today.
Dean: A Real Alternative to Bush http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/087/letter/Dean_is_a_real_alternative_to_Bush+.shtml
Gary Hart starts blogging http://www.garyhartnews.com/hart/blog/
But Gary Hart - who hasn't even announced his candidacy yet - has trumped all of this. Hart has begun blogging himself! True, Dean posted a message in the comments here on the DeanBlog, but Hart's new blog takes candidate participation on the web to the next level. Of course, it remains to be seen if Hart will actually continue posting, and what impact his schedule will have on his blogging regimen (if, indeed, he formally enters the race at all).
Still, we in Deanistan are not content to rest on our laurels - or let our candidate do the same (*grin*). There has always been a standing invite for Howard to contribute to this DeanBlog directly (Joe, Zephyr, just email me and I will handle all the technical aspects). So, make your voices heard, and leave a message exhorting Dean to follow Hart's example - and your suggestions on how to better it.
(and keep an eye on the HartBlog... so we know what he's up to :)
Dean Stakes Out Position - And Criticizes Rivals http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/03/28/commentary0318EST0453.DTL
What do others think: Is Dean on the right track by criticizing his rivals early on? Or, should he be more deferential this early in the primary process?
Dean Picking Up Steam in Northwest http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/connelly/114614_joel28.shtml
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Dean Continues to Speak Out (And, He's Opened an Office in Iowa!) http://www.boston.com/dailynews/086/region/Dean_accuses_rival_of_wobbling:.shtml
"He's recently opened a campaign office in Des Moines and has 10 field staffers on the payroll seeking to organize for Iowa's caucuses."
This is terrific news, and shows that fundraising efforts are beginning to pay off. The trick now is to keep the momentum (and the cash-flow) building.
Candidate of the Heart http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/086/oped/Candidate_of_the_heart+.shtml
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Howard Dean: The Buck Stops Here http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-dean-apology,0,82015.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines
This not only defuses the issue, but it shows that Dean is willing to stand up and take responsibility when mistakes are made. Many other candidates would have equivocated, or ignored this issue by simply brushing it off as a misunderstanding. Once again, Dean sets himself apart from the pack - and demonstrates why he will make an excellent President of the United States.
A Not-So-Neighborly Feud http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/085/oped/A_not_so_neighborly_feud_over_the_war+.shtml
The author of this column predicts that this is just the beginning of a serious duel between the two contenders.
The Coming Conventional Wisdom
Lacking actual reasons to explain this apparent lack of support (the polls must always Say Something; the poll-as-meaningless-name-recognition-measure does not fit into any easy narrative for journalists), his opponents took wild stabs in the dark with baseless accusations like that Dean is an "ultra-liberal." Quite the strange brand of ultra-liberal that consistently balances the budget as governor. By that standard, to be sure, President Bush is no ultra-liberal.
As the war drew closer, Dean became the "anti-war candidate" despite his protestations that he wanted Saddam Hussein disarmed, but with a truly global (as opposed to Anglo-Bulgarian) coalition. Now, with war underway, the narrative dictates that Dean will be "having trouble redefining himself" as something other than the anti-war candidate. Insofar as that was never really what he was, he shouldn't have much trouble with that. The real trouble will come from the media's definition of him, not his definition of himself. This part of the pre-defined story has already begun:
Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont who has presented himself as an antiwar candidate, was back in Iowa, a state with a large and vocal antiwar wing among Democrats. It was the start of what an aide said would be a week like any other week in Dr. Dean's campaign.This pieces leaves it there, strangely not explaining what exactly an typical week for the Dean campaign consists of, other than simply being in Iowa. The implication seems to be that Dean is off hiding in a state that still (still!) supports his supposedly anti-war message -- as if Iowa were an undisclosed location for peaceniks and not the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
Sadly, besides the media, a rather large portion of those paying attention to the presidential race that this point fancy themselves politically astute for being able to identify the trends in this constructed storyline. The most cynical don't even believe the narrative; they make very much of the fact that they would prefer another candidate but use the prevalent conventional wisdom and their besserwisser powers of glib deduction to conclude that only this or that candidate can win.
To be sure, Al Sharpton isn't a candidate that can win a presidential election in the United States. But if people really believe in him, I'm inclined to give them a strong, vocal, "Well, uhhh, okay." The same can't be said for Howard Dean. With Dean in a statistical tie with Senator John Kerry in the latest New Hampshire polling, it would seem that the narrative is dictating reason, rather than reason dictating the narrative.
Similarly, everyone needs to relax and step away from the afactual narrative about Dean and the war. Let's wait and see how much trouble he has firing people up before the sages declare it impossible. Whether you're for or against him you have to contend with the fact that this guy is for real. The press and his opponents would do themselves and the process well to recognize that.
[Author's Note: This piece originally appeared at That Other Blog, my personal site. The eminent Aziz Poonawalla, administrator for this site and purveyor of Unmedia, invited me to join the DeanBlog and suggested that this be my first contribution. I look forward to contributing and will do my best not to embarrass myself, Aziz, or Howard Dean. (That's a hope, not a promise, though.)]
Conservative Thinking on Health Care and Howard Dean http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCommentary.asp?Page=%5CCommentary%5Carchive%5C200303%5CCOM20030326e.html
The columnist describes Dean's health care position as "socialized medicine" (and you can bet conservatives will trumpet that soundbite to mischaracterize Dean's plan), and that this will be the "millstone" around his neck. It is comforting to know that Dean is already forcing conservatives to respond to his message, and that his stands are beginning to shift the nature of political debate in this country. This is good reading as primer to the conservative handbook on attempting to beat up on Democrats (in this case, Dean).
Note the alternative promoted, too. The much ballyhooed "Medical Savings Account" (MSA), which no doubt like school vouchers will simply shift better care to those who can supplement such accounts while leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Seattle Weekly: Watch Howard Dean http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0313/war-raban.php
"There is also much anger with the Democrats for failing to provide any articulate leadership in the war on (not with) Iraq. To many of its traditional supporters, the party appears to have been gutlessly complaisant in its bipartisan stance. But something interesting happened on Feb. 21, when the present crop of presidential hopefuls paraded in front of the Democratic National Committee in what several reporters likened to a beauty pageant. Joe Lieberman made a speech so flat that his candidacy may well have died in that moment. Richard Gephardt boasted of making common cause with the Bush administration on Iraq, and was met with cries of “Shame!” but went on to outline his domestic policy and won a series of standing ovations. Then came Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont."
“I’m Howard Dean, and I’m here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. . . . What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the president’s unilateral attack on Iraq.”
We've all seen and heard the line by now, but he goes on to insist that Seattle (and by default, Washington State) is Dean country. He concludes with one sentence: "Watch Howard Dean."
This kind of column is terrific. It fires up the activists and should help contributions from that part of the country.
Dean Meetup on the Verge of 8,000 Members
You can also put a clickable Dean icon on any web site you administer. Make sure to spread the word with other Dean supporters. Thanks!
Monday, March 24, 2003
where war and campaign finance intersect http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030331&s=lizza033103
Ryan Lizza, writing in TNR, has several cogent observations about the timing of war and how it impacts the campaign cycle:
Political operatives slice the presidential campaign into quarters, largely because fund-raising reports are due at the Federal Election Commission every three months. As if on cue, the war with Iraq is coming at the end of one quarter, as if the curtain is closing on the first act of the Democratic contest. After an intermission, during which the war itself is conducted, the curtain will rise again and the second, postwar phase will begin. The Democratic contenders are busily positioning themselves for that next phase.
