"We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that's what this election is about." -- Barack Obama, DNC keynote address, July 2004

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003


raising Dean awareness

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Atrios lauds Dean's condemnation of Santorum. More surprisingly, in the comments thread, there are dozens of regular Atrios readers who seem to be discovering Dean only today! We do have a name-recognition hurdle to cross indeed if he is still unknown to the vast leftwing blogsphere readership.Let's leverage *our* numbers, and make sure the comment threads of all Dean-related posts in the blogsphere have someone linking to the campaign and to the DeanBlog! flood the message boards! go forth, and prosletyze!


DeanBlog Interview: Ask Howard Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

The voting has concluded! These are the final questions, ranked in order from most popular to least. I combined the two Israel questions into one, and rewrote the "legalize hemp" question into a more general one about the War on Drugs. I also edited the questions to make them more succinct, and focus on the main issue (many were actually multiple and distinct questions lumped together). Please leave your comments/suggestions for further editing of the text of these questions in the comments thread, and then tomorrow we will mail them to the campaign.

  1. Israeli settlements

  2. You have openly stated that your views on Israel are "in line with AIPAC's". How do you reconcile your support for multilateralism (as pertained to Iraq) with AIPAC's support of the Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, which are illegal under UN Resolutions 242, 338, and violate the Oslo Accords and the Mitchell Plan?

  3. Media regulation

  4. How would you address growing conservative control over the media, and the demise of regulations that limit how much of the media that corporations can own (and therefore influence)?

  5. Human rights foreign policy

  6. How would you tie human rights advocacy into your foreign policy (particularly as relates to national security)?

  7. 9-11 investigation

  8. Will you pledge to call for a full and truly independant investigation into events leading to the 9/11 attacks?

  9. NRA relationship

  10. For many of us, it is impossible to view the NRA organization as a pro-social organization in any overall sense. What is your stated position about the NRA organization and its tactics at the national level? How might you proactively support state deliberation around gun control issues?

  11. War on Drugs

  12. The War on Drugs drains billions from the economy, obstructs the use of medical marijuana, and leads to imbalances in our judicial system by mandating minimum sentences for minor crimes. Do you believe the War on Drugs is worth the cost, both financially and societally?

  13. Campaign finance

  14. What sort of ideas do you have with regard to big business money in politics? Do you believe that you would be able to attract this money without giving business interests more of a say than the interests of your grassroots volunteers?

  15. Cutting Gov't spending

  16. On Meet the Press Governor Dean was asked "But if you had a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, where would you cut? Where would you find $400 billion?" Repealing President Bush's tax cut has been your most mentioned way of balancing the budget, but how would you also cut federal spending to help reduce the deficit?

  17. Farm policy

  18. What are your views towards farm policies, especially those that reward overproduction? Specifically, do you support either the Dairy Compact, or the Iowa ethanol subsidy?

  19. Digital Millenium Copyright Act

  20. What are your feelings on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), especially as it pertains to fair use?


Thomas Oliphant on Gephardt (and Dean)

posted by Scott at Tuesday, April 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
At the end of today's editorial on Dick Gephardt's plan for universal health coverage, Thomas Oliphant gives Howard Dean his due.

Dean is there on health care coverage off his experience in a state that now has insurance for nearly all kids and 92 percent of adults. Dean also emphasizes a refundable tax credit for business and investment in the other private and public programs. He also advocates a federal-state deal on health care responsibility -- young people to the age of 23 are for states to cover; drug costs and acute care for the elderly are for the national government.

As the fog of war lifts, Gephardt and possibly Dean appear to be candidates who have serious business to transact at those all-important kitchen tables in America. It sure beats horse race baloney.

UPDATE (Chris): Dean was the first candidate with a health care message - and a way to pay for it - both conceptually, and in detail. Notice Gephardt stealing elements of it per Oliphant's column. We cannot cede this issue to Gephardt or the other Dem. candidates. This is Dean's signature issue. Get those letters churning to the Globe!


Governor Dean Statement on Senator Santorum's Offensive Remarks

posted by Zephyr Teachout at Tuesday, April 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean released the following statement today:

In an interview published yesterday with the Associated Press, Rick Santorum, the third highest ranking Republican in the Senate, compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. I am outraged by Senator Santorum’s remarks.

That a leader of the Republican Party would make such insensitive and divisive comments—comments that are derogatory and meant to harm an entire group of Americans, their friends and their families—is not only outrageous, but deeply offensive.

The silence with which President Bush and the Republican Party leadership have greeted Sen. Santorum’s remarks is deafening. It is the same silence that greeted Senator Lott’s offensive remarks in December. It is a silence that implicitly condones a policy of domestic divisiveness, a policy that seeks to divide Americans again and again on the basis of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation.

For the complete statement, visit the Dean Call to Action Blog.

Monday, April 21, 2003


Dean Seeks Broader Support,0,326612.story?coll=hc%2Dheadlines%2Dpolitics

posted by Editor at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Trouble on the Home Front?

I don't put much weight on online polling, even though I have one on my own website for people to pick Gov. Dean's running mate; however, I did think this was interesting. The Hartford Courant ran a story on Gov. Dean and has a poll along with it measuring support for some of the 2004 Democratic candidates. You would think that Hometown Proud Joe Lieberman would be winning in a landslide, right? Not so:

1.1% Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (5 responses)

5.5% Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry (25 responses)

68.3% Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (313 responses)

2.8% North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (13 responses)

16.6% Connecticut's Sen. Joseph Lieberman (76 responses)

5.7% Other (26 responses)

458 total responses


The War at Home

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is a critical piece in the NYT that shows just how off-base the President's policies and priorities are. Billions for Baghdad, Nothing for New York. No to theocracy in Iraq, yes to theocracy in the US. Liberty for the Shi'a, the PATRIOT act for Americans. And rewards to the rich corporations and the wealthy in both. The general election will hinge on whether the Democratic nominee can successfully argue these points.

The president makes a good political general. One of his canniest strategies has been to raise the bar so high that even the smallest of compromises seems like moderation. ANWR has become the red herring of the environmental wars; any energy bill that protects the caribou from the oil drillers will be seen as a victory even if it contains ridiculous tax breaks for the coal, oil and gas industries and does nothing to deal with the problem of gas-guzzling automobiles. Somehow, a budget with $350 billion in tax cuts — at a time of war and enormous government deficits — has come to be seen as a great victory for the president's opponents. With defeats like this, Mr. Bush never needs to win.

Mr. Bush's willingness to take big gambles, to push for what he wants no matter the consequences, are likely to leave an imprint on America far beyond his tenure in office. We hope that he's successful in the fight against terrorism, and that he brings about a more stable Mideast and a democratic Iraq. But on the domestic front, almost every success cripples the nation's ability to move toward a happy, prosperous future. This is one war we hope he loses.

This is perhaps the most comprehensive anti-Bush editorial I have seen in a while, and it comes at precisely the right time - when conventional wisdom dictates that Bush is a juggernaut. We need a political general of our own, a General Grant to Bush's General Lee. We all kow which flag our side prefers. This is war.

UPDATE: Alterman says Bush is AWOL (again). TAP calls Bush the "Most Dangerous President Ever." And The Dixie Chicks are at #1!


DeanBlog Interview update

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It looks like the poll software only allows 100 responses per month. That's why no one has been able to vote since last week. If you have not yet voted on DeanBlog questions, please leave a comment for your top three choices in the comments field of this post. We will run the poll in this fashion until tomoirrow.


Stay in touch through Dean Wireless

posted by Zephyr Teachout at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Do you want to know when Howard Dean is going to be on television? Do you want to be the first to know when Dean for America has an important press release or announcement to make? Do you want to hear important voice messages from Howard Dean himself? Checking this and other blogs is one way to stay in touch, but when you're offline or on the road, you can get the latest news by joining the Dean Wireless Network.

How does it work? It's simple-- all you need is a cell phone that can receive text messages. Click on the link above to be taken to the Howard Dean 2004 Upoc group. Click on "join this group now." Click on "Register now" and follow the simple instructions under "Sign up." That's it! You're ready to receive text and voices messages from Dean for America on your phone.

The FAQ's:

Does this cost money? No. The service is free. Receiving text messages may be an additional charge depending on your cellular service, but it's usually only a few pennies per message received.
Will anyone else be able to text message me? No. Your information will not be made available to anyone else and only Dean for America or Howard Dean can send messages to this group.
Am I going to receive a bunch of messages at inconvenient times? No. We will not spam you or send irrelevant messages. But we'll notify you of late-breaking stories related to the Dean campaign and last-minute upcoming appearances that you won't want to miss.
Give me an example. Okay. Click here to hear a welcoming message that Howard Dean sent out to initial members on April 7th (it was forwarded again ten days later). On April 17th, Dean Wireless members were the first to know about Howard Dean's op-ed in Common Dreams-- a story that became one of the most-linked to stories on the Internet over the past weekend.
What else? Dean Wireless is an important organizing tool. You can read more about the achievements of such SMS/text message groups by checking out Howard Rheingold's blog.


Dean's Message Broadening,0,5924878.story?coll=hc-headlines-newsat3

posted by Christopher at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the Washington Bureau of the Hartford Courant: Already the new storyline on Dean is emerging. He's cleared the first hurdle... can he clear the second? And, will the call he's issued for a balanced budget, universal health care, and a stronger public education system keep those who've signed up this early on board for the long haul? So far, the answer is yes.


