"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, June 10, 2003



posted by Mathew Gross at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Dean Campaign has officially launched its new blog-- just in time for Joe Trippi's birthday!

Read our birthday message to Joe and find out his age by going to the new blog at

And who is going to be the first person to comment? Anna?


Dean Slams Bush Administration's Latest Anti-Environmental Action

posted by Zephyr Teachout at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
For Immediate Release
June 10, 2003

Howard Dean today blasted the Bush Administration for once again undermining wilderness protection, this time by opening the Tongass National Forest up to logging and road building.

“There they go again. The Bush regime has demonstrated a pattern of hostile behavior toward wilderness protection. They claim to be implementing the roadless rule, but when you take a closer look you see that they are doing so in a way that undercuts the rule’s effectiveness. It’s as if the President’s passion for clearing brush on his Crawford ranch has turned into an Administration-wide obsession with clear-cutting national forests,” Dean said. “Worse yet, they are again attempting to undermine environmental protections through a series of bogus ‘settlements’ that are meant to shut the public out of the decision-making process.”

Dean was referring to the fact that the Administration’s latest plan is part of a settlement between the Justice Department and Alaska. Similarly, in April, Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton entered into a legal settlement with Utah in which the Department agreed that the Bureau of Land Management no longer has the authority to create Wilderness Study Areas.

“As President, I will fully implement the roadless rule finalized under President Clinton. We should be expanding our protection of the wilderness areas we have remaining, not clear cutting them,” Dean added.

To join environmental supporters of Dean, click here.


video: Iowa picnic

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
 Democratic Candidates at Iowa Picnic


Open Thread

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
You Own It.


Raising the Call

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
A message from HQ directly to you:

Greetings -

My name is Michael Whitney, and I am an intern with the Internet Team up here at Dean HQ in Burlington, Vermont.

As you know, the campaign is organizing a series of Declaration Celebrations on June 23 across the country in support of Governor Dean's candidacy declaration for President of the United States. While NYC is having its own rally, we're trying to bring students to Burlington for the main rally to showcase the tremendous support the student community is lending to Governor Dean.

I'm looking for a student (or several) from the NYC/Downstate and Boston areas interested in organizing about 45 students to take a bus to Burlington from Sunday, June 22 to Monday, June 23 for NYc and just 6/23 for Boston. If you know of any students in your area that would be interesting in being the Downstate or Boston organizer, please let me know as soon as possible. This is the perfect opportunity to show the media, the Democratic Party, and the nation that Howard Dean is our generation's candidate. We need as many students as possible to show their support by coming to Burlington. For more information about what's happening in Burlington that weekend, please visit
the front page of

If you or someone you know is interested in helping out with this project, please contact me at, or call the Burlington office at 802.651.3200, x141.

Thank you for your help.

- Michael Whitney


News 8 Austin Covers Dean Visit

posted by Editor at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
News 8 Austin had a reporter covering the Dean visit to Texas. You can visit the website and watch the video coverage of the report. As always, there was a focus on how the campaign is revolutionizing politics with techonology:
"The Internet is critical to us. You know you've got a lot of more conservative media than you used to have and they are all pulling for the Republicans, but we can get around this through the Internet and through direct talking to people like this,” Dean said.

Camera crews are following Dean and capturing all his speeches and rallies. Then, they will be played in their entirety on the Web site. Another link on the site called allows Dean supporters to meet up with each other in their own cities and towns to help with organizing the campaign and help get the word out.

It's old-time, grassroots politics using new technology.


Austin is Dean Country

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Gabriel continues to update his post on the Austin rally - see below and stay tuned. But I just want to reflect on what Austin means. The symbolism of Austin is beyond merely being Bush's backyard - Austin is the seat of power, and the epicenter of Bush's political power (even though the town itself is liberal). All of Bush's political roots trace through this nerve center - which Dean completely and utterly dominated on Monday night. This is the event that, in histories about the 2004 election yet to be written, will be identified as a proverbial turning point.

The Austin rally has drawn a lot of attention within the Blogsphere - for example, Carl with a K's analysis of just what the number 3,200 really means:

In 1999-2000 when I began work on Senator John McCain's campaign... getting people to show up for an impromptu political rally outside of New Hampshire was near impossible... unthinkable even.

Things slowly changed as the campaign progressed and AFTER New Hampshire it was not uncommon in South Carolina for the campaign to be greeted by screaming McCainiacs numbering in the 1500-2000 range. That's an important point to understand. McCain's momentum flowed from state to state as he did better. There is no way we could have flown to Nashville (Gore's hometown) and been welcomed by 3,000 supporters even if it had been the day after New Hampshire at the height of his popularity.

It becomes more clear each day that this campaign is different from any other insurgent candidacy of the past. Doctor Dean has a national support network ready at any time to turn out for him and get the job done. That's something the Gary Hart's and John McCain's of this world were never able to harness let alone 6 months before a vote was taken.

Keep in mind that the campaign itself expected a turnout of 300 people (which would have been nothing to sneeze at). Byron at The Burnt Orange Report also weighs in with a detailed first-person account:

Finally, a little after 9 PM, Howard Dean arrived to wild applause, and he immediately lunged at the people at one side of the stage to shake their hands. State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) welcomed Howard Dean to east Austin and his district; just elected last November, he spoke about how his first legislative session was one of the worst ever for Texas: how gay rights were attacked, abortion rights were attacked, and thousands of children were knocked off of health insurance coverage. Rodriguez said that he did everything he could to stop Republicans--including going to Ardmore, Oklahoma, for a week with 50 other House Democrats; at that remark, he received wild applause. Finally, Rodriguez introduced Howard Dean by giving him his endorsement (I believe the first endorsement of a state representative in Texas for Dean).
Finally, Glen Maxey took the microphone and reminded people to give money and sign the ballot petition and pledge card. Dean, however, instead of walking off the stage, almost dove into the crowd in front of the stage and started shaking hands. He did that for about five to ten minutes until someone told him that he needed to stop and talk to the television cameras so that he'd get on the 10 PM news. I got home just around 10 PM and Dean got decent coverage on the major networks.
Dean has lots of support in Austin, and throughout the state of Texas. Democrats in Texas got swept last November, and many of the candidates on the Texas Democratic ticket worked to play up their conservative or pro-Bush credentials in order to win the support of independents, moderates, and conservatives. What happened? The undecideds voted for the real Republican, and lots of Democrats didn't bother to vote. Many of us in this state are looking for a Democrat to support for President that will unabashedly, unashamedly support the principles of our party. We see that candidate in Howard Dean.

That 3200 was just the tip of a vast iceberg in Texas. But what does it all mean? what does it all really mean? as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. See for yourself.