This is a very good article, in that it discusses in detail how Dean and Lieberman are positioned at opposite ends of teh spectrum when it comes to war, and has some strategic analysis. Dean consistently gets the benefit of the doubt he deserves, when compared to the other candidates:
After Bush's ultimatum speech Monday, overnight polls showed that Democratic opposition to removing Saddam had fallen into the low forties. Needless to say, it is likely to drop further if the war goes well. Lieberman is trying to soak up a little of this rally-round-the-flag glow, which dovetails with his campaign's belief that there are enough moderate and independent voters in the early primary states for him to win the nomination. "For all the talk that the primary electorate is generally more liberal, moderates can do well," says a senior campaign adviser.
For Dean, the onset of war could have the opposite effect. "I'm well aware of what this morning's polls show," he told me the day after Bush's first speech. "So now I'm in a minority of sixty-six to thirty-three, and that's just the way it goes. I didn't take this position for political reasons, and I'm not going to drop it for political reasons." In canvassing opinions about the political implications of the war this week, aides to all four of Dean's major rivals made the same argument: that all the energy fueling Dean's surge in the first quarter came from the war. As long as the war is successful--a hugely important caveat--its conclusion will drain the momentum from Dean's candidacy. "Dean was nowhere before the war," says a top adviser to one candidate. "Once that hook is gone, he'll stop gaining as much ground." An official from another campaign concurs: "He essentially goes back to being the quirky health care candidate."
Not surprisingly, Dean insists he does indeed have a second act. "There is a lot more to this than the war," he says. In his view, the war may have been the hook that got people to first pay attention to him, but it was, well, him that got them to stick around. "The Iraq stuff was not the biggest issue," he says of the cheers he received in California. "That gives me the entree to get people to listen to me. What gets people cranked up is the straight-ahead style and the `let the chips fall where they may.' It's the McCain thing." Dean has a habit, which some find annoying and others refreshing, of talking about himself and his campaign in this detached manner. He doesn't just speak off-the-cuff; he reminds you that he's the guy who speaks off-the-cuff and explains that his off-the-cuffness is the reason people like him. "It's not just the issues," he says. "It's the way I talk about them. The war is the divide between me and the other four folks. ... But it's not the war; it's the straightforwardness."
There's one more warning for Dean in the article - that when the issue of war is over, he will still be vulnerable to attack - from the left:
But, once the war is over, Dean may face other challenges. With his Iraq hook gone, at least one rival campaign will try to pull the plug on another source of Dean's energy--the claim that he represents the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Expect an attack on Dean from the left on Social Security, the death penalty, guns, abortion, and federalism.
Of course, teh same answer applies to all of these charges - Dean speaks from rational analysis , not politics. Right now war has polarized the public, but after it is over, we have to have faith that the American public (and Democratic voters in particular) are able to appreciate "straightforwardness" and recognize its value, as compared to the same old refrain of craven politicking.
Donation deadline: March 31st
I need your help. I am writing you today because I need your financial support now, before March 31.
Next week, my campaign faces an important test of strength. March 31st is the deadline for filing first-quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). These reports are public record and are carefully scrutinized by political opponents and the media. By giving your financial support today, you will show the press, political insiders and party activists that I am a candidate with a message that works and the ability to run a strong campaign.
The Democratic Party needs to look itself in the mirror and start speaking up for what it believes in. It needs a leader willing to take a stand. I hope I have shown you I can be that leader. I hope I have proven over the past months that I am committed to the issues that matter most to you and to doing the right thing-even when it means standing alone. Now is your chance to stand with me.
We can do it. We will do it.
We need you to contribute generously to my presidential campaign before the FEC deadline of midnight, March 31st. By giving now, your contribution (of up to $250) will be doubled by federal matching funds. The federal limit on individual giving at this time is $2,000.
(LINKS: online donation form, downloadable PDF form)
Sunday, March 23, 2003
Dean's rhetoric on war creates a campaign stir http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/082/nation/Dean_s_rhetoric_on_war_creates_a_campaign_stir+.shtml
From the Boston Globe, a story on how Dean's comments, misinterpretation by the press, and his own admitted gaffe are playing out:
In animated conversation on the floor of the US Senate on Wednesday, Kerry placed a hand on Edwards's shoulder and nodded in agreement as the North Carolinian spoke to him with visible passion. Then, pointing at the podium where the Senate's presiding officer sits, Edwards said to Kerry in a voice loud enough for a reporter in the overhead press gallery to hear, ''He got up there and lied.''
Edwards was referring to the speech Dean delivered to California Democrats last weekend, in which he stood at the podium at the party's annual convention in Sacramento and lambasted Edwards and Kerry by name for supporting the war. Dean, who has won a following with his antiwar pronouncements, sought to distinguish himself further by telling the delegates that both of his rivals had refused to stand by their position during their speeches to the crowd. The remark triggered cheers for Dean - even though he would later acknowledge it was wasn't true.
The part where Dean acknowledged his remarks weren't true is expanded upon near the end of the article, based on an interview he did with the Boston Globe on Friday:
In an interview with the Globe on Friday, Dean argued that his position about the war and his rhetoric surrounding it has been clear and consistent. ''I'm not going to use red-meat criticism and attack the president, but I'm not going to support his war policy, but I'm going to support the troops,'' he said.
While Dean said he was staunchly opposed to the war and planned to continue criticizing it, he also said the United States should keep fighting, putting him at odds with other antiwar activists who have been calling for an immediate cease-fire.
''We're in. We don't have any choice now. But this is the wrong choice,'' Dean said. ''There will be some who think we should get out immediately, but I don't think that's an easy position to take.''
In the interview, Dean acknowledged that he had mispoken in telling the California delegates that Kerry and Edwards had reversed their positions on the war.
''I didn't know what [Edwards] had said because I hadn't been in the hall and nobody told me,'' Dean said. ''Had I known what Senator Edwards had done, I would not have said that.''
This is going to get uglier before it gets better.
March 28th is Dean House Party Day
If you cannot attend on the 28th, join meetup and go to your local meeting on April 2nd.
Saturday, March 22, 2003
Why Meetup matters - post NH http://www.mydd.com/archives/000565.html#000565
Jerome offers some explanation of why Dean's Meetup netroots matter - post-New Hampshire:
A big reason why McCain lost in 2000, besides SC, was that he lacked a nationwide campaign structure that might have benefited from his NH win. The combination of the very crowded early primary schedule and the massive nationwide influx of volunteers (see Meetup.com) supporting Dean have made it possible for the Dean campaign to build a national campaign much earlier. What these means, is that the traditional growing pains associated with translating a New Hampshire win by an insurgent candidate (see McCain in ’00, Buchanan in '96, Tsongas in ’92, Hart in ’88) into a national campaign, are being dealt with by the Dean campaign nearly a year ahead of schedule. When Dean wins in New Hampshire, he’ll be on the cover of Newsweek, and become known to many voters for the first time. More importantly, for winning the nomination, he’ll also have a nationwide campaign in place to fully capitalize on the win.
Jerome is too modest to post his own stuff here, so I'm doing it for him :)
transcript: Dean's CA Dem speech http://www.carlwithak.com/files/2003DeanSpeech.pdf
Governor Howard Dean, MD, Speech to California Democratic Party State Convention (Saturday, March 15, 2003)
What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq?