For and Against

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, April 21, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Matthew Yglesias points to two posts, by Ezra Klein against Dean and by Matt Singer for Dean. Excerpts of their arguments are below:

Many of us are people who characterize ourselves as third-way liberals, but not in the DLC "third-way-as-conservatism" method, more in the New America Foundation sense. And I see Dean as being the candidate who is coming out to embrace the third-way radical center. He understands the reasons for grassroots democracy more fundamentally than most Greens do, who think that it translates most simply to direct democracy. He understands the Constitutional and Democratic reasons for respecting the rights of states, and also realizes that part of respecting the rights of states involves having the F.G. recognize state's contracts like civil unions. Now, scared Democrats claim that civil unions will derail Dean in the south. Can anyone tell me what state we're going to lose in the South? Florida? Solve that by putting Graham on the ticket if you're so scared. We can't lose the south because we don't win it.

But we can win the West, or, at least, parts of it. Colorado is feasible especially, I believe, with a pro-gun, pro-states, pro-privacy Democrat (in other words, a Democrat who can tap the Libertarian streak that will be ready to bolt over USA PATRIOT). Because the West, fundamentally, agrees with the Dems on a lot of issues. I really would not be surprised to see Western Representatives and Senators start moving into Dean's camp. We need someone like him at the top of the ticket. In Montana, it would do wonders for us and I'm spreading that word as much as I can.

. I don't, however, want Dean to win the primary. The reason, quite simply, is that I don't see how he can beat Bush. It's almost as if he came in at the wrong time. Dean is a master of the lock-and-load, populist campaign. He would have annihilated Bush 1. Dean, however, has no credibility on foreign policy or national defense. None, zero, nada. He has no chance when the debate moves into that arena. He was against going into iraq which, though a viable position before we went in, will be something that Rove could use like a sledgehammer. "Tell me Governor Dean, looking back on the liberation of Iraq and the obvious joy and benefit it had for the Iraqi people, why were you so vocal in opposition and would you change your stance today?" It's not that Dean was necessarily wrong, and it's not that he couldn't competently answer that question, it's simply that unless Iraq descends into anarchy and we go after Syrian and Iran, Dean will be viewed as having made the wrong choice in a truly crucial moment. And to go beyond that, he has no way to bolster his standing, no credibility on protecting the populace from Al-Quaeda and other threats, no ability to project the image of a strong and confident hand at international affairs. Bush could not have won the 2004 election, but having won the 2000 one and having had 9/11 happen on his watch and having done, in the eyes of most of America, a pretty acceptable job dealing with it, he is in a perfect place to win through fear. Domestically, Dean can eat Bush alive. But this election is unlikely to be domestic unless issues of foreign policy can be neutralized early on. Only a few contenders in the field can do that: Kerry, Clark, and Hart (some might say Graham but I see no way for him to be viable).

It's a question of storylines, and as we see with the Republican's decision to hold their convention in New York, the Bush storyline will be that of a resolute leader who prevailed over a time of danger and uncertainty and marshaled Americans to face down the threats, engage the world, and stay strong. barring another terrorist attack before the election, it's a viable spin.

What this boils down to is, what is more important to Americans? America, or Iraq? Do we care more about foreig policy or domestic? Shall we build schools in Umm Qasr or in downtown Detroit? I know my opinion on tghis. What's yours?

Saturday, April 19, 2003


How to deal with N. Korea?

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, April 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Almost everyone is familiar with Dean's piece in Common Dreams by now, where he addresses what is wrong with the Bush Doctrine (and Bush in general). That piece was in response to the above linked article by Charles Knight, who praised Dean for his response. However, the original Knight piece did have more to it than taking Dean to task over Bush Doctrine - it also addressed N. Korea and described how Dean proposed to address their burgeoning nuclear program:

For instance, Dean argues for reopening negotiations with the North Koreans over their nuclear program, while privately making it clear that the U.S. will go to war to stop their nuclear program if they don't settle in the end. In a preferred outcome of this diplomacy the U.S. might end up paying the North Koreans ten or twenty billion to abandon their nuclear and long range missile program. Dean would argue that despite the distaste of having to pay for disarmament, the financial costs would be about one-fifth to one-tenth the cost of a war, and successful diplomacy would also avoid the human costs of the likely hundreds of thousands of Koreans, Americans, and possibly Japanese who would die in new Korean war. In the longer run it is likely that the communist regime in North Korea will collapse in its own decrepitude and a more cooperative government will take its place and seek to reunite peacefully with South Korea.

The neo-conservative Republicans argue that once we get into a 'pay for disarmament' relationship the North Koreans have an incentive to maintain the threat of their nuclear program in order to pressure us to meet their ever-growing financial demands. In the mean time making payments to them just ends up supporting their regime and increases the likelihood that they will become a bigger threat to American interests later on. Much better to do what the U.S. did with Iraq: keep North Korea poor, let their obsolescent Soviet-era Army deteriorate, and when the time is right overthrow their regime and take direct control of their security policy. The war of regime change will be costly, but manageable, and if we wait until later the costs will be much higher.

Are negotiations, and ultimately, pay-to-disarm foreign policy measures appropriate as applied to N. Korea? The counterargument that payments merely support the regime, and holds America financially hostage in a sense, is a solid point. Compare that with the strategy outlined by Steven den Beste, which argues that the best way to deal with N. Korea is to ignore them, since time is not on their side (economically or politically):

North Korea continues to make demands. They continue to denounce us. They continue looking for new ways of provoking us. And it isn't working. And the longer it goes on, the more clear it becomes that most of their threats are empty, and that the only urgency is theirs.

Are they dangerous? Of course they are, though rumors to the contrary the direct risk to the US proper is slight. The big danger is that at some point they'll launch an attack south. They have no chance whatever of winning such a war, but they do have the ability to bring death and destruction and economic ruin to South Korea before SK and US forces defeat them.

Which is why the "hurry up and wait" strategy is the best one for us. What we want to avoid at all costs is any kind of move which would create any kind of sharp stairstep in the attitude of the NK leadership causing them to order the attack. This needs to be a slow and gentle process, a "frog in the boiling pot". North Korean economic and industrial disaster is inevitable as long as it's gradual so that there's no clear point where they may decide to give up.

The one key step was to cut off shipments of oil. That could have been the stairstep which set off disaster, which is why Japan and SK were so nervous about it. But we did it and did it early, and we're safely past it. And without that oil, NK's days are numbered. Now all we can do is wait, and try to make sure the pot doesn't boil over.

Which means, paradoxically, that as long as they think they can continue to create new incidents, it's actually somewhat positive for us, because it means they haven't yet given up and decided to go out in a blaze of glory. Each such incident is troubling, needless to say; but as long as they're not intolerable, each such ends up being net negative for the NK government because each week that passes without negotiations is a net loss for them. The clock is ticking; they're bleeding to death.

The reason they want negotiations is because the only way they can even try to extort things from us is in such negotiations.

This excerpt does not do justice to the argument, I urge everyone to read it in full to get a clear sense of the alternative being presented. It's almosst completely counter to what Dean proposes. Who is right? What's teh best strategy? Deanistan residents, weigh in...


Economy tops U.S. concerns for 1st time since 9-11, poll shows,0,6763021.story?coll=orl-news-headlines

posted by Editor at Saturday, April 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I know this is not entirely a "Dean related" article, but I think it's very important for Democratic primary voters to understand this. If they are hungry for a candidate who can actually beat George W. Bush, Gov. Howard Dean has the credentials that it seems America will be looking for. The Republican mindset is stuck in 1984. They think if they just keep throwing the term liberal around enough, that's all it takes. But when Dr. Dean stands up next to W at the debates and says he has balanced the budget and he can fix the economy, Americans will define what a "liberal" is for themselves.

WASHINGTON -- For the first time since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the American people are more concerned about the nation's economic woes than about terrorism, war or Iraq, a new poll found.

Fully 41 percent of those polled cited the economy, unemployment or the federal budget deficit as the nation's biggest problem, while 29 percent pointed to issues related to war and terrorism, according to the poll released Friday by the Pew Research Center.

President Bush's overall job-approval rating remains high -- 72 percent -- but that apparently has not translated into solid political support. Nineteen months before the 2004 presidential election, 48 percent of registered voters polled said they would support his re-election, while 34 percent said they would prefer a Democratic candidate.

Bush's job-approval rating is up significantly from a prewar rating of 55 percent, but it is still well below the 89 percent approval mark his father, President George H.W. Bush, reached after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.


Vermont Democrat pulls no punches

posted by Editor at Saturday, April 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The crowds continue to pour out in New Hampshire!

By Larissa Mulkern

PORTSMOUTH - Turnout was unexpectedly robust at an early morning reception on Friday for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean; an estimated 150 people stood elbow to elbow in the lobby at Harbour Place punctuating points of the candidate’s speech with thunderous applause.

"This is unbelievable; this is 7:30 in the morning, never mind Good Friday morning - on any morning - I really appreciate you coming," Dean told the crowd. Later at an editorial board meeting with the Portsmouth Herald, he said he was "shocked" at the turnout. He’s been so busy pressing the flesh on the campaign trail, he said, that his hand is partly bandaged.

The five-term former governor of Vermont campaigned in the Seacoast on Friday at stops in Portsmouth, at the University of New Hampshire, and in Exeter at the RiverWoods elderly housing community. To date, his campaign has raised $2.9 million and operates with 14,000 supporters networked on The first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, scheduled for Jan. 27, 2004, is less than a year away.

Dean wasted no time in getting at the issues that separate him most from Republican President George Bush: foreign policy and the economy.

"Most of you know I’ve been very outspoken in support of our troops but very outspoken against the president’s foreign policy," he said.

"The reason I’m running for president is frankly this country is in really serious trouble. There are two things you can’t get wrong if you’re the president ... for the sake of the future of the country. One is foreign policy and another is economic policy.

"The president has done a remarkable job with the economy ... he’s managed to turn the largest surplus in the history of the country into the largest deficit in only two years. We’ve lost 2 million jobs, 141,000 in the month of March; we are not better off than we were four years ago, and we need a change," he said. He joked that instead of waging war against Saddam Hussein, Bush should have sent his economic advisers to ruin the country.