Worth Repeating

posted by Editor at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
My friend Karl (yes, that's what Carl with a K means) writes on his website something that I think is worth repeating here. It's a reflection on the grassroots support that Gov. Dean has found all around the nation. Karl puts it all into a bit of perspective by drawing comparisons to his previous efforts working on Sen. John McCain's campaign for the Republican nomination for president in 2000.
While I'm only 25 years old, I'm both a political activist and a former staff member of a major Presidential campaign. In 1999-2000 when I began work on Senator John McCain's campaign ... getting people to show up for an impromptu political rally outside of New Hampshire was near impossible... unthinkable even.

Things slowly changed as the campaign progressed and AFTER New Hampshire it was not uncommon in South Carolina for the campaign to be greeted by screaming McCainiacs numbering in the 1500-2000 range. That's an important point to understand. McCain's momentum flowed from state to state as he did better. There is no way we could have flown to Nashville (Gore's hometown) and been welcomed by 3,000 supporters even if it had been the day after New Hampshire at the height of his popularity.

It becomes more clear each day that this campaign is different from any other insurgent candidacy of the past. Doctor Dean has a national support network ready at any time to turn out for him and get the job done.


Austin Rally Report,0,1531786.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines

posted by G at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Derek writes from deep in the heart of Texas:
Howard Dean spoke at Plaza Saltillo in East Austin Monday night. One thing is certain: Dean has MOMENTUM. A crowd estimated at 3,200 -- reported to be the largest turnout for any candidate outside his home state -- came to hear him speak. Glen Maxey, his Texas campaign coordinator, hoped to raise $10,000 during the event, but this threshold was crossed at least 20 minutes BEFORE Dean took the stage. The total amount raised will easily exceed $15,000.

Dean is a quick-witted and passionate speaker. I think he will do very well debating Bush and speaking with voters.

* When a crowd member yelled out, "Give 'em hell!", Dean replied "I don't give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it's hell."

* Speaking of Texas' recently-ended legislative session, Dean said (paraphrasing): "In my state, we balanced the budget without raising taxes and without kicking 100,000 kids off health insurance. So take that, Governor Perry!"
UPDATE: The AP article
The physician took on President Bush in the president's own state -- blasting the war in Iraq, deficit spending and the latest round of Bush-backed tax cuts.

"If you say 'you have a choice, you can keep the tax cuts or you can have health insurance that will never be taken away, you can keep the tax cuts or you can fully fund special education so your class size doesn't expand,' ...people are going to choose jobs, health care and education because they didn't get the tax cuts," Dean said.
UPDATE 2: Additional stories in the Austin American-Statesman and the Daily Texan (the paper for which I was a columnist in my previous life.) To try to put a crowd of 3200 showing up to see Dean in perspective: I saw Clinton speak in public in Austin at the parallel point in his first campaign (June of 1991) and the crowd was about 75 people.

UPDATE 3: Excellent coverage on News 8 in Austin. Here's a direct link to the Windows Media file.


The CW Starts to Shift

posted by G at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
We're seeing the titanic shift of the conventional wisdom from "Dean can't win" to "Dean will win." There were two small but significant events yesterday (besides the phenomenal Austin rally.) First, Hardball's Chris Matthews predicted on Charlie Rose that Dean will get the nomination. Second, Lou Dobbs on CNN's Moneyline quoted Dean in the exchange below.
DOBBS: This is reaching what Howard Dean is really putting in stark epic proportions, saying that this is bigger than Watergate. What do you think?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: Oh, I think that's ridiculous, Lou. People need to stand back a little bit and look at the facts here ....
The facts are, Mr. Woolsey, that John Dean (the Watergate guy, no relation to Howard) has written"To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked." And Ho-Ho is the man heating up the oil in the skillet.


The Note Gushes

posted by G at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
On the heels of the Austin rally, ABC's influential The Note has this to say:
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Howard Dean might win both Iowa and New Hampshire; Howard Dean is the only major candidate in the race who talks like both a governor AND a real person from outside Washington; Howard Dean is really using the Internet to fundraise and organize (It ain't just hype … .); Howard Dean connects regularly with Democratic audiences in a way that the others can do only sporadically; Howard Dean has a long record of policy thoughtfulness and a capacity to connect it to the real lives of real people that governors do best (and is, dare we say it, Clintonesque) ; and he evinces real anger at George Bush's polices.

The dirty little (not-so) secret of political strategists of both parties is how hard it is to get people interested in, and emotional about, politics. Howard Dean is doing that, and he is bringing new (and young) people into the process. In a crowded field, that is a good thing.


And they blame the Governor

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, June 10, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The TNR Primary (in the form of Jason Zengerle) sees fit to blame Dean for trying elbow Bob Graham down to the minors. Now, as people have noted here and elsewhere, Dean and Graham have typically been rather kind to eachother. This isn't a one-way street as Zengerle would have us believe.

So why would Dean say that he's the only major candidate running for President who opposed the war? Maybe it is because the media, TNR included, constantly makes it sound that way. Chris Matthews feels like picking on an anti-war candidate -- does he go after Graham? Kucinich? Sharpton? Mosely Braun?

No. He attacks Dean.

Eliot Spitzer is saying anti-war Dems can't win. Who does he single out?

Hmmm. Dean again.

And yet, Dean is the one who gets blamed for simply acknowledging what the media already decided.

Maybe the media should own up, instead of attacking, when they're responsible.

Shame on Zengerle and shame on TNR for attacking Dean but not the rest of the media.

Monday, June 09, 2003


Saletan wowed by Dean

posted by G at Monday, June 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From a review of the Iowa picnic by Slate's William Saletan:
Dean is far and away the most interesting player in the race. Not since Clinton have Democrats seen a talent like this. Here's Dean on the federal budget:
When Ronald Reagan came into office, he cut taxes, we had big deficits, and we lost 2 million jobs. When Bill Clinton came into office, he raised taxes without a single Republican vote; we balanced the budget; we gained 6 and a half million jobs. George Bush has already lost 2 and a half million. I want a balanced budget because that's how you get jobs in this country is to balance the books. No Republican president has balanced the budget in 34 years. …You had better elect a Democrat, because the Republicans cannot handle money. … We're the party of responsibility, and they're not.
When you hear Dean talk like this, you wonder why no one else can make the party's case so simply. If more Democrats spoke this way, maybe they'd control a branch of government.

Success is beginning to warp Dean a bit. He told the Iowa crowd, "People inside the Beltway have said that because I told the truth early, that I'm unelectable. [But] it may be because I told the truth early, that I may be the only one who's electable. We have got to stand up for what we believe, regardless of the polls." Dean has been using that third sentence for months. But the first two are new. He's no longer speaking as freely, because he's become a major player. He's worrying not about the beginner's problem of getting attention but about the advanced problem of projecting electability. That kind of calculus is the opposite of what attracts people to Dean. A principle you advertise as an asset to your electability feels like no principle at all.