What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts, which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States?
What I want to know is why the Congress is fighting over the patient’s bill of rights? The patient’s bill of rights is a good bill, but not one more person gets health insurance and it’s not 5 cents cheaper.
What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren’t standing up for us joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth and having health insurance for every man, woman and child in America.
What I want to know is why so many folks in Congress are voting for the President’s Educations Bill “The No School Board Left Standing Bill” the largest un-funded mandate in the history of our educational system!
As Paul Wellstone said, as Sheila Kuehl said when she endorsed me…I am Howard Dean and I here to represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party. I want a Democratic Party that will balance the budget. Bill Clinton balanced the budget and starting in 1993, without a single Republican vote, kicked off the greatest 10 years of economic growth in this nation’s history. No Republican President has balanced the budget in this country in 34 years. If you want to trust somebody with your taxpayer dollars you better elect a Democratic because the Republican’s can’t manage money. I want an economy in this country where we create jobs that don’t move offshore. I want an America that has health insurance for everybody. I want a government that stops passing un-funded mandates and starts funding the ones we’ve got, like special education. I want a government which will give us a foreign policy so when we walk down the streets of the capitals of our friends we don’t have to worry about watching our backs where ever we go as American’s.
We’ve had two fine people. United States Senators, Senator Edwards and Senator Kerry, who’ve done a lot for our country and they have served us honorably and if they win the nomination either one of them I am going to support them and do every thing I can to help them win the White House. But, I don’t think we can win The White House if we vote for the President’s unilateral attack on Iraq in Washington and then come to California and say we are against the war. And I don’t think we can win The White House if we support the President’s “No School Board Left Standing Bill” and then come to California and tell every body that we are going to do all kinds of things for education. And I don’t think we can win the White House if we skip the most important abortion vote in the last year and then come to California and talk about pro-choice.
I am not surprised that only 15% of people between the ages of 18 and 25 vote because we have not giving them a reason to vote and we are going to give them a reason to vote now. I was Governor for so long that I got to serve through not one but two Bush recessions and in Vermont I was very proud to balance the budget. We balanced the budget, we set aside money in a rainy day fund, and we paid down almost a quarter of our debt. The reason that is important is it is hard to fund social justice with out a balanced budget, which is why this President doesn’t have one. In our state our budget is still balanced and we are not cutting higher education, we are not cutting K-12 and we are not cutting health care for kids. That’s what we need in this country. I am Governor and I have done it. In our State everybody under the age
of 18 has health insurance. We have made Medicaid into a middle class entitlement. If you made $52,000 a year or less in Vermont everybody under 18 in your family is entitled to Medicaid. We charge if you are at the upper-end of that, we charge $50 a month that insures everybody in your family under the age of 18. Now, if we can do that in a small rural state which is 26 th in income in the entire country, surely the most wealthy and powerful society on the face of the earth can grant all of its citizen’s healthcare. I am a governor and I am a doctor and I have done it.
In Vermont we have conserved 100s of thousands of acres that will never be developed, and I might add Mr. President, they’re never going to be drilled on either. If I get to be President I will protect California as well as Florida. Let me tell you something else, one of Bill Clinton’s greatest legacies to this country was the promise he kept to make his cabinet look like a America. I thought one of the lowest moments of this President’s presidency was about 5 weeks ago when he used the word quota 5 times on national television in the evening news. The University of Michigan does not now and never has had a quota system and the President knows it. We need affirmative action in this country and we ought to stand up and say so and be proud of it as a society. California is a precursor for the rest of this country you have 5 big minorities and lots of small minorities. In alphabetical order you have African American, Anglos, Asian American, Latinos, and Native American. Soon all of America is going to look like California, and when it does I want to make sure that every American is included in the very best institutions that we have in this country. Because as a nation we either admit that we are all-together or we will be divided as the Republican have divided us since 1968 under the Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy. I don’t want to be divided anymore by race, I don’t want to be divided anymore by gender, and I don’t want to be divided anymore by sexual orientation.
Senator Kerry was reported to have said that he could win without the South. I do not want to win without the South. I want to go to the South and I’m going to say to white guys that drive pick up trucks with Confederate flag decals on the back of their car. We want your vote to, because your kids don’t have health insurance either. I want to end on a personal note. Three years ago next month I signed a bill into law called the Civil-Unions bill, which gives gay and lesbian Vermonters the same rights I have: visitations for their significant other in the hospital; inheritance rights; and insurance rights. Vermont clearly is a place where every American is equal in the eyes of the law. I want the President of the United States to explain to all American’s why he doesn’t believe all Americans should be equal under the law. I signed that bill 6 months before an election when it was at 35% in the polls. I never had a conversation with myself about whether or not I would sign the bill or not, because I knew if I was willing to sell out the hope and dreams of a significant portion of our people that I had wasted my life in public service. Because, I have never lost an election but my career has never been about winning elections. My career and this campaign is about changing the Democratic Party. Its about changing America. And this campaign is about taking back the White House so we can have health insurance, so we can have a balanced budget, so we can have an inclusive society where everybody believes in each other and believes in America. I want the opportunity to work with extraordinary people in California. I will work with California instead of against you. I will work with Nancy Pelosi. I will work with Diane Feinstein. I will work with Gray Davis. I will work Herb Wesson. I will work with Jon Burton. And I’ll sure work with another Democratic from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, Barbara Boxer. We are not going to beat George Bush by voting with the President 85% of the time. The only way that we’re going to beat George Bush is to say what we mean, to stand up for who we are, to lift up a Democratic agenda against the Republican agenda because if you do that the Democratic agenda wins every time.
I want my country back. We want our country back. I am tired of being divided. I don’t want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore. I want America to look like America. Where we are all included, hand in hand, walking down. We have dream. We can only reach the dream if we are all together – black and white, gay and straight, man and woman. America. The Democratic Party. We are going to
win in 2004. Thank you very, very much. Thank you very, very much. Stand up for America, Stand up for America, Stand up for America.
Friday, March 21, 2003
Dean passes $1M mark http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/TheNote.html
From ABC's The Note comes news of a great milestone (emphasis added):
The Wall Street Journal 's Washington Wire says: "LIFE GOES ON in political-fund-raising world: As deadline nears for first-quarter reports, Senator Kerry has six fund-raisers before month's end; he's seen leading Democratic presidential candidates' money race. Rep. Gephardt still plans next week's $1.5 million bash in hometown St. Louis, and a 'Tonight Show' appearance. Senator Lieberman sends appeal to donors: 'I got off to a relatively late start,' he writes, by delaying his bid until Al Gore opted out. Senator Edwards keeps raising funds, but postpones New Hampshire trip on Friday to visit Fort Bragg families in home state North Carolina. Longer-shot Dean surpasses his $1 million goal."
Let's make it $2 million - don't forget the Million Dollar Meetup Challenge - and add a penny for the internet!
Dean Locked with Kerry for Lead in New Hampshire http://www.boston.com/dailynews/080/region/Dean_Kerry_about_even_in_lates:.shtml
UODATE: Here's another story on this from SFGate.