Dean slips slightly in NH

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, April 19, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The latest ARG poll has Dean losing three points, from 22 to 19, while Kerry gained one, from 23 to 24. Kos has some more analysis and a summary of the numbers. Are there any NH DeanBlog readers who can weigh in with their perspectives from the field? How can we leverage Meetup in New England to try and help Dean's numbers rise? Ideas, people!

UPDATE: Of course, the variation is within the margin of error. As Joe Trippi wrote in Kos' comments:

Every poll that has come out in NH over the past three months has shown remarkable consistency within the margin of error. In ARG John Kerry has been at 23 to 24% for 3 months -- In the Franklin Pierce poll he was at 21% -- even with different methodology those numbers are virtually the same and within the margin of error. Same is true for the entire field including Dean. Dean's numbers in both polls over the same period are 19%, 22% (ARG) 21% (Franklin Pierce) again the same number -- it does not matter what order you put them in -- they are still the same number -- all are within a 3 or 4 point margin of error.

The truth is the pre-war and post-start of war environments have not changed the fundamental structure of the race in NH. Also it should be pointed out that Kerry's favorables fell 4 to 5 points in this same poll -- while Howard Dean's favorables increased 3 points. This fact again points to numbers that fall within the margin of error.

I agree, but my concern is that the statistical significance is not as relevant as the perceived significance. Look at the Aware/Favorable numbers from the poll (click here). For April, Kerry has 87%/65%, whereas Dean has 75%/43%. It's not just name recognition that Dean lags behind in, it's also the Favorable perspective. Given that Dean ranks statistically equal to Kerry despite having only 2/3 the Favorable rating, it's clear that Dean has a massive potential that is going unrealized. If Dean's Aware/Favorable numbers can be increased, that will have a direct impact on his poll rating - whereas Kerry is practically maxed out.

Friday, April 18, 2003


Dean on Civil Unions: 9/15/02's%20Dean%20Would%20Recognize%20Civil%20Unions%20If%20President.htm

posted by Scott at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I would have posted this under the comments section of Aziz's posting, but I felt it was important enough that it warranted more attention. Click the link above if you want the whole story, but here's the bulk of it:

The man behind Vermont's Civil Union law says he would recognize same-sex couples if elected president. But, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean says he would not try to push a Civil Union bill though Congress.
Dean said it was not the federal government’s role to become involved in marriage statutes. He pledged that if elected he would do all he could to undo the Defense of Marriage Act, passed during the Clinton administration, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing marriages between any couples except one man and one woman.

He made a point of emphasizing he was not advocating full marriage rights. Nor was he pressing other states to enact civil union legislation. "What I am not going to do is tell every state they have to pass civil unions," he said. But, he said, if other states follow Vermont’s lead for same-sex couples, the federal government should recognize them.

Even in this very blog there is evidence that shows that Dean is not waffling. Here's Howard Dean on Capital Report, when challenged on the issue by Alan Murray:

I don’t believe that’s the federal government’s business. What I favor is federal recognition of civil unions, but I don’t favor forcing Minnesota and Alabama to have civil unions if they don’t want to. Same reason I think the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional—that is not a prerogative of the federal government. It’s a prerogative of the states.

I'd heard some whispers in the past about possible waffling on the federal civil unions issue, so I've paid attention to the topic ever since. The above statements makes it very clear that Dean has been absolutely consistent in his stance.

UPDATE: After Scott's post, I've changed the title to the entry below. I want to emphasise that I don't think Dean is waffling - but I am personally rethinking my earlier conviction that a federal law is something America isn't ready for yet, solely because of the analogy to segregation. I might have to disagree with Dean's (consistent) position on this, but I still am just not sure. --Aziz


federal civil unions: analogy to segregation?

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is a great piece (fwded by reader Brett Sokol), with some tidbits about Dean's foreign policy beyond Iraq (including a solid critique of Dean's "Marshall Plan for the Middle East" line). One exciting part where Dean spills the beans on the Veepstakes:

"We do low-end fundraisers all the time," Dean said, dismissing any thoughts of disappointment over the lackluster crowd at Nerve. He was more interested in discussing campaign strategy. "Half of [Ralph] Nader's votes will go to me," he predicted, a significant pool of support overlooked by many. Bob Graham as his vice-prez? "He would definitely be on the short list." Getting his message out with limited funds? "Be very clear."

More importantly, however, there's some thought-provoking questioning of Dean regarding civil unions at the federal level. As we all know, Dean's position on civil unions centers on states' rights, and is against trying to enact a federal version of that law if elected. However, Dean asserts that as president, he'd ensure federal benefits flowed to gay couples in states that passed "civil union" laws similar to Vermont's. This is somewhat of a paradox, and when someone presses him on it, we see flashes of his fabled temper:

"I'm not anxious to have more federal intrusion," Dean explained, launching into a defense of states' rights that eerily recalled Southern segregationist governors during the Sixties. But what if some governors, citing the wishes of their constituents, ignored President Dean and simply refused to pass "civil union" laws for gays? "We'll deal with that then," he said testily. "I don't have a plan."

You'll deal with that then? Aren't you the candidate who doesn't stick to safe answers?

"You're now beginning to tick me off," Dean bristled before returning to his measured argument against "too much federal power." Kulchur pressed on over Dean's protests, invoking the image of Alabama Gov. George Wallace embracing the mantle of states' rights as he literally blocked a university doorway to bar a black student's entry, stepping aside only after President Kennedy called in troops. If a president is unwilling to use federal power to enforce civil rights -- for blacks or gays -- how are things ever going to change? "Look, you go ask any of the other candidates for president if they support civil unions!" Dean shouted angrily.

But an awful lot of people in the gay community think a Dean presidency means civil unions will be legalized nationwide. They're going to be mighty disappointed in you when they find out you're waffling.

This, apparently, was the line you cannot cross with Dean. A typical politician would now demur to an aide, issue a platitude ("A pleasure speaking with you"), or just hang up the phone. But again, Dean is no typical pol.

"Don't you ever talk to me like that!" he roared. Kulchur, taken aback, fell silent. But an enraged Dean was just getting started: "I've risked my political career on this issue! I had to wear a bulletproof vest when I was campaigning in some parts of Vermont -- how dare you say that I haven't stood up for this community!"

I confess, I find this gripping - and I'm glad Kulchur pressed the issue, because it certainly does raise the important point that sometimes "states' rights" is an evasion. Of course Dean took an enormous political risk by signing the civil unions bill, but that was in Vermont. It's clear that Dean wouldn't assess the entire country as ready for that - and the analogy to segregation is particularly apt. Was America ready for desegregation and the end of Jim Crow during the 1960s? Ask the Freedom Riders. This exchange gave me a lot to think about - I have personally been against a federal law for civil unions, but I wonder now if I have been wrong- and maybe Dean should rethink his position against a federal law as well. Alas that it's too late to add the question to the poll!


pre-emptive vs. preventive war

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the comments thread of this post comes this email written by Charles Knight, who wrote the original critique that prompted Dean's rebuttal in Common Dreams (and sent out to the campaign mailing list). I think it's a great acknowledgement of how responsive Dean is to critics:

This past Monday a commentary I wrote critical of a Gov. Howard Dean speech to Democratic foreign policy specialists in DC was published by the Website Common Dreams. On Thursday Gov. Dean responded to my piece with his own article on Common Dreams. Dean "sets the record straight", so to speak, in a very progressive direction which strikes hard at key components of Bush foreign and domestic policy. I find myself in agreement with most of what he says, but that matters little. What does matter is that a pointed piece of political criticism has resulted in clarifications from the candidate and the clarifications are in a progressive direction. A good moment for "the power of the pen" or power of the keyboard, in my case.

I do have to nit-pick a bit. Dean still doesn't address clearly the difference between preemptive war and preventive war. It is a very important one and I hope that progressive politicians will learn to talk clearly about it. So I nit-pick! A short article with links to more in depth discussion about this issue can be found at .

Charles Knight, Project on Defense Alternatives

Talk about winning over your critics! Still, after reading the Kroening piece to which Knight refers, I think that the distinction between pre-emptive war and preventive war is indeed one that needs to be addressed.


Dean Emerges as Favorite of Hollywood Donors

posted by Editor at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It's not just President Bartlet and Meathead anymore!

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- What do rock star Joan Jett, actor Michael Douglas and "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David have in common? They all gave to the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont who is now seeking the 2004 Democratic nomination.

With about $2 million in his campaign war chest, Dean is not leading the fund-raising pack among his Democratic colleagues. (Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has about $8 million on hand for his campaign, and Sen. John Edwards reports about $5.7 million in his war chest.)

But Dean is ahead in the unofficial "Hollywood primary," winning donations from an impressive array of Tinseltown's stars and entertainment figures.

Among the others who donated to Dean's campaign: Director and producer Rob Reiner (perhaps best known as "Meathead" from TV's "All in the Family"), M*A*S*H star Mike Farrell, and singers David Crosby and Graham Nash.


You may call me a liberal!;action=display;threadid=86;start=0

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
courtesy Bully Pulpit, here is a transcript of Dean's closing remarks at teh Children's Defense Fund forum. If anyone has a transcript of the full speech, please let me know!

I have two advantages in this race. One of which I share with Bob Graham. I'm a physician and I'm a former governor. We've heard a lot of great things and I would be very happy to support the nominee of my party and I intend to do that vigorously... because I expect it to be me. (laughter) But the advantage of a doctor is that I know what happens when people don't have health insurance and we put health insurance in our state for everybody under 18 and I know how to do that for the United States. The advantage of a governor is that we home-visit 91% of the kids in our state, we've reduced the child abuse rate by 43% and those kids are going to go to college instead of prison 10 years from now.