P.S.: No politician who's truly foreign to the Beltway talks about "the Beltway."


Dean hunts for money in Minnesota

posted by Editor at Monday, June 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Minnesota Public Radio reports on Gov. Dean's trip to the state. Gov. Dean vowed that the campaign will do everything it can to win the state:

"I have every intention of trying to win in Minnesota. We're going to work our you-know-whats off to win in Minnesota."

While there, Dean invoked the memory of the state's late senator, Paul Wellstone:
Dean presented himself to the audience as a Wellstone Democrat.

"We've got to fight back and stand up for what we believe; that's what Paul Wellstone was all about. Even though I didn't know Paul well, I think that there are a lot of people in Minnesota who, having known Paul as well as they did, believe in the same kind of message that I'm pushing for, which is it's time for Democrats to be Democrats again," he said.

The legacies of Paul Wellstone, Hubert Humphrey, and Walter Mondale are at least part of the reason why Dean and other Democratic candidates could be stopping by Minnesota early and often in this campaign.

The entire article can be viewed by following the link above.


SquawkBox comments

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As you may have noticed, Haloscan has had many outages and problems in the past few months. Given the Dean Blog's massive growth, I think we have outgrown such an unreliable service. I've added Squawk Box as an alternative comment system which I encourage everyone to use, and if it works out well, we will dump the Haloscan comments. I'll upgrade the Squawk account to Pro if it looks like people prefer it and it works smoothly. For now we will still have the Haloscan link available as well. If anyone knows how to extract archived comments from Haloscan en masse, please let me know (in the SQ comments :)


Will The Real McGovern Please Stand Up?

posted by Ezra at Monday, June 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
In light of the recent dust-ups between Dean and the DLC, and their assertion that he is going to be another McGovern, I think it germane to examine what exactly McGovern did and how we can keep from falling into that pit. On that note, I stumbled across a fantastic article in Dissent Magazine that accuses the DLC of being McGovern-like. There's a lot of interesting stuff in here about coalitions and the type of constituencies that need to be brought together, plus some arguments that we could make for Dean's viability through his gun views. Read it and discuss.


Kos joins Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
megablogger Kos of The Daily Kos signs on to the Dean campaign as a technical advisor. Bringing prominent political bloggers into the fold is a brilliant move, to help keep the campaign tuned and on the leading edge of the Internet grassroots phenomenon. Kos still has not endorsed Dean as a candidate, but that is a separable issue from his ability to assist the campaign as it makes history and takes politics back to the people. Kudos to Kos :)


featured comment: Jumbo

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I like to pick out great comments from the open threads and highlight them for the rest if Dean Nation. The DeanBlog's heart and soul is in the comments section, not the main posts, and I hope that by spotlighting realluy great comments, I can encourage more people to participate. The featured comment this time is by regular commentator Jumbo:

The buzz is building, but its a nice steady build. This isn't a bubble waiting to burst, it's the tide rising. The beauty of this race is that we're in a field of 9 with no annointed front-runner. This is similar to the Republican primary in 2000. And the Democrats in 1992. In such a situation unlikely candidates can rise to the top. Dean has already risen to the top-tier. Gephardt and Kerry are the closest thing to incumbents and their Senate votes have already handcuffed their rhetoric. Besides, being a part of the current Democratic side of Congress is nothing to be proud of; if not an out and out liability. Dean has experience in the executive branch, a proven track-record of accomplishment, and an unmatched ability to clearly and effectively communicate his vision to the people. Unlike some of his rivals, Dean is greater than the sum of his positions on the issues. He's a doctor and a scientist who believes in facts, evidence, and logic. He is consistant, practical and straight forward both in his speeches and in his general view of the world and America's place in it. Strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire are very important. People like to vote for winners and sucess in primaries often builds on itself. However, its in places like California and New York that Dean is really generating a strong and comitted following. The high-delegate states are the real key to victory in the primaries. All in all I think we're doing just fine. I think we've seen the worst of the Dean backlash already (see Tucker Carlson's lame attempt to prove some kind of point out of a slip of the tongue) and unless there are a long list of disgruntled nurses who Dean fondled back in the 80's (oh God, please no bimbos this time) Howard looks fairly untouchable and his popularity will only go up as more and more people learn about him.


Kerry, Edwards ditch the Iowa picnic

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 09, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Governor Vilsack's annual picnic is a stealth event in Iowa politics. Gephardt is favored toory win by the conventional wisdom, so losing Iowa becomes a major setback. And Kerry and Edwards both need Dean to lose there regardless of their own showings. So the absence of all three from the picnic, and the chance to mingle with hundreds of party activists from across the state, is a major surprise and a tactical blunder of immense proportion.

The candidates who were there - Lieberman, Kucinich, Graham, and Dean - took the opportunity to stay on message about Bush and the Credibility Thing. And Dean took the lead - in keeping the Bush bashing restrained (!):

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean revived a Watergate-era phrase to raise questions about whether Bush withheld information from Congress: "The question now is going to become, `What did the president know, and when did he know it?"
Dean, the former Vermont governor, warned against attacking Bush too harshly.

"I think we ought to take a measured approach to this," Dean said. "Somebody's credibility is on the line, and I would prefer it to be a Republican president's."

Graham's soundbite was much more aggressive - cementing in my mind the idea that he's angling for the Veepstakes. Lieberman stood by his pro-war position, but did support Congressional investigations. And Gephardt, speaking from Washington, critiqued all such critique of Bush - demonstrating that when it comes to Iowa, he's in the wrong place and saying the wrong thing.

All in all, this was a home run for Dean. I've predicted before that Dean will win Iowa, and given his recent surge in the polls and his position on issues such as the war and (ugh) farming subsidies, I think that Gephardt, Kerry, and Edwards see the writing on the wall. Or, if they don't see it yet, they will.

UPDATE: Nonpartisan for Dean, in the comments, relays the following quotes:

1) Tom Vilsack, after Dean's speech, to Dean (half in the microphone): "Great lines about the balanced budgets. Tremendous job."

2) (the bigger story) Bob Graham, after describing himself for ten minutes in ways identical to Dean: "Recent Democratic presidents have been able to talk directly to the American people -- and I want to thank Governor Dean, because he's been doing just that."

Sunday, June 08, 2003


Open Thread

posted by Matt Singer at Sunday, June 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
We got momentum. Thinks look great in Iowa, New Hampshire. Things are looking up nationally.

Tell us your thoughts.


Sunday Brings Good News

posted by Matt Singer at Sunday, June 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Two stories.

The first, we're within three points of Kerry in New Hampshire. It's 25-22, a statistical tie, with Lieberman running third at 10 percent. At this rate, Kerry and Dean will be the only two contenders landing delegates in New Hampshire. Zogby's report on the poll is available here.