Thursday, March 20, 2003
March 20, 2003
In today's paper the Los Angeles Times said that Presidential candidate Gov. Howard Dean was "backing away from earlier plans to continue criticizing the war after the shooting began." This story went on to say that all the top contenders for the nomination released statements backing Bush as he ordered the first attacks on Iraq.
These assertions are incorrect and the story is incorrect. The AP, at the same event wrote quote "Anti-war Presidential candidate Howard Dean said he will not silence his criticism of President Bush's Iraq policy now that the war has begun, but he will stop the 'red meat' partisan attacks...
Dean's view that this is the wrong war at the wrong time is well known and has not changed.
Dean will continue to criticize the President's Iraq policy. "No matter how strongly I oppose the President's policy, I will continue to support American troops who are now in harms way," said Dean in a release prepared in order to correct the Los Angeles Times story.
confederate flags for Dean? http://dean2004.blogspot.com/2003_03_09_dneiwert_archive.html#90682654
Dean has a new line in his stump speeches:
"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 [Republicans]," he said, "because their kids don't have health insurance either, and their kids need better schools too!"
Most people think this is great (myself included), but there are a few who are uncomfortable with it. The best case against including the "confederate flag" part of the line comes from Orcinus, who argues that there are two different groups, one worth pursuing, the other not:
. And if you had to explain it in a simple sound bite like Dean's, that division nowadays is between the folks who have Confederate flag stickers in their back windows and those who don't.
The latter -- the decent, civility-minded, neighborly people of common sense and good will who make up the vast majority of rural America -- are the Democratic party's natural rural base, the people who have most felt abandoned by the party's urban focus in the past 20 years. They are the people that Dean, or whoever carries the party's banner, needs to bring back into the fold.
The former -- the neo-Confederates and Patriots, the right-wing extremists and the unregenerate racists and segregationists, all of whom are the people most likely to put a Dixie sticker in the back window -- are the people who once upon a time made the Democratic Party the acknowledged home of the nation's unreconstructed racists. They are the people who fled the party in the 1960s for the welcoming arms of the Nixonite Republican Party.
Dean should not be courting this faction of rural America. Even if he provides them with a brilliant plan to ensure health care for all of them, they will reject it and him in the end anyway, because their hatred of "gummint" ultimately knows no bounds.
Personally, I have to disagree. I live in Texas and I see a lot of Confederate flags myself - and I think that the perception of anyone who has a C flag on their truck is a closet racist (implied in Orcinus' argument) is blatant Yankee stereotyping. I despise the Confederate Flag and what it stands for but the truth is that it has become a social rallying point for conservatives, not because of racial overtones, but rather in response to the "liberal onslaught" of progressive ideology such as welfare, multilingual education, immigration, secularism, political correctness, affirmative action, etc. When you hear a Southerner speak fondly of Dixie and Southern Culture, they aren't talking about returning to the cotton plantations as massah and boy. They are literally too far removed from that era to really be tied to it.
It's true that many of these people will never vote for Dean anyway. But te point is not to try and appeal to those confederate flag wavin' pickup drivin' gun tootin' whoever they are - it's to appeal to the moderate conservatives, the ordinary people, who may be attracted by Dean's message of affordable health care but still have closer cultural ties to the more "redneck" (to use the gross stereotype) types. You can't attract Southerners to your platform without demonstrating respect for their concerns - and Dean's soundbite is (I believe) an honest recognition of this.
What does Deanlandia think? Keep the line, edit it, or dump it entirely, and why?
More responses on Dean wowing the CA Dems
Regular DeanBlog contributor Carl Withak has a long post full of photos (and video?) from the convention floor about Dean's speech:
With each line the Governor completed the audience became more energized. By the time he had completed the above statement he had at least 80% of the crowd off their seats, screaming and waving Dean signs! No other speech before or after received anything like this. At best, a speaker could count on 30-40% of the crowd to get off of their seats and applaud. This show of support was deafening.
As the good Doctor began to wrap things up he seemed to feed off the audience. His face become red, nearly the entire convention on their feet, screaming his praise, Governor Dean bellowed, "I want my country back! We want our country back!" From the looks of it, California is definitely Dean Country among the party faithful.
Outside the convention doors hordes of delegates converged on the Dean booth snatching up whatever Dean material they could and signing up to support the campaign. When I first went outside to check I was pretty shocked. There hadn't been a line at any booth until now. New found fans were now clogging the hall way, waiting to get sign up on paper in their support of Dr. Dean.
Oddly enough, very few, if any delegates were now standing in front of the Kerry or Edwards tables unless they were in line for the Governor's table. The volunteers manning the Senator's tables (located at each end of the Dean table) looked as if they'd had the wind kicked out of them. The heavy traffic would continue at the Dean table for the rest of the weekend, only slightly slowing down.
Hours later if you were to ask an anonymous delegate, as I did man, many times, "So, what did you think of the speech." You need not mention Dean by name, they knew immediately what you meant and they showered him with praise.
Jerome has his own thoughts on the speech, and points to a similar piece from The Hauser Report (via myDD):
This was serious stuff. A Democrat saying forget the Patients Bill of Rights. Then, he gave us pie-in the sky health care for all business. But the thing is, Dean explained how to do it (through Medicare and Medicaid) and showed that he did that in Vermont. Dean insisted on balancing the budget because otherwise you cannot fund social justice. He had something going here. He had a vision, he had experience, he could explain the importance of the ideas he was espousing, show they could be done, and get the message across in a way that was not just juicing up the left nor paying lip service without action that the right does.
Dean's speech then hit a peak that I have never personally seen (although attendees of national conventions may have). Dean had the place sold as he yelled over the absolutely raucous cheers "I want America back. I don't want to be divided any more. I want my country back."
And then the line that sent the house through the roof:
"I'm tired of listening to the fundamentalist preachers!"
Don't forget you can see the video of Dean's speech here - if anyone can provide a transcript, it would be much appreciated.
Dean says he doesn't do things for political reasons. When you start qualifying everything, he says, you get in trouble.
But when a young mother asks a question about Dean's high approval rating from the National Rifle Association, he gives a curious answer. After saying that Vermont has no need for gun-control laws -- it has one of the lowest homicide rates in the country -- he concedes that it's a view some people will have trouble with.
"But it's also a position that will allow me to win the presidency," he says. Al Gore's strong support for gun control cost him dearly in a few key states in 2000, Dean says. "If Al Gore had my position on guns, I wouldn't be here and he'd be in the White House."
Dean will have to be careful - while his postions are pragmatic, talking about the political expediency of them leaves him vulnerable. Also, Dean has been pushing this theme recently, about setting a bad precedent:
"The threshold for what America does militarily has got to be higher than anyone else's," Dean is saying. "America has always set the moral tone in foreign policy. And if we attack a nation unilaterally that's not a threat to us, it means that someone will try the same thing, somewhere down the line, and justify it by our actions."
This is a flat-out poor strategic move on his part. While I agree that America must set the moral tone, the argument that other nations will be "inspired" by our action in Iraq to act similarly (ex. India attacking Paksitan, or China attacking Taiwan) is deeply flawed. Precedent has absolutely zero meaning in the context of foreign policy - China's decision to invade Taiwan will always hinge on what our commitment to defend Taiwan is, for example. Eugene Volokh has a fairly solid and rigorous rebuttal of Dean's point that I think demonstrates its flaws well. It's far better to insist on "moral tone" for foreign policy than to put too much stock in precedents. The moral arguments are very useful and will have resonance on the right as well as the left.