You know, I want to thank my liberal friend Marian Wright Edelman. People have often called me a liberal too and I appreciate it. Because if being liberal means balancing the budget, which no Republican president has done that in 34 years, then you may call me a liberal. If being liberal means figuring out a way to have health insurance for every single american and joining every other industrialized country on the face of the earth then you may call me a liberal. If being a liberal means investing in early education which we have done and subsidizing child care for working people which we have done and making sure that child abuse is down and college attendance is up then you may call me a liberal.

I am tired of living in a country that's divided by race. I am tired of living in a country that's divided by income. I am tired of living in a country that's divided by gender. I am tired of living in a country that is divided. I want to be a president that brings this country back together. Where we admit again that we are responsible for each other and to each other. Where it's not only important for my kids to have health insurance but for my neighbor's kids to have health insurance. Where it's not only important for my kids to go to good schools but for my neighbor's children to go to good schools.

If you want to help us... (laughter).

Thank you very much.

What we're gonna do, we're gonna give young people a reason to vote again in this country. Let's go to it.


VOTE for DeanBlog Interview questions

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Thanks to everyone who left questions for the DeanBlog Interview! Especially with the various Haloscan comments failures - your patience was appreciated. I'd like to apologise to everyone for the long, inexcusable delays in getting this moving forward.

I've painstakingly gone through the list, trimmed the duplicates, filtered out those that could be answered by Dean's Issues Statements on the campaign website, and these are the result. I also removed a few questions that were either too vague/philosophical, or too Vermont-specific, trying to keep the focus on concrete national issues. If you feel your question was unfairly removed, leave a comment and let me know.

The final questions are in the comments section of this thread, and the poll below has the questions. Please vote for your top three (3) questions, and the ten most popular will be the ones we send to the campaign. Please note, the poll software will allow you to vote for more than three choices, but we are relying on the honor system and asking everyone to please limit themselves to just three choices only. Please.

UPDATE: There is indeed similarity between the "UN Resolutions and Israel" question with the "Israeli settlements" one. If I did it again, I'd combine them, but i can't at this point without restarting the poll, which I'd prefer not to do at this stage. The best compromise I can think of is, please try to address them separately, but if the totals are very similar, we will lump them together and combine to votes. If the totals are very dissimilar, we wil treat them separately. If you want to qualify/explain your vote, please use the comments section for feedback.

UPDATE: The poll has moved to the right-hand sidebar beneath the Zonkboard.

Thursday, April 17, 2003


Bush: It's Not Just His Doctrine That's Wrong

posted by Editor at Thursday, April 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here is an article posted on written by Gov. Howard Dean. Dr. Dean wrote the article to "set the record straight." I know that it is a bit long, so I have only posted the start of the article. You can read the whole article by following the link above.

[Note: After reading a recent article that called into question my opposition to the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war, I wanted to state my position clearly to set the record straight. I appreciate that the editors of Common Dreams have given me this opportunity.]

When Congress approved the President’s authorization to go to war in Iraq – no matter how well-intentioned – it was giving the green light to the President to set his Doctrine of preemptive war in motion. It now appears that Iraq was just the first step. Already, the Bush Administration is apparently eyeing Syria and Iran as the next countries on its target list. The Bush Doctrine must be stopped here.

Many in Congress who voted for this resolution should have known better. On September 23, 2002, Al Gore cautioned in his speech in San Francisco that “if the Congress approves the Iraq resolution just proposed by the Administration it is simultaneously creating the precedent for preemptive action anywhere, anytime this or any future president so decides.” And that is why it was such a big mistake for Congress to allow the president to set this dangerous precedent.

Too much is at stake. We have taken decades of consensus on the conduct of foreign policy – bipartisan consensus in the United States and consensus among our allies in the world community – and turned it on its head. It could well take decades to repair the damage this President and his cohort of right-wing ideological advisors have done to our standing in the international community.

Theirs is a radical view of our role in the world. The President who campaigned on a platform of a humble foreign policy has instead begun implementing a foreign policy characterized by dominance, arrogance and intimidation. The tidal wave of support and goodwill that engulfed us after the tragedy of 9/11 has dried up and been replaced by undercurrents of distrust, skepticism and hostility by many who had been among our closest allies.

This unilateral approach to foreign policy is a disaster. All of the challenges facing the United States – from winning the war on terror and containing weapons of mass destruction to building an open world economy and protecting the global environment – can only be met by working with our allies. A renegade, go-it-alone approach will be doomed to failure, because these challenges know no boundaries.

The largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot eliminate the threat of sleeper terrorist cells. That task requires the highest level of intelligence cooperation with our allies.

Even the largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot be expected to go to war against every evil dictator who may possess chemical weapons. This calls for an aggressive and effective diplomatic effort, conducted in full cooperation with a united international community, and preferably with the backing of the multilateral institutions we helped to build for just this purpose. This challenge requires treaties – such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – that this Administration has sometimes treated cavalierly. In any case, war should be a last resort or an option to be used in the face of an imminent threat.


Majority of Dean funding comes from smaller donations

posted by Scott at Thursday, April 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This article was in yesterday's Washington Post under the headline, "Kerry Leads Democratic Hopefuls in Funds Raised". The point of interest for Dean supporters is that it breaks down who raised how much and from whom. While John Edwards was nabbing $2,000 checks from his fellow lawyers, Howard Dean was getting his money from the street:

Dean, who has been running a campaign geared in part to smaller donors, raised $530,000 -- or 20 percent of his $2.6 million raised last quarter -- in $2,000 contributions. Dean had by far the largest percentage of small donations, many received through direct mail or via the Internet. A total of $760,891 -- or 29 percent -- of Dean's contributions was in amounts less than $250, and 60 percent in amounts less than $1,000.
The detailed reports show interesting patterns of contributions. Dean, a medical doctor, raised $81,500 from physicians, and he also raised nearly $60,000 from educators and students.

Politically, this is great news. It confirms what we already know: that Howard Dean has the backing of an energized, grassroots base. And being in fourth place in terms of cash-on-hand (ahead of the Lieberman campaign by a few hundred grand) is an incredible position for a grassroots campaign to find itself in.

Update: More good news

The Washington Times has some additional information on the sources of Dean's campaign funding:

The second-highest group of Democratic donors were retired people, who topped the contributor list of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who collected $218,000 from them.
Mr. Dean drew from the creative crowd, garnering more than $14,000 from artists, with writers kicking in more than $41,000. Even professors and teachers seemed united behind Mr. Dean, giving him $37,000.


Web Site Helps Candidates Recruit Armies of Supporters Online

posted by Editor at Thursday, April 17, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
ABC has posted an article about how the Dean campaign has been benefiting from It's not particularly new news to many of you who are frequent readers, but it is interesting to see the media take note of just how dramatic the online grassroots effort has been in helping the Dean campaign.

How did former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who just months ago was expected to raise well under $1 million during the first quarter of 2003, manage to find enough donors to amass a war chest of more than $2.6 million?

Part of the answer is simple: They Metup for him.
And the eight other Democratic presidential campaigns are watching closely.

Dean's staff took advantage of a new Web site,, which allows users to collaborate about fund-raising, appearances and grass-roots campaigning for the candidate of their choice. With a few clicks, visitors can sign up for information about their candidates and invite themselves to campaign parties in any of more than 480 cities.

Its founder, Myles Weissleder, sees the site's launch as an epochal event.

" is turning democracy and politics on its head, providing a platform for people with similar interests to meet and a fantastic way to mobilize people," he said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003


California Poll Results

posted by Editor at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Carl with a K has posted the Field Poll on his website. It shows Dr. Dean currently in 4th place in California. Karl also posted the 1991 Field Poll in which then Gov. Bill Clinton was in last place. The numbers are below. To learn more, use the link above. Hopefully the track record of small state governors in 4th place winning will hold true!

California Democratic Primary FIELD POLL

June 1991
27% Cuomo
14% Jackson
09% Gephardt
02% Clinton

April 2003
22% Lieberman
16% Kerry
12% Gephardt
07% Dean
04% Moseley Braun
04% Sharpton
03% Edwards
02% Graham
01% Kucinich
29% Undecided


excerpts from Dean's stump speech

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From an article in the Times-Argus, is this good selection of excerpts from the standard stump speech that Dean delivers on the trail. It's old news to many regular readers but given that 75% of the readers of this weblog (which passed the 100,000 unique visits mark a few days ago) arrive here via searches on Google and other engines, I think the stump speech is the best way to really understand what Dean is all about.

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 in providing 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 education bill - “The No School Board Left Standing Bill” - the largest unfunded 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’m here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

I don’t think we can beat this president by adopting his policies. What we need to do is set up a Democratic agenda - unambiguous, clear, proud to be Democrats. If you put the Democratic agenda next to the Republican agenda, the Democratic agenda wins every time.

We have made a fundamental miscalculation in Washington on how to beat this president. We lost two senators and we almost lost a third one in this past election because their platform was ‘I voted with the president 85 percent of the time.’

If you as a Democrat are willing to vote with the president, the most conservative president in our lifetime, 85 percent of the time, then why not vote for the guy who is going to vote for the president 100 percent of the time, which is what they did.

This president is not popular because of his policies. People like him because he gives a clear and unambiguous message and he is clear about who he is.

Bill Clinton said about four months ago that the American people will always vote for someone who is strong and wrong before they will vote for someone who is weak and right.

We appear to be weak and right because we will say whatever it takes to win. And once you are willing to say whatever it takes to win, you lose.

I 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 with your money, to take care of your tax dollars, then you had better elect a Democrat because Republicans cannot manage money.