The second, Washington state chair is heaping praise upon Dean in today's Olympian:

[Democratic State Chair Paul] Berendt hasn't endorsed anyone but says: "My heart is with Dean. My leanings are toward Dean. I think Dean is talking about some issues that need to be back on the agenda of the Democratic Party. He may not win the nomination, but he will have a powerful influence on the debate.

"I personally think that the candidate who will beat Bush will be one who challenges his policies and ideas."

Saturday, June 07, 2003


Massachusetts for Dean!

posted by yoni cohen :: at Saturday, June 07, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Predictably, John Kerry gave the keynote address at this morning's Massachusetts State Democratic Convention. And as expected, he bused in hundreds of (mostly young) supporters from across the state to waive signs as he spoke. The big surprise? That it was wise he did so -- because otherwise Kerry would not have been so warmly received. The overwhelming majority of Massachusetts delegates were quiet during Kerry/s address. No delegate-led chants. Few signs. It seemed to me -- and the delegates I talked to -- that the Massachusetts rank and file aren't sold on their hometown Senator...

Importantly, MassforDean was out in full force, wearing lab coats and giving out literature on Governor Dean. Inside the convention, the group had a booth with campaign literature. Volunteers also played videos of Dean's recent speeches and signed up supporters -- including my State Representative!


Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, right, greets supporters outside the Massachusetts Democratic state convention, Saturday, June 7, 2003, in Lowell, Mass. Supporters of Kerry's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, hold signs at left. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) (via


Dean and Religion

posted by G at Saturday, June 07, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
By request, a thread linked to an article on religion and the Democratic presidential race. The article does not mention Dean, but the issue is relevant to his candidacy as well.

UPDATE (Aziz): the author of the article notices the open thread. Her comment is insightful and points out a real weakness that Democrats have to overcome - hostility to religion from the far left. Excerpt:

First of all, the article does not recommend Democrats pander to Christians (or any religious group, for that matter), but urges them to draw connections between policies they already endorse and concerns that religious individuals already hold. Secondly, way to miss the entire point of my argument, Dean supporter. "Those who cling to the mythologies of the Middle Ages while ignoring the reason of the modern secular society"??? Hmm, I wonder why it is that many religious individuals don't feel at home in the Democratic Party.

You can count on the GOP exploiting this hostility in the primaries.

Friday, June 06, 2003


Great Press in Scotland's National Newspaper!

posted by G at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Too bad the Scots can't vote here. Excerpts:
"I would go to the ends of the earth for Howard Dean," Darinda Sharp, a graduate politics student at George Washington University, declared. "When I first saw him on television last year I was amazed by his ability to articulate his vision. In fact, the fact that he has a vision impresses me."
On Wednesday Mr Dean’s supporters met in Washington and 231 other towns and cities to spread the Dean gospel and, just as importantly, raise money. At the Visions Cinema Bistro, more than 100 Dean backers turned up.
Some party officials hoped victory in Iraq would knock his campaign off course; if anything he appears stronger. "Their problem is that we’re not disappearing," says his campaign manager, Joe Trippi.
"Dean is a real person," says Mr Trippi. "There are four or five programmed candidates and we don’t need another one."


Dean takes on DeLay

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As usual, when there's big money lobbying going on in the halls of Congress, Tom Delay is involved. It's notable that only Dean has had the resolve to critique DeLay for his involvement in the GOP's latest impropriety involving the Westar energy conglomerate :

The head of the Democratic Party asked the attorney general on Friday to seize records of leading Republican lawmakers regarding more than $55,000 in political donations by an energy conglomerate that was seeking favorable treatment from Congress.

The request followed news reports Thursday on internal documents of Topeka, Kan.-based Westar Energy about campaign donations and the company's desire to get "a seat at the table" of a House-Senate conference committee on the Bush administration's energy plan.

The Westar documents said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Senate Banking Committee chairman Richard Shelby and Reps. Joe Barton of Texas and Billy Tauzin of Louisiana had requested the contributions from Westar. A DeLay fund-raising organization collected $25,000 of Westar's contributions.
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, also urged an investigation of the four members of Congress, saying that if DeLay and other lawmakers did agree to sell political access "they should be prosecuted for violating bribery laws."

That's exactly the kind of language that we need nowadays - lest deterrent lose its teeth. The other candidates, all Senators, are presumably too entangled in Congressional decorum to be able to take on DeLay. But not Dean.


AP: NY AG says Dean can't win,0,4526745.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire

posted by G at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean Defense Forces, fire up those word processors! Remember: be nice and emphasize the positive. It's from the AP regional wire, so look for it in papers all over the Northeast:
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean cannot win the presidential election because he opposed the war in Iraq, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Thursday.

"The American people will not elect somebody who opposed a war that they supported," Spitzer told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh. Spitzer also said Dean won't win the Democratic nomination.:

UPDATE: Dean camp says Spitzer's analysis is off base
"It's becoming clearer every day that the conventional wisdom of going to war with Iraq may have been wrong," said Ethan Geto, Dean's New York campaign director. "We are facing a possibly more unstable situation in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, al Qaida is again on the warpath and American soldiers are being killed almost every day in Iraq."
"Howard Dean is not an isolationist and he is not a pacifist," Geto said. "Governor Dean believes that the United States should in many instances exercises its military power around the globe to protect global stability and most importantly U.S. national security interests."


What does "the Democratic wing of the Democratic party" really mean?

posted by annatopia at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dave from Seeing the Forest has an excellent post detailing his opinion on who comprises the "Democratic wing of the Democratic party". While I know we've gone over this repeatedly, I think Dave is offering a new perspective and a great response to those who'd club Dean for borrowing Wellstone's famous phrase:

Being in the Democratic wing is about being an opposition party and standing up for the people of the country and the interests of the nation instead of cowering before the Bush intimidation machine, allowing the right to persue their radical agenda to take the country back to the 19th century. That's what it's about, not about being a leftie. And it's about getting it. Checking in with weblogs is getting it. Reading BuzzFlash is getting it. Understanding what the grassroots are talking about is getting it. THAT is why Governor Howard Dean is doing so well with the grassroots, and THAT is why Dean can use the phrase "from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party."


Upcoming Dean events in your town

posted by annatopia at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean will be campaigning vigorously in several states over the next few weeks.

He'll be in Mount Pleasant, Iowa this Sunday June 8. This event is open to the public. Tickets are available by calling (515) 244-8702. more details can be found here.

On Monday, June 9, Dean will be in Austin, Texas for a rally and a fundraiser. The rally begins at 8pm and is free and open to the public (donations will be encouraged due to the upcoming second quarter fundraising deadline). For directions and information, visit Dean for Texas.