Howard and Josiah http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/03/20/MN19435.DTL
Cute little article comparing Dean and fictional president Bartlett in painstaking detail. Nothing really new here, though there is some insinuation that the fiction-reality connection was deliberate in some ways, especially with regard to the "for America" slogan. More interesting is the way the fervor and passion that Dean has aroused in the party activists is seen in the context of the TV series.
Further blurring the line between entertainment and politics, and truth and fiction, is Rush Limbaugh's latest diatribe.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Big news day for Dean
So let's break down the news in order.
1. The New York Times. Adam Nagourey's article finds the Democratic Party scrambling to find a coherent message on Operation: Iraqi Freedom (hey, I didn't name it).
Officials in both parties say the image of high-profile Democrats challenging President Bush's war policy right up through his address to the nation on Monday — and, in fact, beyond the speech, as was clear here today — could reinforce a perception that Republicans are better suited to deal with threats from abroad.
One rival strategist was quoted as saying, "If Howard Dean didn't exist, Karl Rove would have to invent him." Ouch!
However, Nagourney completely misrepresents his statement, claiming Dean "declared he would continue his attacks, war or no war." The following was Dean's actual comment, hardly a promise of continued attacks:
...to ensure that our post-war policies are constructive and humane, based on enduring principles of peace and justice, concerned Americans should continue to speak out; and I intend to do so.
2. ABC's The Note. Thank goodness for balance. The Note quotes an unnamed pro-war Democratic candidate's advisor as actually defending Dean, saying that
Lots of Americans are sympathetic to the view that this war is a questionable enterprise. What I believe is a bigger threat to Democrats in the general election are candidates that are viewed as being wishy-washy on the war. Equivocation on security issues is the real vulnerability for Democrats.
3. The Washington Post. Also noted by The Note, Mark Leibovich's article in the Post plays up Dean as "the antiwar candidate," which the author acknowledges makes the candidate "grimace."
More importantly, the article highlights that Dean is the candidate with the most momentum and the most passionate support. One such supporter is quoted as saying, "I saw him on C-SPAN and he had me jumping up and down in my living room." My thoughts exactly.
4. The American Prospect. Prospect.org has a web-only candidate-by-candidate overview of the California Democratic Party State Convention. The Dean profile is extremely flattering, calling him "very much for real" and noting that he "repeatedly brought the delegates to their feet." This is also the first time I'd seen mention of Dean's "I want my country back!" chorus which closed his Sacramento speech. (Very powerful stuff for those of you who didn't catch it. I strongly encourage you do watch the video at C-SPAN.org.)
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Support the Troops, Oppose the War http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/manhattan/nyc-henn0319,0,1436145.column?coll=nyc-topheadlines-left
Support the troops, oppose the war: For Charley Richardson, that's where real patriotism lies, as he and his son wait for their president's call.
"Why do people have such a hard time with this concept?" this one Marine father asked. "If I saw my son getting into a car with a drunk driver, I would lay down in the middle of the street to keep that car from moving. I would do anything I could. "For me to stand on the side of the road and salute would be ridiculous." Opposition to this war is deep and wide.
Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor now lighting up the Democratic presidential race, vowed to stay on the case.
"I went to Parris Island so I could look into the faces of the kids who will be sent to Iraq," Dean told a cheering lunchtime crowd in Concord, N.H. "We should always support our kids, but I do not support this president's policies and I will continue to say so."
It's telling that there are military families with kids in the Persian Gulf who remain opposed to this action, and who can understand the need - indeed, they feel compelled - to speak out.
see Dean speak at the Children's Defense Fund Presidential Forum http://www.childrensdefense.org/conference_2003/default.htm
Our field agent Teddy Davis sends this notice of Dean's participation in a "Presidential Candidates Forum" sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund on Wednesday, April 9 from 7-9 p.m in Washington DC:
The forum will be held at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel. The hotel is conveniently located near the Woodley Park/National Zoo stop on the Metro's Red Line.
All announced candidates have been invited. What's more, I called Jane Farrel with the Children's Defense Fund and learned that the "candidates forum" is free and open to the public.
On the heels of Dean's electrifying performances at forums sponsored by NARAL, the DNC, and the California Democratic Party, rival camps are hoping that Dean's appeal will fade once war commences in Iraq.
Come out. Support Dean's prescription for change.
Prove the pundits wrong!
It's worth noting that in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has announced that the Children's Health Insurance program will likely not survive the upcoming budget cuts as Texas reels from its budget crisis. The reason Texas has a crisis? Ask former Governor: George W. Bush.
Dean's Statement on the President’s decision to send U.S. military troops into Iraq
Those Americans who opposed our going to war with Iraq, who wanted the United Nations to remove those weapons without war, need not apologize for giving voice to their conscience, last year, this year or next year. In a country devoted to the freedom of debate and dissent, it is every citizen’s patriotic duty to speak out, even as we wish our troops well and pray for their safe return. Congressman Abraham Lincoln did this in criticizing the Mexican War of 1846, as did Senator Robert F. Kennedy in calling the war in Vietnam “unsuitable, immoral and intolerable.”
This is not Iraq, where doubters and dissenters are punished or silenced --this is the United States of America. We need to support our young people as they are sent to war by the President, and I have no doubt that American military power will prevail. But to ensure that our post-war policies are constructive and humane, based on enduring principles of peace and justice, concerned Americans should continue to speak out; and I intend to do so.”
Monday, March 17, 2003
Dean Too Far Left? http://msnbc.com/news/886028.asp?0dm=N15MN
It appears to be a legitimate concern from a party heavyweight until one looks a bit closer. South is on record as having the goal of "beating the bejesus out of George W. Bush" in 2004. He's also on record as subscribing to the theory that "antiwar" always translates to "soft on national defense" in the minds of everyday voters. (Many would argue that's changed greatly in light of the recent foreign policy moves of George W. Bush.)
While Garry South has made his intention clear to work for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, he's also made it clear that he hopes to help choose who that nominee is. The smart money says he's leaning towards Davis friend Kerry. One gets the impression though, that Clark, Graham, Edwards, Lieberman, or Gephardt would do. Hopefully, Dean will be able to outrun the "weak dove" meme and win over (or silence) powerbrokers like South in the process.
Dean Will Continue to Speak Out http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/local/5414322.htm
This is a big step for the campaign and will help to reassure those who fear that once war breaks out that there will be no candidate speaking out against the Bush Administration. This may also help to continue setting Dean apart from the rest of the field.
"It is our patriotic duty to say to the president, 'We wish our troops well. We hope they get home safely and soon, but Mr. President, we think this war is a mistake," Dean told a gathering of Democrats.
One woman in New Hampshire summed up how many of us feel about this campaign, and its gathering momentum:
Barbara Miles of Manchester said she came to the event because she had seen a C-SPAN broadcast Sunday night of Dean's speech Saturday to the California Democratic Party convention.
"At the end of the speech, he had me standing up cheering in my own living room," said Miles. Dean's anti-war speech drew wild applause from the 1,800 California activists at the convention.
Dean - antiwar candidate
We are on the eve of war on Iraq. Collectively, we deaniacs have been trying to make the case that Dean's apeal transcends his position on war, and have been striving to explain how his position is more complex than simple "no war" but hinges on recognition from the UN, without sacrificing America's sovereign right to act in defense.