In our state, I served long enough so that I had the privilege of serving through both Bush recessions, not one recession. And when all that money was coming in between the recessions, when all of that money was coming in during the good times thanks to Bill Clinton, who balanced the budget without a single Republican vote — we gave some tax cuts, but we also saved money in a Rainy Day Fund and were able to pay back a quarter of our debt.

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 intend to talk about race during this election in the South. 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? White folks in the South who drive pick-up trucks with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us because their kids don’t have health insurance either, and their kids need better schools too.

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. We have a dream. We can only reach the dream if we are all together - black and white, gay and straight, man and woman.


Stand up for America, Stand up for America, Stand up for America.

Hungry for more? A hefty archive of links to video, audio, and transcripts of Dean speeches and interviews is on the left sidebar of this page!


Dean Veep fantasy poll

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Matt has a poll on his site where we can further indulge ourselves with veep fantasies :) Go for it!


Another endorsement: Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I think this one slipped under my radar a few days ago, but chalk up another one in the Dean endorsement column! A statement from Rep. Abercrombie read as follows:
"I'm endorsing Howard Dean for president because he puts America's working families first. He's focused on issues like health care, jobs and the economy. He'll make sure we have a strong military and a strong homeland security to protect our communities."
You got that right, Neil! Dr Dean has consistently demonstrated an understanding of the issues that everyday Americans face. As Governor of Vermont, he helped balance the budget, paid down the state's debt, and worked hard to preserve Vermont's natural resources. He also insured nearly all Vermonters and fully funded special education. As a property owner, Dr Dean understand the tax burdens that many families face, and he understands that we must do everything to ensure that our first responders are fully equipped to deal with homeland security issues.


First televised debate set for May 3, 2003

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
No that headline is not a typo. The debate will take place in Columbia, SC and will be moderated by George Stephanopoulos. It will be broadcast on ABC News radio, on "ABC News Live," the network's 24-hour Internet broadband news service, and in excerpts on "This Week." In addition, viewers in several of the early primary states will get to watch the debate via their local ABC affiliate.
This should be a good one, folks. Very rarely do we get to see ALL of the candidates in a major forum. This one should be entertaining, lively, and issues-oriented. But most of all, it'll show the viewing public that we've got some serious contenders on the Democratic side.


Dean discloses tax information

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Full disclosure! What a concept! Are you listening, Dick Cheney?
Although not required to do so, Dr Dean has released his tax information for 2002. He's stated repeatedly that it's important to know where our candidates get their income, in large part because that can reveal potential conflicts of interest. Drs Dean and Steinberg had an adjusted gross income of $110,141 and paid $29,242 in federal income taxes. Their holdings consist largely of stocks, bonds, and real estate (including 560 acres of undeveloped land in Vermont).


What's this? An early D.C. primary?

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
"D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams has signed legislation to move the District's presidential primary to the first Tuesday in January — two weeks ahead of the tentative date for the New Hampshire primary." While this move could be overturned by Congress, there seems to be solid support for this early primary among D.C. residents.
What could this mean for the Democrats? Well first of all, it might benefit Rev. Sharpton, who has a solid block of support within D.C's minority community. Also, it could cause ripples within the party because the DNC has threatened D.C. with losing their delegates if they violate primary rules. In addition, Dr Dean, Gephart, Kerry, and Lieberman have all stated they oppose or will boycott (?!?!) an early D.C. primary.
I think I understand the argument that D.C residents are putting forth. They don't have a congressional representative and are trying to draw attention to this issue by moving their primary forward. What I don't understand is why some of the Democratic candidates would choose to forgo the primary. Can one of our illustrious readers (and perhaps some D.C. residents) please weigh in via the comments section?


The Race is On!

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Now that the Pentagon has announced that major combat operations in Iraq are over, Bush is turning his attention back to America. From my completely partisan viewpoint, I think that's great! Before 9/11, Bush's domestic approval ratings were dismal and his popularity ratings were falling fast. During his first year in office, he pushed through lots of bad legislation, such as his "Faith Based Initiatives" which blurred the line between church and state. He was pushing for drilling in ANWR (which has been rejected by Congress several times since), he was pushing for school vouchers that rob our public schools of much-needed funding (and let's not forget the No School Board Left Standing Bill), and he pushed the largest tax bribe since the Reagan era. That tax bribe was merely a shifting of the burden from the uber-rich to the lower and middle class (have YOU done your taxes yet?). And I haven't even begun to address ENRON...
Since 9/11, our domestic situation has only gotten worse. Obviously the airlines took a hit after that fateful day, and it's still uncertain whether they will ever recover. But other industries are suffering as well when we should be on the way to recovery. The high tech boom is now a bust, the stock market has been devalued, people are watching their 401ks evaporate while high-level executives retire with golden parachutes, and a good chunk of our population is still uninsured. And what is Bush's "end-all-be-all" solution for these problems? MORE TAX BRIBES FOR THE RICH!
Perhaps one of you can explain this to me. I simply can't fathom how cutting taxes will fund our schools. I don't understand how cutting taxes for the rich will foster economic growth, when it's the low-end consumer that drives the economy (GDP not GNP, remember?). I also don't comprehend how cutting taxes for the rich will provide a drug benefit for our seniors, or how it'll help us expand medicade and medicare to ensure the neediest of Americans. And on top of all this, most of our states are broke! They don't have the money to fund the No School Board Left Standing Bill, much less fix our roads or fund our schools. Many states are forced to consider raising property taxes to fill these gaps, and who pays the majority of that? You and me, folks, not the uber-rich.
Dr Dean nailed it in a speech a few months back when he said if you want to provide tax relief, you've got to think of the average property owner and you've got to think of the payroll tax. Those two taxes effect the average consumer more frequently than silly dividend taxes, luxury taxes, or inheritance taxes (with the exception of family farms, of course). Let's look at a quick example, since I just filed my extension yesterday. My husband and I received a $600 tax bribe from Bush. Yet the standard deduction for our wage group DECREASED by more than $4000 (and yes, I'm middle class). Basically, the deduction cancelled out my bribe. On top of that, my property taxes totalled over $3000 (and we only owned our house for five months in 2002). That's income that comes out of our pocket every month. That's money we do not get to save, invest, or spend. So if you want to talk about tax relief, let's talk about the payroll tax and helping our states with their debt burdens.
Now moving along from that, do we really think it's wise to cut taxes when we're up to our ears in debt? Sheesh, even the conservative readership of CNN online disagrees. Check the quick vote. It's 52% opposed to a tax cut right now. The average voter understands that cutting taxes while we're in debt is not a prudent fiscal move (I might even call it completely irresponsible). Once the economy is growing again then sure, we can talk tax relief. But for now, if this is the kind of proposal that Karl Rove thinks will get Bush re-elected, then I look forward to the 2004 race and Bush's subsequent defeat.


California Fundraising Numbers

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, April 16, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This morning, I came across a short blurb in the online edition of the Orange County Register which detailed the amount of money each candidate raised in California during 1stQ. I think the numbers are good news for the Dean camp, especially considering that Dean is still a) practically unknown in California and b) the campaign didn't put major emphasis on that state until early March. Here's the numbers for you:
Kerry $1.5 million
Edwards $1.1 million
Gephardt $540,000
Dean $417,000
Lieberman $348,000
Kucinich $34,000
Graham $9,750
Braun $4,600
It's interesting to note the gap between Dean and Lieberman, which might be another sign that Joe carries a bit too much baggage from campaign 2000. And I think it's fantastic that Dean managed to raise over half a million dollars in California under these conditions (lack of name recognition, etc).
Remember folks, at this stage in the game it's still up to us to do a good chunk of the fundraising. If you haven't done so already, please pop over and make your monthly donation to the Dean campaign. Remember to include your occupation and employer so that your donation will be matched.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003


Dean: Bush Has Not Made Case for Military Action in Syria

posted by Editor at Tuesday, April 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This article is actually entitled Hart: No Decision Yet on White House Run, but it features this segment on Gov. Dean's statement that the case has not been made to take military action in Syria. From the reports that I have seen, very few people actually believe that the Bush administration would actually engage in armed conflict there. They have, however, been applying pressure on Syria and pushing the country with influence gained from the action in Iraq. Dean's comments may be more of a response towards fellow Democratic presidential candidate FL Sen. Bob Graham who suggested that the U.S. "throw a few cruise missiles" into Syria.

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said that although Syria has sponsored terrorism in the Middle East, the president hasn't begun to make the case for invasion.

Bush administration officials have accused Syria of sheltering Iraqi fugitives, possessing chemical weapons and supporting terrorism, but have emphasized there are no plans to go to war with Syria.

One of Dean's rivals for the Democratic nomination, Florida Sen. Bob Graham, has suggested the United States may have to "throw a few cruise missiles" into Syria. Another candidate, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, has called for "very aggressive diplomacy" with Syria.

"The president attacked Iraq, in my view, without making the case that Iraq is a danger," Dean said after an appearance in Washington Tuesday night. "He certainly hasn't begun to make that case about Syria either. I think the notion that we just now are going to become a new empire is something that we ought to be thinking carefully about because it's way outside what mainstream American values are."


Iraq War's Ebb Challenges Candidate Dean

posted by Editor at Tuesday, April 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
In this AP story, Christopher Graff focuses attention on the "post-Iraq war Howard Dean." There is some speculation out there that Gov. Dean was simply coasting along on a wave of support from those who shared his opposition to the war and that now that it is "over," his best days are behind him. This belief, of course, ignores the reactions that Dean has received from the groups he has addressed throughout the war - his applause lines seem the loudest when he talks about fighting for the soul of the Democratic party, instituting healthcare for all Americans, and taking America back from extremists. The article does a fair job of addressing Dean's strong points as a candidate aside from the war:

In campaign appearances, Dean has raised other issues, including health care, education policy and Bush's proposed tax cuts, but they were overshadowed by his anti-war talk. At those events, Dean assailed the administration and also sought to draw a distinction with his Democratic rivals, particularly lawmakers who have backed parts of the president's domestic and national security agenda.