On Friday, June 13, Dean will appear at the Wisconsin Democratic Convention. This is a biggie, folks. If you're a Wisconsin resident, it's very important to show up and support Dr Dean, because your presence will be influential in opening people up to Dean's candidacy. There's a public rally at 4:30 pm and the convention begins at 8:00pm. You must register in order to attend the convention. It's only $20.00! Call 608-255-5172. You can also sign up and get more details on this event here.

On June 20-21, Minnesota will host the Democratic National Committee's annnual summer meeting. Democratic bigwigs in attendance will include the head of each state's Democratic Party. Dean will appear on June 20. I may be mistaken, but no details are provided about public attendance. Are there any Minnesota residents out there who can provide this information? Regardless of whether the public can attend, it might be a good idea to start organising a public reception for Dr Dean in front of the convention hall. Minnesota for Dean, are you listening? Here is where I found the info.

update Also, June 23 is the big Declaration Celebration! Howard Dean will formally annouce his candidacy in downtown Burlington, VT. As this happens, people across the nation will hold Declaration parties. To find an event in your area, visit The official declaration and public rally will take place in downtown Burlington, VT and as soon as we have the exact time and location, we'll post it.

Friday June 27 is Texas Bush-Whack house party night! One of our goals is to raise at least $30,000 (before matching funds of course) or more for Dean before the second quarter fundraising deadline. For information on attending or hosting a Bush-Whack Party, please email or visit our website. update I forgot to mention that Dean will make an appearance at the Bush-Whack parties via a conference call. Sorry 'bout that!

If you know of any upcoming Dean appearances that are not posted here, leave them in the comments! Thanks!


Take Action

posted by Editor at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Two items of note crossed my inbox today, I would encourage everybody to take a few minutes to look at both of them.

UPDATE: I've stricken out the appeal to ask Kucinich to resign his candidacy. The campaign released an important notice about petitions on the official blog and the healthy debate fostered by having a large field of candidates, and I think it obsoletes this section. The importance of having a free and open field is critical to our democracy, we don't ever want to suggest that a given person has no right or is unsuitable to run for any elected office - Kucinich may be a long shot, but that puts him in good company, and he's the only one wo should be concerned with whether or not to run. --Aziz

First: There is a petition that has been established that praises Rep. Kucinich for his progressive ideals, but encourages him to end his campaign and support the grassroots movement behind Gov. Howard Dean, MD. A letter explaining it follows
Dear Fellow Dean Supporters,

A recent Associated Press article mentions that Representative Dennis Kucinich will decide this month whether to continue his
presidential bid. Rep. Kucinich is a politician of great compassion, an American who understands that the dismantlers of
government, people who seek to "starve the beast," are starving "we the people." In a time when Senator Santorum promotes bigotry in my church and my country, Representative Kucinich's vision of social justice makes me proud to be a fellow Roman Catholic and American.

Sadly, after spending decades in the political wilderness, Representative Kucinich is on the verge of again becoming a martyr
for progressivism. The press and GOP, after humiliating him for his impassioned defense of Cleveland, have tasted blood. They are
deriding his faith as "New Age" and mocking his vegetarianism. If Jerry Brown was Gov. Moonbeam, Kucinich will become Rep. Stardust.

When they are done, Kucinich will have come no closer to becoming President and will have been caricatured to the point of being
politically inviable in his own congressional district. We the people will be without one of our more powerful voices in congress.

Representative Kucinich entered the election to start a social movement. We now know that Dean's 32,000 grassroots army is that
movement. With Kucinich in the House and Dean in the White House, we will take back our country.

So please join us in encouraging Rep. Kucinich to return to the people's body of government, the US House of Representatives, by
signing our petition.

Sincerely yours,

Maurice Fiasco

The other item came to me from Brendan Fitzpatrick of New York For Dean. It is about the Newsday article in which NY's own AG, Democrat Elliot Spitzer, says Dean can't win. You may have seen the article below on it. Brendan's e'mail follows:
I've been reading the thread in New York for Dean and looked at the newspapers and really feel we need to respond to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

For those of you out of New York, or who just haven't heard, there were comments in the paper today from our state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. He said Gov. Dean is unelectable because the governor was in opposition to the war in Iraq, and a Democratic candidate cannot win if they oppose a war the polls show the majority of americans support.

We need to mobilize and let Attorney General Spitzer know that his assessment is off base.

Please email him immediately by going to, and make the following point:
- I am a new yorker, I vote and support Gov. Dean.
- He is the most electable candidate, PRECISELY because he stands up for what he believes.
- We won't win with Bush lite, we will win by presenting a clear choice, and Gov. Dean is the strongest democratic alternative to bush.
- Further, with every day that passes, the conventional wisdom for going to war seems to be more and more in question.
- Therefore, a candidate like Gov. Dean, who opposed a pre-emptive war because there was no credible case that iraq posed a direct and immediate threat to u.s. security, is becoming MORE electable.
- It is up to the people of NY to decide who is electable, not you.

Only together can we spread the message that rank and file voters like us are tired of compromising with Bush. We want a candidate that is ready, willing and able to stand up for what he believes.

Please use these talking points as a guide. The more you can put your own feelings about the Attorney General's attack on Gov. Dean in your own words the better.

Please forward this email on to other New York voters who might feel the same way.

Again, you can email Attorney General Spitzer by going to

Brendan Fitzpatrick

So start your weekend off right, and show the amazing power of the Grassroots Movement supporting Howard Dean!!!


An American Agenda: The Great MoveOn Interview

posted by annatopia at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I received this email from the great folks at MoveOn, and would encourage all residents of the Dean Nation to participate in this project. I see potential in this idea, in that we can reach out to MoveOn's many members who may be unaware of the good Doctor.

Dear MoveOn member,
It's time to think big. We need your help.

Over the last few months, we've worked on a number of issues: tax fairness, media consolidation and the FCC, right-wing judges, the continuing situation in Iraq, and tactical nuclear weapons, to name a few. On each issue, we've played a powerful role, and on some, MoveOn members may have made a critical difference.

There are so many important issues, so many attacks on core programs and policies, that we could easily spend the next year and a half without coming up for air. But we don't want to fight a series of skirmishes, winning some and losing others, gaining an edge bit by bit. MoveOn now has close to 1.4 million members in this country. We want the whole enchilada: a nation based from the bottom up on fairness, freedom, diversity, and democracy.

That's why we're kicking off a process that will bring MoveOn members, policy analysts, political leaders, and visionaries together to chart a course for our work. Together, we can contribute to a vision for the United States that really reflects the American people, rather than the views of corporate special interests or right-wing ideologues. We'll use the results of this process to develop a call to action and a pragmatic guide for our future work together.

The process starts today, and the first step is to hear from you. We really want to know what stirs you to action, what you're concerned about, and what gives you hope.