However, as Bush goes to the nation tonight and delivers his ultimatum, it is important to switch gears and explain to anti-war Americans why Dean does truly reflect their views, despite the qualifications above.
Few Americans believe that all war is wrong and that war must never be waged for any reason - especially after 9-11 it is hard to find anyone but the most extreme left who advocate dismantling our armed forces or other such pacifist measures. Most Americans who are against war feel this way simply because they feel that the case for war has not yet been made.
President Bush no doubt believes that there is a strong case for war. However, he has not really made this case to the public. Implicit in Dean's position is the recognition that there must not only be a reason but that the people must be given that information. Dean would not view dissent as harmful - his administration would not seek to prevent rallies in New York City against war or threaten grave consequences when the Parliament of other sovereign nations such as Turkey vote in accordance with their people's wishes instead of his.
If we were to make a case for Dean to an American who is against war, how could we communicate these ideas effectively? Regardless of how the war goes (and it likely will go very well), how can Dean preserve the support of Americans who are anti-war but who may be dswayed by Bush's success? How can Dean remond people of the political environment today, 6 months from now?
video: speech at California Democratic Convention http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/mdrive/rwh031603.rm
In the meantime, read DailyKos's coverage of Day 2 (where Dean cleaned house) and Jerome's reporting, who also points to this early report from AlterNet and an analysis of the top three candidates (Kerry, Edwards, and Dean) from the SacBee. By all accounts, Dean was on fire.
UPDATE: added link to the video. Click above or here.
UPDATE 2: Carl With a K has another video from the convention. Links to Dial up and high-bandwidth versions
I’m writing all my friends on my email list because there is something that is very important to me personally and should be important to the country. Howard Dean is the only candidate running for President who says what he thinks, and acts on what he says. I think he’s dead on. I want you to get involved and contribute to his campaign. He doesn’t have the deep pockets of most of the other candidates, but I believe he will make the best president—and I don’t want money to decide who leads this country. You can check him out at www.deanforamerica.com.
Even if this is the first time you have heard of him, or if you are unsure about your support, your donation at this time will allow his voice to be heard. Please help me and others take the big money out of politics. Please contribute whatever you can at WWW.DEANFORAMERICA.COM--$10 to $1000 (add a penny for the internet)--and pass it on to your friends who might be interested.
Contribute at: http://www.deanforamerica.com/dean.cfm?section=involved&page=contribute
I feel so strongly about this that I’ve decided to take the time to ask for money for the campaign, and I hope you will also take the time to make a contribution. I’m convinced that if we do this, Howard will never let us down. Thanks for considering this.
PS: If you want to get more involved, visit Howard Dean's Call To Action blog at http://www.deancalltoaction.blogspot.com/, or join your local meetup at http://dean2004.meetup.com
Saturday, March 15, 2003
Texas is Dean country! http://deanfortexas.com
Dean volunteers website http://www.deanvolunteers.org/DeanVolunteers/
There are some websites being set up right now for the purpose of building the organisation. Many people have written us to ask how they can help, so I thought I'd point you all over to DeanVolunteers.org. There are links to many states in place already, with contact information for your precinct organisers being added daily. And as a side note, if you're in Texas like me, you can visit DeanForTexas.com to get started volunteering for the campaign. We've got a lot of legwork to do here, so if anyone can donate some time, the campaign would be very grateful.
UPDATE: the Dean Volunteers website has also been linked from the sidebar for a few days now - and there is a new Dean campaign site being setup, a blog called www.deancalltoaction.blogspot.com, which will be a notice board for specific calls to action by the campaign to the netroots support. I will try to see if the campaign will be willing to post their call to action notices on this blog as well.
update: Oh gees, I guess this is what I get when I try to post stuff directly after a four hour road trip. I just noticed Aziz has already put a link in the sidebar for the volunteers site. Ug! Sorry for the flub, folks.
Beantown is Deantown http://www.massfordean.org/MassForDean/
Hear Howard Dean speak about:
- Guaranteed Healthcare
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Thoughtful Foreign Policy
- Equal Rights for All
Reserve a free seat at www.jfklibrary.org/calendar.html.
Dean and Kerry take on Bush foreign policy http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/03/14/MN203566.DTL
(There is a much larger piece on the growing Kerry/Dean competition at my site if you're interested.)
Friday, March 14, 2003
New York Times on the Dean Meetups http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/13/technology/circuits/13meet.html
... the site lists groups for supporters of Democratic candidates like Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, and for backers of President Bush. But none so far are as well populated as those for Dr. Dean, a physician who is an outspoken opponent of war with Iraq.
Dean is played up as the antiwar candidate, although without the one-trick-pony spin Fox News applied to the good doctor in their analysis of the meetup. The most important thing, it seems to me, is the fact that the New York Times is paying attention to the fact that Dean's support is real, grassroots, and anything but orchestrated.
(Thanks to Braham, who earlier posted a link to the story on the message board.)
Radio Nation interview & more tidbits http://stream.realimpact.org/rihurl.ram?file=webactive/radionation/rn20030312.rm&start=
In an interview with The Nation's Washington editor David Corn, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, a Democratic presidential candidate, discusses his opposition to war in Iraq, explains his own vision of healthcare reform, praises the NRA, whacks away at Bush and the Democratic Party, and names his favorite rock album.
Here's the direct link (pre-cued to Dean's segment):
The Nation is also running a full profile of Dean. It's a mixed bag, but on the whole a decent analysis and serves well as a summary of Dean's progress and stance so far. Given how influential TNR is, Dean's status as a top tier candidate will likely enter conventional wisdom as a result of this piece (which is a follow-up to the TNR piece last year that helped launch Dean's candidacy). The piece is particularly good at highlighting Dean's independent positions on various issues:
On many issues, Dean lines up--or ends up--on the left, though occasionally with a twist. Asked about affirmative action, he angrily assails Bush for dishonestly and exploitatively using the word "quotas" in attacking affirmative action programs at the University of Michigan. Yet he also calls for basing affirmative action on "income and class" distinctions as well as race. He believes portions of the USA Patriot Act "overreach," but, he says, "I haven't condemned Congress for passing" the legislation. It's only natural, he explains, that the lawmakers would overreact. The problem is, he explains, that Bush has appointed right-wing judges who will not provide any counterbalance to the excesses of the politicians. Dean maintains he doesn't "believe the war on drugs is a criminal matter; it's a public health matter. To throw users in jail is silly." But he cannot stand state initiatives that seek to legalize medical marijuana. "I hate the idea of legislators and politicians practicing medicine," he says. Should the Feds be busting medical marijuana clubs? "Depends on the circumstances," he says. "In general, no." If he were President, Dean adds, he would force the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate medical marijuana, and he would be prepared to accept its findings. Regarding the Kyoto global warming treaty, he wouldn't sign it as is. He argues that the accord--since "it doesn't require the underdeveloped countries to do anything about greenhouse gases"--would "have the effect of moving the steel industry or other industries that pollute into countries where there are no requirements to improve their situation with greenhouse gasses." He wouldn't dump the treaty, as Bush did. Instead, he would continue to negotiate to make changes. He favors a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But, he says, "I don't think you can pressure the Israelis to do anything until you stop the terror." And he urges more federal spending on fighting global poverty and disease, but won't provide any sense of how much.