"I did not get in this race as the peace candidate," Dean said in a recent interview. "People are turning to my campaign because they want a sense of hope again, they want health insurance and they want leaders who are not afraid to say what they think."

Gordon Fischer, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, says Dean should not be pigeonholed as the anti-war candidate. "That does him a disservice," Fischer said. "I think Governor Dean's candidacy is about much more than the war.

"I think there is a feeling among Democrats who are most active that in the last election the Democrats suffered by not having more of a voice, not sticking up for their beliefs, and I think Governor Dean speaks to that," said Fischer, who is neutral in the race.


nominate Meetup for a Webby Award

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 15, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
We all know the importance of Meetup to Dean's campaign - so here's a chance for us to help keep Meetup in the limelight, by voting for Meetup in the Webby Awards. Click above to see the nominees and here for the main page.

Remember, a rising tide floats all boats. Meetup has floated the Battleship Dean - so let's make sure there's plenty of water :)

Monday, April 14, 2003


The Media's Favorite Long Shot for President

posted by Scott at Monday, April 14, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Editor & Publisher Magazine (of all sources) has recently dubbed Howard Dean "The Media's Favorite Long Shot for President."

The article praises Dean for his honesty and straightforwardness, quoting prominent media figures like David Broder, Adam Nagourney, and Tim Russert, who points out that Dean is "forthcoming when many politicians try to avoid answering questions."

Dean is compared (surprise!) to John McCain as a straight talker, though David Wallis of the New York Times Magazine notes that Dean is "more careful than McCain." Whether they meant to do it or not, the writers also compare Dean to Harry Truman.

Vermont reporters knew long ago that Dean reads everything written about him, keeps his cell phone at the ready to complain to editorial writers who cross him, and duels with reporters at news conferences.

So maybe Truman didn't have a cell phone, but he was famous for making his feelings known when he had a difference of opinion with the media. In fact, in this day and age, it's possible that's the type of thing the public is looking for - someone who's not afraid to take on the media when it's necessary. Look at the political fallout from Bush calling Adam Clymer a "major league a__hole" during the last election. What's that you say? Oh right - there was no political fallout. In fact, it's quite possible that the gaffe helped Bush by showing him to be a regular guy with regular feelings who calls 'em like he sees 'em.

This is something touched on in the Editor & Publisher piece. "It's the expectation game," Dean explains. "The press builds you up, and then they cut you down right at the knees." The expectations of Bush were so low to start out with that he was practically given points just for being able to complete a sentence.

In a way, then, the more Dean can distance himself from the brilliantly honest dove mantle, the better. And it's even better if he can do it little by little. A small outburst here followed by a gracious apology; a minor gaffe there answered with a humble retraction... it all adds up in such a way that lowers expectations but strengthens Dean's standing, making him both the regular guy candidate and the good guy candidate.

Sunday, April 13, 2003


What's in a Name? "Sometimes a Great Notion",12900,935128,00.html

posted by Christopher at Sunday, April 13, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Interesting analysis of the various candidates favorite literary selections. The article notes how many candidates choose "safe" books to show off their intelligence, or gravitas. Dean not only makes a smart choice, he makes an unorthodox selection: Ken Kesey's "Sometimes a Great Notion." Once again, Dean proves that he's an independent thinker, and not one to follow the crowd. Although one can argue that one's literary taste doesn't mean much in a presidential campaign, I actually found this to be a very insightful column.


Taking Back Our Country -- Planting the Seed of Change -- Growing to Victory

posted by Joe at Sunday, April 13, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I was sitting here at HQ, where even in Burlington its a warm and sunny day, thinking about where our campaign is, where we need to go, and wanted to share some thoughts with you.

In January we had a staff of 6 or 7 people, most Americans had never heard of Howard Dean, we had about $150,000 in the little bank across the street (locked in a vault so we couldn't spend it), and had a small but energized group of netroots supporters reflected by activity on this blog and others, and some 432 Dean Meetup Members nationwide.

But we had something else....Govenor Howard Dean, MD -- his authentic voice, and his message that its time to take a stand and take our country back.

This election is about much more than who will win the Democratic Party nomination, or who will take the oath of office as President of the United States in January 2005. We stand at one of those unique moments in our nation's history, when what Americans decide in November of 2004 will determine what kind of country America is for decades to come.

Will we be unilateralist America? Driven by idealogues who play on the fears of the American people, with little or no regard for the fear and diplomatic damage their policies create in the world community? Or will we be a more multi-lateral America with a foreign policy that reflects the values of hope, liberty, and freedom of the American people? A foreign policy that replaces ideology with thought -- speaks the truth to the American people, and takes a principled yet pragmatic approach to working with others in the community of nations. A foreign policy that will use force if we must -- but only if we must.

At home, will we continue down the poll driven path that continues to produce two parties that are becoming so close to each other on so many issues, that it is increasingly difficult to tell the real differences between them? Govenor Dean often speaks about this when he talks about the issue of health care. The Democratic version of the Patients Bill of Rights lets you sue your HMO. The Republican version of the Patient's Bill of Rights does not let you sue your HMO. In the end neither addresses the fact that regardless of which version passes there will still be 42 million Americans with no health care and therefore no health care rights. Many of the Democrats running for the nomination have had years to do something about this problem and have failed to do much of meaning about it. Is it any wonder that it took til they were running for President (and probably some really cool poll numbers) to get them to promise once again to do what they have not done?

Which gets me to Governor Howard Dean, MD. You may not agree with him on every issue, and he will make his share of mistakes during this long campaign (everyone does), but Howard Dean says what needs to be said, challenges what needs to be challenged, stands up forcefully to those that attempt to divide us, and has a vision powered by the simple fact that as Americans we are all in this together. His message reflects the hope and promise of the America we know we are, and the even stronger nation we can be.

Faced with blurred and compromised, shades of gray candidacies, too many Americans are giving up on having a real impact and making a difference -- and each year fewer and fewer show up at the polling place in their neighborhood. How can you make a difference if there isn't much difference in the choices offered? Well Howard Dean is going to offer the American people a choice, and he is going to get people to vote, by giving people a reason to vote.

So how do we do it?

We may never have as much money as the other candidates for President, but money alone will not determine our fate. Make no mistake -- we need to garner contributions from all who support our cause, and have the means to contribute -- and as the net has proven -- every penny counts. As someone put it in the blogosphere "They have deep pockets, we have many pockets."

More than just money, we must build an unparalled grassroots and netroots campaign, the size and power of which, has never been seen before in our nation. In 90 short days we have grown from 432 Dean Meetup members to 15,000 as you read this. We are well aware of venue and other issues -- but there are only 9 meetup days remaining between today and the Iowa Caucuses. As a campaign we are determined to make everyone of those meetings count. Because of our limited resources Dean Meetups have become critical to our ability to build a 50 state organization -- that without the net and without you -- would not have been possible for us to build this early in the process. So please continue to spread the word and get others to join Dean Meetups nationwide. (That link was a first for me!)

We want to use every tool we can to reach people and spread the word so about a week ago we started the Dean Wireless Network. This will allow us to get action alerts and important information to the mobile community -- and create another means for us to mobilize for Dean. Please join the Dean Wireless Network and urge others to join.

I know our blog was an ugly thing of non-beauty -- but we are learning -- and experimenting with every tool we have available to us. So please use the comments section of this post -- to make suggestions as to how we can do better -- or tools you know of that we should put to work to build a stronger netroots/grassroots organization for Howard Dean.

Howard Dean will win the nomination, and go all the way the White House, but only if our campaign to take America back for our people, becomes a campaign of even more people. We must as a campaign reach out even further to find others to join our cause -- give of their energy as you have, contribute time and yes money be it $5 or $500 to our effort. We need to build a netroots and grassroots campaign that spreads the word to every nook and crannie of the worldwide web, and to every city and town, and precinct in our nation.

As Governor Dean has said "the pundits like to talk about the invisible primary, but there is another primary that is only invisible to those who are blind to seeing it." Our goal is to build a netroots and grassroots campaign that is so strong in numbers -- so powerful in collective action that no one will turn a blind eye to it again. And if we do that together -- we will not only win this election -- we will prove that we really do have the power to take our country back.

Saturday, April 12, 2003


The American Prospect: Party People

posted by Christopher at Saturday, April 12, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
A run-down of all the candidates from the recent Children's Defense Fund event. A glowing review of Gov. Dean's performance (and some critiques). Read through it all, the last paragraph is worth it. The lead reads:

"Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is the Democratic Party's indie rock star. He lacks big production values. He's individualistic. He can be sullen and defensive. Sometimes he even dresses strangely. But when he turns it on, lays into one of his riffs and flashes that heart-melting smile, he drives the girls wild. And he makes you feel like you've been waiting your whole life for someone to say what he says, even though you didn't know it."

Friday, April 11, 2003


The Media's Favorite Longshot for President

posted by Christopher at Friday, April 11, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Many of us may take issue with the term "longshot," but Dean is still largely unknown to the general public. This is a solid column that takes a look at what makes Dean so attractive as a candidate - and addresses some of the hurdles he still faces (read: fundraising). Thanks to "Vermonter" for posting on the Zonkboard thread.

Thursday, April 10, 2003


Build Reserves, Not Bombs

posted by Christopher at Thursday, April 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It's interesting to note how Dean plays in other communities. Safe to say that in Oregon not many have even heard of Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. Nonetheless through the MeetUps, he's attracted attention. Here's a local journalist's perspective from this month's meetup. Overall, pretty favorable - and interesting that as a result of Oregon's huge budget crunch, he focuses in on Dean's record of fiscal management. Willamette Week is Portland's largest weekly newspaper.