We're gathering this information with a twist: rather than fill out an online survey, you'll be paired up for a phone conversation with another MoveOn member, and you'll report back on what your partner has to say. It'll be fun. And together we'll work to start a national discussion about America's future. It won't take more than an hour of your time.

update Removed the link. This is another personalised email (thanks, Luke!). I didn't realise that because of the way my browser doesn't cache certain things. Oh well, make sure to check your inbox if you're a MoveOn member, and if you're not then go sign up!


By popular demand, it's time for an open thread...

posted by annatopia at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I cede the floor to our wonderful, gracious, intelligent, witty, and fiesty readers! What's on your mind today? If you're a newbie to Deanistan, are there any issues you'd like to see addressed by either the Dean campaign or the Dean blog?


Care2 presidential poll

posted by annatopia at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Right now Care2, an environmental organisation, is currently running a presidential preference poll. Care2 has over 2 million members, so if there's any possibility that we can bring Dean to the forefront of this poll, that's a huge constituency we can tap! Care2 claims to be the largest online environmental action network, so let's introduce them to the candidate who has a proven environmental record.

"I think it is fair to say that the record of the Bush Administration on environmental matters is fatally flawed." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

Go over there and vote, and if for some reason the link doesn't work, click on Care2's main page and the poll is on the bottom right hand side. Here are the current results for the Care2 poll.


WSJ: Dean Online

posted by G at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Great article. Excerpt:
Mr. Trippi: We've had candidates who've been able to energize before and really mobilize people the way Howard Dean can. What was lacking was the Net and the tools being mature enough for people actually using them to self organize around that candidacy.

[You also need] a campaign that doesn't put command and control on it, and understands there is something lost in not being able to control every nuance of the organization, but there's a lot gained in having people energized and out there working every day and self organizing. That's sort of our philosophy.


Dean is Not McGovern, Part II

posted by G at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Liberal Oasis does a great job describing the latest DLC-CAF flareup, and fills in some more history on McGovern, to follow up on an earlier thread:
Part of the problem is that DLCers fear the ghost of 1972, where the liberal, anti-war George McGovern was trounced by Richard Nixon. And Republicans, giddy at the prospect, are feeding the DLC fears. But the McGovern story is not exactly a failure of liberalism. McGovern won a bitter primary, and the right-leaning Dems never got over it. That led to a divisive and comically mismanaged convention, depriving McGovern of a typical bounce. And McGovern, in an attempt to appease his intra-party opponents, hastily picked a VP candidate who was more moderate, Sen. Thomas Eagleton. It was soon revealed that Eagleton had received electro shock therapy treatments for depression. A media frenzy ensued. Eagleton was eventually dropped, but the damage was done. The missteps and the bloodletting were too much to overcome.

The lesson is not that a message rooted in liberal principles is a sure failure. The lesson is that if everyone stands strongly behind whoever the nominee is, there will be no repeat of '72.

And do a good background check.


Action.Dean For

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Dean campaign contnues to innovate online - check out their new (beta?) feature, which allows you to schedule your own Dean-themed events (not just Meetups). Check out the FAQ for more information.


URL for online donations update

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Note that the direct URL for campaign donations has changed (though the shortcut still works) - the campaign is using a different provider for collecting and processing online donations. One quibble I have with the new version is the fixed donation amounts. It's not clear how we "add a penny for the internet" anymore. Also, the old link to the donation PDF form that you could download and print, to mail in with a check, is no longer online (or at least, I couldn't find it).

What I would like to see is the option to make a donation via PayPal for an arbitrary amount. A PayPal option would be an enormous asset (and the netroots could help promote the PayPal donation link much more easily and directly).


And We're Up With The TNR Primary

posted by Matt Singer at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
For everyone who thought that no one would be able to beat Joe Lieberman in "The TNR Primary" (I have to put it in quotations - I feel weird saying "The The New Republic Primary"), take a look at the standings, because Dean is.


DDF Call to Action

posted by Matt Singer at Friday, June 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The two stoies that Gabriel highlights demonstrate exactly why we need more people over at Every time we do something that is good. Every time we unite Democrats in search of a hopeful future. Every time we demonstrate that we're really going to bring about change, doubters will tell us it is not possible.

We have to fight back. Join us. Visit the blog, take action, and join the listserv. Email ddf -at- with the subject 'Subscribe'. And when you see stories like these, drop us an email to make sure we know.

United, we win.

Thursday, June 05, 2003


DLC slams Dean again in CAF letter

posted by G at Thursday, June 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The DLC wrote a patronizing "drop Dean" letter to the Campaign for America's Future meeting. I'd say the letter is much more likely to energize Dean supporters than convince the CAF people that Dean can't win. However, it was referred to in a Washington Post story, which calls for a DDF response to the WP. Excerpts from the DLC letter:
We agree with you that congressional Democrats failed in the 2002 midterms to lay out a clear vision for the country. In our view, they ignored the dominant issue of security, and tried to change the subject to a laundry list of old, tired, unconvincing promises that turned off the very voters we need to win. Our party's nominee cannot afford to make the same mistake in 2004, by setting forth an old, tired vision -- or by ignoring the country's legitimate, immediate concerns about the need to make America safe.

That's why we will continue to send out warning signals that the party needs to face some enduring problems about how Americans perceive us. We cannot regain the White House if we raise new doubts in Americans' minds about Democrats, or if we deepen, rather than rebut, the lingering doubt that Karl Rove and company exploited in the midterm elections: that too many Americans don't much trust us to protect them against terrorists and other threats to our national security. We're not convinced that your panel on "Next Stages for the Peace Movement" will reassure the country on this count.


Huge Dean Surge in Iowa!

posted by G at Thursday, June 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Click for the Call to Action blog with the main results: Dean up from 6 to 11 while Kerry down 20 to 14. Besides the main results, note the following: among voters with ANY opinion about a particular candidate, Dean and Kerry have by far the highest favorable/unfavorable ratio: 3.67 and 3.87. This is evidence in my book that the race is between those two. Because Dean is still largely unknown in Iowa (58% have no opinion), boosting him from 3rd place to 1st place is just a matter of getting the word out!



Official Declaration of Candidacy

posted by Matt Singer at Thursday, June 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean will be officially announcing his candidacy on the 23rd of June in Burlington, VT. And the campaign wants to have locally-organized events across America.

Go to Burlington, one of their five campaign organized rallies (Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Twin Cities, and New York), or organize a local event at their Declaration site.

Also, we got a little more than 20 days left. Get those checkbooks out and give what you can spare.