Meanwhile over at TNR, there is also a short blurb on Dean in TNR's "etc." section which makes a good point about why Dean looks like a liberal now, though he was considered moderate while governor:
It's not entirely out of keeping that I'm one of the more progressive people in the (presidential) race while still being a moderate at home, because if you believe in a balanced budget, that automatically disqualifies you from being a progressive (in Vermont). And I think at the national level, that's not true.
Dean is right that being considered a moderate in Vermont--which he clearly was--probably puts you somewhere on the left side of the current Democratic presidential field (even if Dean's lefty reputation isn't entirely deserved). But there's more going on here than just that. The more important reason Dean was viewed as a moderate when he was governor but is viewed as a liberal now is that the country as a whole has shifted to the right--at least on certain key issues.
They go on to discuss Dean's fiscal conservatism and point out that "fiscal conservatism" is actually under fire from conservatives, thus making it a liberal position by implication.
apologies to all for the continued mixups with this post - I honestly DO know the diference between TNR and The Nation, though maybe just not this morning. where's my caffeine grog?
YOU interview Howard Dean
Thanks to reader Ken Manz for pointing out: http://dean2004.blogpsot.com - don't visit the URL, it just puts huge pop-ups all over your screen and tries to sell you bibles. But it's clear that Dean's candidacy (and the Dean Blog particularly) has attracted enough attention that it's now become worthy of parasitic typo-traffic.
With our candidate himself posting to this blog, we have verification that we have been an asset to Dean's campaign. We drive an immense amount of traffic to the campaign website, and especially to the online donations page (as Dean himself confirmed to Anna some weeks ago). In a way, this blog is a true partnership between politicians and the electorate, in a way that hasn't been possible since the early days of the Republic.
Remember what partnership means. Our self-organizing fundraising, war-room analysis, and real-time feedback is our responsibility to our candidate. Dean's reciprocal responsibility to us, is to represent us and act in our interests, and that of the nation. Therefore, it is important that we are given a chance to express ourselves, so that Dean is aware of what his supporters' issues and concerns are. And again, this blog can address that role.
So, I propose the first DeanBlog Interview. If you have a question for Dean, on an issue that he has not addressed in his stump speeches or on his campaign website, or a general question on other topics (be it personal, philosophical, - whatever) - post it in the comments thread of this post. Dean critics welcome! As Dean is running to be their president, too.
After we have collected a fair number of questions, we will make a new post asking readers to vote on the assembled questions, and then submit the 15 highest-rated ones to the campaign (and post them publicly).
During the NPR interview, Dean asked reporters, "it all going to be just Iraq, Iraq, Iraq?" but got no answer. I think we can do better, especially with a candidate that is so willing to actually ask.
Thursday, March 13, 2003
NPR transcript of Dean interview from March 11 http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=1188565
BOB EDWARDS, host: The prospect of war has become a big issue for Democratic presidential candidates. Among those candidates well-organized in Iowa, only one, physician and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, is portraying himself as an opponent of the war. His position has given him some early momentum in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson traveled in Iowa with Dean this past weekend, and has this report.
MARA LIASSON reporting: The Iowa caucuses are just about 10 months away and Howard Dean is doing what you do in Iowa at this very early stage. He's traveling from one small town to another, meeting with small groups of committed Democrats, trying to get votes one at a time.
Former Governor HOWARD DEAN: Very nice to come.
Unidentified Woman: And this is Ray Miller(ph).
Mr. DEAN: So does Rosemary(ph) drag you to all the caucuses?
Unidentified Woman: Tries to.
LIASSON: Dean's trademark line is that he represents the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. It's a quote from the late Senator Paul Wellstone, and Dean is comfortable practicing Wellstone's brand of conviction politics.
Mr. DEAN: I think that for too long, Democrats have been afraid to take on the president. We're intimidated by the president's poll ratings. We're intimidated by the right-wing talk show hosts. We need to be very clear that there is nothing that we ought to be ashamed about, about A, being Democrats and B, standing up for the things that we believe in.
LIASSON: Democrats in Washington are making a big mistake, Dean says, when they assume they have to go along with the president's policies because George W. Bush is personally popular.
Mr. DEAN: Well, the war is an example. Here I am the only major Democratic candidate who did not support the president's Iraq resolution. And it's not because I'm afraid to use the power of the military. We have to. Every president has to be willing to do that. But I don't think that Iraq is a threat to the United States. I think it's a third-rate country. We've contained them for 12 years without going to war. But you know what is a threat? Al-Qaeda's a threat and North Korea's a threat.
LIASSON: While the other Democratic candidates in Iowa this weekend were met by anti-war protests and hammered with questions about their support for the president's policy, Dean got bigger-than-expected crowds and standing ovations. Joyce Kranz, who came to ask Dean some questions at the 218 Cafe in Vinton, was typical of Iowa Democrats who were against the war and deeply disturbed by the reaction of people around the world.
Ms. JOYCE KRANZ: They had a poll on TV showing the countries--how much the people are against us. Seventy percent was the lowest. That's too many people to be against us. I mean, nobody is for us. And in the East, do you have people that support the war? Because here in Iowa, I can't say I find very many people who do.
LIASSON: When it comes to foreign policy, Iowans have a long tradition of pacifism and isolationism. Current polls show 85 percent of Iowa Democrats against the war, and among the most committed Democrats, the ones who go to the caucuses, the number is probably even higher. There's not much of a military presence here, few bases
or defense plants. In 1991, Iowa's Charles Grassley was one of only two Republican senators to vote against the Gulf War resolution. So it's not surprising that Dean's anti-war stand is helping him win converts, particularly among young people, like Megan Scott(ph) and Brian Tibbetts(ph).
Mr. BRIAN TIBBETTS: Because he's the only person who's standing up for what I believe in, he's not afraid to stand up against everyone else and say what he believes in.
Ms. MEGAN SCOTT: This is the second time I've heard him. We heard him in Iowa City and we drove here to hear him again tonight because I was so impressed with what he had to say.
LIASSON: As for the rest of the Democratic field, Megan Scott says their votes for the war were disappointing.
Ms. SCOTT: I don't know. It just really upset me to see such blind support, which, to me, it seemed like. And so it means a lot that he's willing to stand up and stand up for his beliefs and he's willing to take a risk because it may not be a popular stance in certain parts of the country, but it doesn't seem like he's backing down.
LIASSON: Dean's opposition to the war has become a metaphor for his willingness to stand up to the president. The fact that he was a governor underscores his other theme: that he's an outsider fighting against the Washington establishment. Carol Jensen(ph), a retired nurse who came to here him in Amana, found that appealing.
Ms. CAROL JENSEN: Well, I think he is very straight shooting, but it doesn't hurt that he's outside the Beltway. I think that's a big factor. He hasn't got the political baggage that the other players have. He's basically above it. He's out of the politics of it. He can say these things because nobody's going to come down and take away his committee chairmanship or anything else for this.
LIASSON: Some of Dean's success is due to sheer persistence. This is his 23rd visit to Iowa. He was here 14 times before any other candidate campaigned here. In an interview, Dean acknowledged that the war has opened doors for him and made him a surprisingly viable dark horse in this race.
Mr. DEAN: I think it's given me enormous visibility among Democrats, and I think it's helped me hugely, particularly in Iowa. There are two groups of people who support me because of the war. One are the people who always oppose every war, and in the end I think I probably won't get all of those people. I'll get some of them, but not all of
them. But I think I'm going to get a lot of Democrats who appreciate the fact that I stood up early and said this war is the wrong war, and that other folks running shouldn't be supporting it, because they see that I'm also in favor of health insurance, in favor of balancing the budget, in favor of some core Democratic issues that nobody else will stand up for.