Dean in the Boston Globe: What About North Korea?

posted by Christopher at Thursday, April 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Gov. Howard Dean continues to impress by sticking to his position on a multilateral foreign policy, and the need to engage foreign powers, rather than ignore, embarrass, or "preemptively attack" them.


Dean Gets Ovations at Standing Room Only Crowd in New York

posted by Christopher at Thursday, April 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Gov. Howard Dean was in New York plugging his candidacy for President. He didn't back off his foreign policy position/s, and he touted more of his domestic agenda to those assembled. He really took on the administration on domestic issues - look for more of that as the "war" cycle calms and journalists look elsewhere for political conflict. And, it sounds like he's developing a few newer stump speech lines that continue to get crowds fired up.


postwar Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, April 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Of course, the war isn't over yet. But it's quite ludicrous to suggest any other outcome than total Bush Administration victory. The big question is, how will this affect the political calculus? The article linked above is an overview of the Democratic candidates reactions to the historic images and events yesterday, as well as an analysis of their potential strategies. Clearly, Edwards and Lieberman are poised to benefit from their consistent support of war on Iraq - but the real question is, will they leverage it against Dean (whose position, as well know, has been steadily and consistently mis-represented as "anti-war" in the conventional wisdom).

I was disappointed in Dean's response:

“We’ve gotten rid of him [Saddam Hussein]. I suppose that’s a good thing,” said Dean. But he added the post-war occupation of Iraq is “going to cost the American taxpayers a lot of money that could be spent on schools and kids.”

He "supposes" that removing Saddam was a good thing? This is uncharacteristically vague of Dean. The reality is that Saddam is gone and the joy we saw on television yesterday was real. This needs to be recognized, regardless of all other issues. Grudgingly admitting it was sort-of okay I guess whatever is transparently hedging. Also, the angle of attack that is developing seems to be a focus on cost. This also is a mistake, because it plays into the view of Democrats as obsessed with minor details and Republicans as the ones with the Big Vision. That was the route to losing the midterms in 2002.

How can Dean retake the initiative? What are the real critiques that Dean needs to make? Why would it have been better if he, not Bush was in charge? These are hard questions but we expect our candidate to be able to field them.

A New Hampshire Lieberman supporter, state Rep. Peter Sullivan, told “the position held by Dr. Dean and Rep. Kucinich now looks absurd. Had we followed their approach, we would be bogged down in a festering diplomatic and human rights quagmire that could easily have endured for another decade.”

OUCH. Dean needs to respond. Quickly.

UPDATE: great line from the comment thread:
First it was a a link to al Quaeda which was a fantasy, then it was because of a nuclear program that turned out to be a fraud, then it was about weapons of mass distruction that we haven't found, and now that it's over it it's about liberating the Iraqi people.
as well as a link to Dean's seven-point plan for Winning the Peace at That WAS quick :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2003


Dean on TV -- Right Now

posted by Joe at Wednesday, April 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As mentioned elsewhere, Howard Dean will be speaking tonight, April 9, at the Children's Defense Fund Forum.

The event, which will be aired live on C-SPAN (and thus also if the House and Senate wrap up business in time, starts -- well, started -- at 7 PM EST. That's five minutes ago for those of you DeanBlog addicts who compulsively refresh this page and consequently see this post suddenly appear.

Of course, we'll get a link to the video clip up for those who miss it as soon as it becomes available. That link is now available. It is here.

UPDATE: Since most people seem to be doing it already, you should contribute your reactions to the event in comments on this post. How did Dean do? What about the others? Does John Edwards need a haircut?


Anne Klein designer for Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, April 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

This one is just wierd :) But cool, of course - seems that a designer for Anne Klein is taking a sabbatical from designing clothes to work on Dean's campaign! Who knows what synergy this will bring. Use the comments as an open thread for speculation and/or funny ideas about how Mr. Nolan can help the campaign! excerpt:

In a move as abrupt as it was unforeseen, Mr. Nolan, 45, announced last week that he would forsake his atelier to hit the campaign trail. The designer, whose only previous known flirtation with politics involved dressing Tipper Gore for her public appearances, said, "My ambition is limited to just trying to get a good government that is working for the people."

To that end he will work on the campaign of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, who is a Democratic candidate for the 2004 election and who is an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq. "It's time," said Mr. Nolan, who joined the company in 2001. "It's rough being in the business right now, rough to stay engaged in it when this world is in such a complicated process."

Tuesday, April 08, 2003


Split Ticket: CSN split over Kerry, Dean

posted by Christopher at Tuesday, April 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
On a lighter note, the Boston Globe reports that the Kerry/Dean competition is even heating up among celebrities:

Rock 'n' roll is known for its ''battle of the bands,'' but 2004 presidential politics may trigger a battle within a band. Senator John F. Kerry has enjoyed the support of Stephen Stills, of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame, as he has campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination. Stills even got off his sickbed last month to sing at a Kerry fund-raiser in San Francisco. Last night the other two-thirds of the band, David Crosby and Graham Nash, were in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to attend a reception on behalf of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont and a rival for the DemocratiS&c nomination. Kerry was making his own campaign appearance in Cedar Rapids yesterday, and when he returned to his hotel, he found the hotel driveway blocked by a van bearing a Dean bumper sticker. It was waiting for Nash and Crosby to come out of the lobby. The split allegiances prompted one Kerry aide to make reference to the band's former member, Neil Young. ''I guess the fight is to see who can get Young,'' the aide said.


GOP Already Gunning for Dean

posted by Christopher at Tuesday, April 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
OK, OK... so this is the Washington Post, not really a GOP staffer or scribe. Still, this storyline is emerging, and it's safe to say it's probably not by accident. The GOP would love to simply pigeon-hole Dean as the "pacifist" candidate... a true dove... Which he really is not. This is a testament to Dean's emerging status as a major contender in the Democratic primaries. Basically, the GOP is already so worried about Dean that they're planting the over-simplified version of Dean's position on the war in Iraq with reporters. Today's Washington Post had this analysis:

"Republicans vs. Democrats: The GOPers want to paint the Dems as the party of Howard Dean, weak on national defense, compared to a Republican president who has now whipped two despotic regimes. The Democrats' liberal wing says Bushie, Rummy & Wolfy used the anger over 9/11 to demonize the Iraqi regime as part of a grand plan to take out Syria and Iran as well – and besides, the economy still stinks."

I hope that the Democrats are the party of Howard Dean because not only is he right on the war in Iraq, but he's been saying for months that America must engage (not ignore) North Korea. When North Korea goes nuclear on this President's watch it will be a huge trump card for the Democrats next year.

What all the pundits and the journalists (and, of course the right wing) miss in all this is that "being strong" doesn't mean you go around bombing third rate powers. This war is the equivalent of the NFL playing the pee-wee league, and the Bush administration knows it. Dean has clearly outlined a strong multilateral foreign policy, and a strong defense policy that reserves the right to use force. I will sleep much better at night knowing that Dean is in the White House.

Letters to the editor at the Washington Post may be directed to:


Dean is king of the Meetup hill

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Another milestone: Dean, at 13808 members. This beats the next group (witches: 13630) by 178 people - and still growing! Kerry: 802, Edwards: 529. Unsurprisingly, Gary Hart has been growing as well, with 745 members.

Gary Hart leads in growth over the past 7 days, at 47%. Dean follows at 26% and then Kerry, at 15% - the same as Sean Hannity :P All three (and Hannity too) are in Meetup's Top 25 fastest growing groups.


play nice

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
A short piece from CBS news mentions that Terry McAuliffe has explicitly asked all teh Dem Candidates to "play nice" - while it's obvious that Kerry is the main offender, the article focuses more on Dean. This is problematic - probably because Dean is so outspoken, that there is a conventional wisdom building that he is the most prone to go on the offensive. It bears watching.

Dean himself is quoted and defends himself ably:

"I don't think I have said anything personal," said Dean. "I think the only personal remarks were made by some campaign aides for Senator Kerry. I don't think there is anything personal about disagreeing with someone's positions or lack of positions."


Howard Dean at ease in big city

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

This is the first article I've seen that directly compares Dean to Clinton in terms of his strengths at reaching out to a diverse range of people. The article discusses how Dean is at east in both the big city environment as well as the rural and suburban scene - mainly due to his ownn diverse background:

Like Bill Clinton, who could both hobnob in Hollywood and feel right at home playing cards and chatting with local folks in the small towns and on the back roads of Arkansas, Dean is at ease hiking the Long Trail in Vermont and navigating the subways and streets of New York.
Dean's diverse background helps him in many ways: His career as a doctor lends credibility when he talks about health care; his years as chief executive of a state allows him to say that he has balanced a budget; his life in Vermont gives him credibility when he speaks about the environment.

And Dean's ability to straddle the worlds of Vermont and New York City will serve him well: His experience campaigning one-on-one in Vermont will bolster his efforts in Iowa and New Hampshire while his New York upbringing will help him in the big states and with the big-money donors.


meetups: local media

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, April 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Hey Meetup organizers,

the Meetup crew has offered to assist in getting local media coverage for Dean meetups. The benefits of increased press attention are obvious - increase Dean's exposure, especially in the context of his emergent grass- and net-root support base. Myles from writes:

In short, we can help drive local media coverage for those so inclined to actively pursue press attention. Internally, we're already in hot pursuit, but with an active 'street team' of ad-hoc publicists in 100s of cities and small towns, the impact of the messaging can be that much greater.

If folks would like email me with their locations, I can try to send them some top-line media contacts in their areas.