A Perfect Issue for Dean?

posted by G at Thursday, June 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I have not previously exploited my posting privileges on this site to push the campaign to encourage Dean to take a stand on a particular issue. Now I've found a case that seems to me to be just irresistible, and I'd like to hear everyone's opinions. From the Washington Post on Saturday:
The State Department has ordered Foreign Service officers in many nations to begin face-to-face interviews with millions of visa applicants who previously have not merited such scrutiny, a step that will result in months-long backlogs, according to officials and documents.

The rules, formally issued in a cable sent to 221 embassies and consulates Wednesday, have prompted strong objections from business, education and tourism groups. The groups say that longer delays in obtaining visas will discourage foreign nationals from visiting the United States at a time when the economy is still struggling.

The heightened scrutiny will be applied to about 90 percent of visa applicants from countries in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, with general exceptions for diplomats and people 16 and younger or 60 and older. The rules will not affect citizens of Canada and 27 other countries -- most of them in Europe -- who are not required to obtain U.S. business or tourist visas, and who make up about half of the 35 million people who visit the United States each year.
"This is probably going to add a lot more time to the process and could bog the system down very seriously," said Randy Johnson, vice president for labor, immigration and employee benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "These are businessmen coming in to make deals with American businessmen, as well as workers coming in to help our economy. . . . If it's going to take six months or more to get a visa, why would anyone bother?"
But many in U.S. diplomatic circles strongly opposed the new rules, in part because applicants already must wait three months or more for visas in many locations. The cable announcing the policy change warned that the additional interviews must be handled "using existing resources" and without offering overtime hours to employees.
But many Foreign Service officers complain that they are already overburdened by their workload. Some fear that increasing interviews will only increase the chances of mistakes.
Business and tourism leaders said that while they applaud the goal of improved security, the State Department could cause serious economic damage if it does not provide sufficient staff to handle demand. Higher education groups have expressed alarm that the rules could reduce travel by instructors and students from overseas.
This meshes perfectly with themes Dean has already articulated. Bush is failing to fund a new homeland security initiative, in a manner that will plunge the economy further into the toilet, decrease international educational exchange, and further inflame the attitudes of people around the world towards the United States. Don't you think they could have spared a few million from that tax cut to increase overtime hours at embassies to handle this?

Plus, it appears that large groups--business, education, and tourism--are firmly against it. Could you find a better issue for Dean?

Wednesday, June 04, 2003


The Policy Director

posted by G at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From The Forward, a progressive Jewish paper:
The new policy director of the presidential campaign of former Vermont governor Howard Dean spent a number of years toiling for Israeli and American Jewish philanthropies.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, a veteran of the Clinton administration's policy shop, worked in 2002 as the New York director of the New Israel Fund, which funds projects promoting peace, women's rights and social justice in the Jewish state. From 1997 to 1999 he lived in Israel and worked with Israeli not-for-profits and "a handful of minor politicians," providing them with strategies for reaching out for support and funds in the United States, he told the Forward in a telephone interview. Among the groups he helped were the Van Leer Institute, the Jerusalem Foundation, Peace Now and the Center for Educational Technology.

Ben-Ami, who grew up on Manhattan's Upper West Side as the son of an Israeli, worked for Clinton from 1992 to 1997 on welfare reform, education, women's issues and AIDS policy. He bristled at the idea that Dean might be perceived as a more liberal politician than his former boss.

"I took a long time to research and get to know the field and felt there's only one candidate putting forth an alternative for the Democratic Party," Ben-Ami told the Forward. Noting that Dean is a fiscal conservative who "implemented welfare reform following the Clinton model," he said, "it's a big mistake...if people take a simplistic, left-right, single-word label and attach it to Howard Dean."


Open Thread: Reports from the June 4th Meetup

posted by Zephyr Teachout at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Let us know about your experiences in your area at the June 4th Meetup. We'd love to know how it went. Thanks.


Alternet Interview with Dean

posted by Ezra at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Alternet takes some time to grill the good doctor on the environment. Chief among the revelations contained is that Dean (gasp!) drives an SUV! The interview is great, with Dean exhibiting both his righteous and goofy sides, and putting out some truly substantive policy proposals, among them

- Making CAFE standards the same for the SUV fleet as for the regular fleet,

- Labeling genetically modified foods,

- Buying a hybrid SUV for his next car

And this charming story:
personally I'm a recycling madman. I always go through the office and if I see something like a piece of white paper that should have been in the recycling I make a big scene in front of the hapless staff member. On April Fools' Day, one of my longtime aides had a bottle in the wastebasket – and those bottles are 5-cent returnable bottles in our state – and I said "What is this?" and yanked it out of the can. But it had a long string attached to it and I kept pulling the string and it had about 12 recyclable items attached to this string (laughter) and they knew it was enough to do me in.
It should also be noted that Dean's embrace of sites like and is an attempt to get the more liberal aspects of our party back into the fold, the Nader-ites and the people who would otherwise be Kucinich supporters. Follow that up with work to reach the moderates (shame that the DLC and Dean have such bad relations) with sane fiscal policy and balanced budget proposals and we'll have ourselves a "Big Tent" campaign.



posted by Ezra at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
CBS News has a pretty good article on the Meetup phenomenon. The reason that I flag it among all the other great articles on Meetup is the title:

Howard Dean's Internet Love-in



open thread: meetup planning

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

UPDATE: I'll keep modifying the date of this post so it stays on the page as we near the Meetup date.


"Wired Plurality" article in Wisconsin paper

posted by G at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Nice article based on interviews with Dean supporters in Wisconsin. Choice bits:
Just who are these people?

"We're not the screaming minority, we're the wired plurality," Schmidt maintains over coffee at a Middleton cafe. And Dean's critics, she says, "are going to figure that out sooner than later."
Schmidt, a former IRS tax law specialist who moved here from St. Louis four years ago with her husband, says she personally was attracted to Dean's campaign because he's a fiscal conservative, favors national health care and is one of the few politicians who's willing to talk about issues of "death and dying," such as the need for individuals to have living wills.
"Kerry may have more money than God," she jokes. "But one thing he doesn't have - and Dean definitely has - is grassroots support."
Dean also happens to be a dynamic speaker, she says, a fact that state Dems are about to discover next week.

What they'll find, she says, is that Howard Dean isn't a protest candidate, he's a man of substance with some very important things to say.

"And then they'll understand," Schmidt says, "why his opponents are scared." ad-free forum

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Reader Eric Moberg sends us a link to the Deantalk Forum. He writes, "I will be working on improving it over the next few days. The idea was to create something that would be easier to use and less obnoxious than the ad-supported forum that is currently linked from your site (Okay we get it! Heh - Anna). If you could give it a little publicity for a kick-start or a link from your site that would be great. Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions."

We think Eric has done a GoodThing (TM). You can use the forum as a guest or register as a member, and the interface is highly intuitive. Thanks, Eric!