LIASSON: What happens if the war is short and successful and the Iraqis embrace their American liberators with open arms? Many analysts think if that happens, no Democrat who opposed the war could beat George W. Bush, let alone convince his party to nominate him. But Dean is not concerned.
Mr. DEAN: I think you almost always win when you stand up for what you believe and take principled stands, and I'm not the least bit apologetic that I think this president's making a mistake, and I think it's a mistake to go in there under almost any circumstances, unless Iraq becomes a direct threat to the United States. Then we have a right to defend ourselves.
LIASSON: Dean's defiance is also directed at those Democratic candidates who voted for the war but now are trying to convince voters they're against it. Steve Kranz, the Democratic chair in Benton County, says Dean's strong stand against the war is attracting many Democrats right now. But in the end, he says, the war will not be the issue that determines the winner of the Iowa caucuses.
Mr. STEVE KRANZ (Democratic Chairman, Benton County): Assuming that the war goes on and is concluded within three or four months, that may not be an issue down the road. So what I'm looking at more are his social policy issues, his domestic issues. Where does he stand on health care? Where does he stand on unemployment? And I think that's, behind the scenes, what more Democrats are looking for.
LIASSON: And many Democrats will be looking for a candidate they believe can win the nomination and the election. Once the war is over, Dean's electability will become more of an issue. Can a former governor from a tiny state who signed a bill granting gay couples the legal benefits of marriage make it to the White House? Dean certainly
thinks he can, but he says he is looking forward to getting more attention for his domestic policies, including his plan for universal health coverage. But at a press conference with local reporters in Des Moines this weekend, the questions were all foreign policy.
Mr. DEAN: Does anybody have any interest in talking about the fact that the jobless rate just went up and that I would like to have health insurance for everybody? Or is it all going to be just Iraq, Iraq, Iraq?
LIASSON: The reporters' silence gave Dean his answer. Until the war is over, there is only one issue. But in Iowa right now, that's not so bad for Howard Dean. Mara Liasson, NPR News, Des Moines.
**thanks to the ever-alert Christopher Curtis for the transcript
Downloadable Dean flyers! http://annatopia.com/pics/dean/
And remember folks, if you're attending one of the many anti-war rallies and vigils this weekend, print some flyers and pass them around. Also, if anyone is attending the California Democratic Party Convention in Sacramento this weekend, remember to show up at 8:30AM to support Howard Dean, who'll be arriving at 8:45AM!
Salon article urges Democratic contenders to continue with their opposition when we go to war http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2003/03/13/dems/index.html
Democrats have a brand-new dilemma over the looming Iraq invasion: What should they say -- especially the half-dozen or so camped out in Iowa right now, crusading for the '04 presidential nomination -- once war breaks out?
Even some antiwar Democrats are insisting they won't criticize the Bush administration once the fighting begins. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who's staked out a complex pro-disarming Saddam, anti-unilateral-war approach to the mess, says he'll hit the mute button immediately. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a more unequivocal war opponent than Kerry, told the Boston Globe he's not sure he'll keep it up once the shooting starts. War critics like former Sen. Gary Hart and Florida Sen. Bob Graham may postpone official announcements of their candidacies if war begins, as expected, in the next couple of weeks. Only Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Sen. Carol Mosely-Braun, who are not given much chance of winning the nomination, have had the courage to tell reporters that they'll stick with their antiwar message come war.
This timidity is Reason No. 392 for the political question vexing Democrats right now: Why is it that polls show President Bush losing the '04 election to an "Unnamed Democrat," but beating all the Democrats who are currently in the race? Everyone knows this president is supremely vulnerable. He's plundered the surplus and pushed an economic policy that has arguably worsened the recession. He's angered most of our allies and is now on the verge of a potentially disastrous war whose rationale changes every day. His poll numbers dip almost daily, too.
But Bush can still probably beat any of the Democrats lined up against him, because no one yet has shown the charisma or the courage to break out of the pack. And otherwise admirable candidates like Kerry and Dean seem to be faltering in this early test of political integrity.
Joan Walsh makes a few pretty good points. She states correctly that the Democrats lack of a platform cost them during last fall's elections, and proposes that by waffling on the anti-war message they may confirm to voters that they don't really "stand for anything". Walsh particularly takes Kerry to task for saying he'd zip it once the bombs start dropping:
"It's what you owe the troops," Kerry said in a prepared news statement. "I remember being one of those guys and reading news reports from home. If America is at war, I won't speak a word without measuring how it'll sound to the guys doing the fighting when they're listening to their radios in the desert." If only Kerry remembered how he felt once he got home from Vietnam, when his worst fears were confirmed that the war was a huge mistake. (It would also be nice if he remembered there are gals, not just guys, on the front lines today.) He seems to have forgotten the question he is most famous for, the one he asked a U.S. Senate committee in 1971, demanding they shut the Vietnam War down immediately: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
She also contends that if the war is wrong today, it will be wrong once the bombing starts and on every day it continues. Walsh concludes that Democrats will suffer permanent damage if they look like they're waffling (or "backsliding") on their anti-war stance:
The Democrats' efforts to dodge the war politically didn't work last November -- and they paid with their political lives. The nation will pay for their timidity with real lives once the war starts.
It seems that people across the nation are very hesitant to go to war without UN backing. The last poll I checked has less than 40% support for war without the UN, and it appears as though the gravity of this situation is sinking in with the "everyman". Bush has trashed our allies, broken international treaties, and is charging full steam ahead in his obsession. And people are beginning to realise that the majority of the world's population is against this war. If we were to get UN backing, those numbers change drastically. People would support UN sanctioned action. But right now we are indeed isolated and plunging into unilateral war.
Since the momentum is certainly swinging against Bush, it might be wise for the contenders to keep the heat on. What are your opinions? How do you feel about the notion that the candidates might back off once the war starts? When would be an appropriate time for them to being speaing up again? I think that's the question floating around right now. Does anyone have the answer?
On a positive note, it's nice to see Salon treating Dean like the top tier candidate we know him to be.
**If you'd like to read the article in full, pop over to salon and get yourself a day pass. You may do so by clicking on the banner ad at the top. You need to watch a 10 second ad, then you may browse their content.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Gephart to appear on the Daily Show http://www.comedycentral.com/dailyshow/
Anyone else up for a letter-writing campaign? firstname.lastname@example.org is the only email address I found online. How about we all send them a note asking them to invite Dr Dean for a sit-down with Jon? Go!
Dean Sounding Unusual Notes: Boasts of cutting taxes, in an interview at the Sun http://www.nysun.com/sunarticle.asp?artID=607
Does Bush need to worry that his conservative base is about to swing into the Dean-for-President camp? Well, probably not yet. The Republican National Committee describes Dr. Dean as an “ultra-liberal on social issues.” His support for gay civil unions in Vermont is unlikely to go over well with the religious conservatives.
Those are Bush votes anyway. Remember the elections of 1992 and 1998, when the Republicans waged their "cultural war" theme? Dean, by boxing off the issues of fiscal conservatism and guns, brings out the worst in Republicans, for all the independents to see-- their social intolerance.
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.