You can reach Myles via email at

Monday, April 07, 2003


Former Virginia Lt. Governor Endorses Dean, Becomes Campaign Treasurer

posted by Christopher at Monday, April 07, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Look for a flood of influential Democratic party endorsements for Howard Dean. Already on the books: Judith Hope, former New York Democratic Chair, former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts, and current Sec. of State Bill Bradbury. Now, a major coup, former Lt. Gov. Donald Beyer - a major player in Virginia politics, and a generous party donor - has agreed to become Dean's campaign Treasurer.

Keep your eyes peeled for other endorsements in your area, and let the rest of us know about them. Dean's national networking abilities and stint as former NGA Chair are holding him in good stead. This again, is one reason people underestimate him. He's not just a local pol from a small state... he actually has a large, influential network through Democratic Governors.


John, We Hardly Knew Ye...

posted by Christopher at Monday, April 07, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the Washington Times comes this assessment of Sen. John Kerry's sudden change of tactics as he moves from his usual position of restraint on the war and the administration to attack mode - in a vain, and thinly disguised attempt to cut into Gov. Dean's growing support:

"The locals in New Hampshire are pondering changes in Sen. John Kerry as he switches from "honorable restraint to barbs that drip vitriol" in his race against fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean, according to a Laconia Citizen editorial yesterday.

Mr. Kerry is after the "anti-war crowd that forms the base of the former Vermont governor's support," the paper noted.
"Is this the same John Kerry we thought we knew — the honorable veteran of the Vietnam War who had pledged two weeks ago to dull his criticism of the Bush administration after the war started in the interest of promoting national unity?

"Fine words, but apparently hollow words that shift with the political winds. Kerry has taken the role of an opportunist who won't allow principle to get in the way of telling some people what they want to hear in an effort to gain votes. And if Kerry were elected president, would the U.N. delegates trust a man who talks from both sides of his mouth?"'

Editorial Note: This probably isn't the kind of press in New Hampshire that his campaign aides envisioned when they adopted this new strategy.


Favorite Sons?

posted by Joe at Monday, April 07, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean Campaign Director Joe Trippi has been pointing out lately that the "Howard Dean in 2004" Meet-up total for Boston, the heart of Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign and the city in which the Democratic nominee will be named, dwarfs the "John Kerry in 2004" total there. We at the not-official DeanBlog, being more free to poke fun and gloat (good-naturedly, of course) than the official Dean Call to Action Blog, bring you the following totals from on the state of the "net-roots" campaign for each candidate. All numbers are accurate as of the timestamp for this post.

Trippi is right about Boston -- Dean, with 524 members, is the single most popular Meet-up topic there, with twice as many people signed up as the next closest topic. As of this writing, Kerry has failed to break a hundred members in his hometown, with Meet-ups for the cultish fans of the emo band Dashboard Confessional and knitting enthusiasts threatening to overtake him.

In Connecticut, Dean is again the most popular Meet-up topic. Both in Hartford, where Sen. Joe Lieberman lives, and in Stamford, where he grew up, "Dean in 2004" -- at 82 and 59, respectively -- has about twice as many members as the second-place topic. "Lieberman in 2004" musters only one member in each city. This puts Senator Joe below not only Kerry's total in both towns (two and four, respectively), but also a range of topics from Xena: Warrior Princess to Icelandic pop princess Björk.

In Raleigh-Durham, the locale with the most Meet-up members in North Carolina, "Dean in 2004" is at the top of the list with 162 members. Sen. John Edwards pulls in at 43, with witches (41) and the ubiquitous knitters (38) on his heels.

Rep. Dick Gephardt trails not only Dean -- again the most popular Meet-up topic in the city, with 145 members -- but Kerry and Edwards, too, in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Gephardt, with four members, finds himself tied with Tool (no relation, so far as we know) and just ahead of soapmaking.

Predictably, the four establishment candidates mentioned above find their most supporters in Washington, DC (New York City tops the "Dean in 2004" list). Yet even Dean's total in Washington (906) is more than the national total for any of the other candidates; Kerry's national total is 790, Edwards comes in at 522, Gephardt at 93, and Lieberman has 43. As of this writing "Dean in 2004" members number 13,315.

President Bush also has a Meet-up group. In Austin, Texas, where the Bush 2000 campaign was headquartered, "Bush2004" finds itself ranked below not only Dean, the most popular topic there, but also Kerry, Edwards, non-candidate Al Gore, and Gephardt, in that order. In Houston, the city with the most Meet-up members in Texas, Dean's 127 compares pretty favorably with Bush's two. That total makes Bush the 326th most popular topic there, putting Bush just below "Body Modification", but only because those subjects that are tied are ranked in alphabetical order.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many Dean supporters attending meet-ups have never been involved in a campaign before. This is significant because it means Howard Dean is not only building a campaign organization but nurturing civil society. As these numbers show, the other Democrats and the president simply aren't inspiring people in the same way.

As has been said over and over on this site and elsewhere, Meet-up is a great way to connect with other Dean supporters and get his message out. Be sure to sign up now if you haven't. If you're already a member, take a minute to tell a friend.

Sunday, April 06, 2003


Join the Dean Phonenet--Receive Important Text and Voice Messages from the Campaign to your Cell

posted by Zephyr Teachout at Sunday, April 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

We will be using a phonenet service to directly reach Dean supporters with important, time sensitive text messages and voice mails on their cell phones. See our Call to Action Blog for details, or you can sign up here. This is a fantastic tool for grassroots and netroots organizing--the campaign can speak directly to you at the most critical moments.


Dean too complex for most pundits -- but hopefully not for most voters

posted by Jeff at Sunday, April 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I really think that most pundits and politicians and journalists have trouble trying to figure Howard Dean out. Dean himself is walking a fine line between the issues and I like that strategy. What Dean is doing is taking on and evaluating every issue on its own merits. What started this train of thought of mine was this story in the Washington Post. It's about how the war has divided the Democratic party. Here's a quote:
The war in Iraq has divided and largely silenced the Democrats, leaving many of their leaders as bystanders to the conflict and their presidential candidates contending with a resurgent antiwar constituency that could drive the party farther to the left.

The war has underscored the absence of consensus among Democrats on foreign policy and national security and highlighted concern among some Democrats that, to date, no one has emerged with the experience, political stature or credibility to pull the party together to challenge President Bush on issues that will be central to the 2004 election.

Now personally, I don't happen to think this is a bad thing. The Democrats desperately need to stop marching lock-step with each other. And Howard Dean has done just that. And, not a surprise, he is the main focus of this article. His steadfast opposition to the war in Iraq has put many of the other Democratic contenders on the defensive. Here's another quote:

The strength of the antiwar left has boosted the presidential candidacy of former Vermont governor Howard Dean, a vociferous critic of going to war before it started, and it has forced candidates who supported going to war to find other ways to appeal to the party's liberal activists to prevent the once-dismissed Dean from gaining even more ground.

Well yes, much of the antiwar left have rallied around Dean but I think it's more than that; he has, or rather offers, no stock answers. As I said, he considers each question about each issue and offers a surprisingly well thought out answer. Whether it concerns gun rights or abortion rights or healthcare or the war, he doesn't fit into any neat pidgen-hole the way reporters and pundits wish he would -- that would make their jobs, and criticisms easier.

And this gift of Dean's is what had me voting for him five times. Those who know me or my blog Alphecca know my main concern in life is protecting the Second Amendment. Howard Dean has consistently agreed and governed that way. He's also a fiscal conservative (as I am) and has made the tough cuts in the state budget when they had to be made. We disagree about some issues but I defy any honest person to find a candidate they really agree with one hundred percent. Even the most die-hard Democrat must find some things they think Bush is doing right or they are the most dishonest person in the world. When I think about voting for a candidate I draw up a list of ten issues I care most about and evaluate each candidate based on that list.

Anyway, back to Dean and this article. Here's another quote:

Dean not only has attacked the president for going to war without establishing that Iraq represented an imminent threat to the United States, but also has criticized those Democrats who voted for the congressional resolution authorizing war. At party gatherings, Democratic activists have consistently given Dean their most enthusiastic applause.

Many Democrats predict that Dean's candidacy will suffer once the war ends, arguing that antiwar activists will begin to look beyond Iraq to other issues as they weigh their choices for the nomination. They also contend that the desire to defeat Bush will force the antiwar left to weigh who has the best chance of doing that.

"Right now he gets a lot of energy and a lot of support from people who are antiwar," one Democratic operative said. "It's not clear whether or not that group will stay with Dean or look to other major '04 candidates after the war in Iraq."

Dean advisers say his candidacy transcends opposition to the war and will prosper whether or not the antiwar left remains cohesive. Others say the more Dean continues to be a significant force in the nomination battle after the war, the bigger the danger for the party.

"If the war turns out to be a success, enough savvy Democratic operatives, contributors and activists will do their best to make sure the party does not nominate a Howard Dean candidate," said William Mayer of Northeastern University in Boston. "They will find somebody who will plausibly look strong enough on defense not to doom the party."

This conflict will, in various stages, be with us for the next few years. The actual war might end in a few weeks but "mopping up" and rebuilding and creating a new government will take a long time. Dean could suffer from that but I really think most folks will -- as the election draws near -- consider all that he stands for. Look, I disagree (tepidly) with his stance on the war with Iraq but when I weigh my "ten issues" with his record and his statements, I find myself liking him a lot. Granted, I agree with Bush about some issues but his "Homeland Security" legislation is an abomination and is anti-Constitutional. I'm not sure I could bring myself to vote for him again based just on that issue alone. Dean is far more attractive.

Dean is gaining momentum and gaining in the polls (he's tied with Kerry -- a politician I truly loath) and I think he will pull ahead. And this is good news for many reasons but especially because New Hampshire is the first primary and if he leads the pack there, he will have the momentum to win many more.

The Press might have a tough time figuring him out but I think most Democrats and many voters won't. Like me, they care about a lot of things and Dean comes down on the right side of most of them.

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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.