UPDATE: There also are very nice forums at Students for Dean that are highly recommended. And the original Dean Forum is now ad-free :)


Updated Meetup Stats Figure

posted by G at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Click here for a full-page PDF of the figure. Thanks to Theresa for the numbers pre-May 26. Coming in a week or so: growth by city and state.


Netroots, baby, netroots!

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, June 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Kansas City Star explores the Dean/Meetup phenomenon in this article posted earlier today, and rightly concludes that the internet has the potential to revolutionise the political process. They credit the Dean campaign for it's efficient and innovative use of the internet.

Deanblogger Yoni Cohen, co-founder of Students For Dean, is quoted often (YEA!) as the reporter tries to get a grip on the importance of this movement. "For establishing a national organization, to keep everybody networked and helping each other out, the Internet has been an amazing tool," Cohen said. Campaign manager Joe Trippi expands on the concept of netroots, adding "It's not your father's presidential campaign. We still wrestle with it from time to time. The challenge is, you can't put an order out, `Make these 10 phone calls today.' Things happen that you can't plan for... You've gotta be willing to let go, which is scary, let me tell you, `cause I'm doing it."

The article also asks some tough questions, the main one being how to stay on message via thousands of independent supporters. I feel the Dean campaign has begun to address this by issuing agendas for each meetup. For all you hosts, you can grab it here. They've also got videos you can play via laptops at the meetups. These things are just the beginning, and I'd ask that if anyone has ideas of other types of tools that you'd like to see provided, leave it in the comments 'cause you know the campaign will read them.

I suppose the real test will be this: what will be manifested from this movement? How much of an effect will the netroots have on this campaign? Most certainly, the answer lies in our hands. It's up to us to ensure that our party changes, that our leadership changes, and that our country becomes what we all envision it to be. I think that's one of the underlying messages we keep hearing from Howard Dean (once again proving that he "gets it"): he'll lead the charge, but we've got to provide the fuel to that proverbial fire. It's important for those of us who participate at this level to engage others to do so, and meetup is a fantastic way to accomplish our goals.

By the way, current meetup membership has surpassed 31,000. The article - again, issued today - lists a total of 27,000. Astroturf? I think not.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003


TNR Primary

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, June 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Jonathon Cohn, in a pair of somwhat-schizophrenic posts on TNR Primary, praises and slams Dean. The slam deals with the attacks Dean made toward Kerry in New York, but the praise, well, the praise is great:

First, Dean endorses a number of important, but highly underappreciated, policy ideas here, including so-called "card check" registration for unions.


The second, more important thing to note about the interview is the broader message about domestic policy that Dean sends. In These Times is a magazine of The Left. But in the interview, Dean actually passes on a few opportunities to pander. He reiterates his commitment to balanced budgets and opposition to single-payer health care reform--two stances that are highly unpopular with liberal Democrats. And when pressed about corporate greed, he offers this: "I think it's less productive to worry about how much rich people have than to worry about how much middle-class and working people have ... Rather than attacking executive salaries, which I do agree are a real problem, I want to build a middle-class safety net, so that people in the middle class in this country can be sure they'll have health insurance, can be sure they'll have opportunities for their kids to go to college." This is exactly the kind of uplifting, middle class populism that Bill Clinton deployed successfully in 1992--the kind that just might work in 2004. Dean has always had the policy pieces to wage this kind of campaign; now it looks like he may have the vision, too.

Dean is currently in second over at TNR's Primary, only 0.3 behind Lieberman (2.7 to 3.0). Gephart and Edwards haven't done anything gradeworthy this month, yet, apparently. Bob Graham is floating a D average and John Kerry's one grade is an F.


THE one-liner to end all "Dean electability" discussions in Dean's favor.

posted by Adam F. at Tuesday, June 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
"The same people who are claiming Dean is too far left to be elected also claimed JOHN McCAIN was too liberal to be President."

If someone comes at you with a "McGovern" line, come back with the rubbish the far right threw at McCain in the 2000 Republican Primaries. Make it clear the people making these charges against Dean will claim ANYONE who is not a card-carrying member of the neo-conservative right will be called a left-wing extremist. Completely turn the discussion into an indictment of those making the false claim.


Dean is not McGovern

posted by G at Tuesday, June 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
A UPI article with an overview of the Democratic field makes the Dean-McGovern comparison:
The first medical doctor to make a serious run for the presidency, Dean is firing up grassroots liberals with red-meat speeches attacking President Bush's Iraq policy and promising universal health care. A good comparison can be made to George McGovern in 1972 who capitalized on liberal opposition to Vietnam to win the 1972 Democratic nod. Dean should do well in the early New England contests, but will have to win big states to prove his electabilty. After all, McGovern lost by the greatest popular vote margin ever.
I've been thinking about why Dean is not McGovern. First, McGovern was a soft-spoken old guard Democrat, a good guy, but not one to inspire, about a 3 in charisma on the 1-to-10 scale, according to my father. I would rate Dean an 8 or 9.

Second, McGovern's campaign was focused largely on his opposition to the war. This is understandable because Nixon, despite being a paranoid guy who surrounded himself with reptiles like Kissinger and didn't have the courage to end the war in 1969, wasn't such a bad president overall. The opening to China and the arms controls overtures to the Soviets are achievements he deserves credit for, and on the domestic front he didn't get in the way of a lot of good things, like the creation of the EPA. In contrast, on every front Bush is easily the worst president since Harding, and Dean's campaign reflects a vision which encompasses much more than just the war.

Third, part of the reason McGovern lost is that American progressives were demoralized and fragmented after the events of 1968: the asassinations of RFK and MLK, Jr., and the tumultuous Democratic Convention in Chicago. This time, we're energized, confident, and determined to end the reign of the Bush cabal and take back America. And we will.



posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, June 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Meetup is looking sure to break 30,000 today. Absolutely phenomenal numbers. I'm not completely sure I agree with Aziz's projections of 100,000 by July, but 50,000 is looking very, very realistic.

If you haven't signed up to meet up yet, get on up and do it.

If you have signed up, well then, go tomorrow night and get some money for Howard. This is the last meetup before the end of this fundraising quarter and Dean will need the money. Try to get an average of even 5 bucks committed from everyone at the Meetup. Or, even better, you'll have donor cards and can take the money tomorrow night.

Keep the folks excited. No matter what the Times, the DLC, or anyone else in the Beltway says, we're growing faster than anyone can imagine. Let's keep gettin' it done.

Monday, June 02, 2003


the Dean National Media Network

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I've been very remiss in not posting this link earlier. Richard of the SF4Dean Meetup group has been in contact with the people at HowardDean.TV andteh campaign and are planning a coordinated Media Network to consolidate all the various Dean media resources that people are developing, and organizing a coordinated response and archive of future appearances. Below is Richard's email explaining the concept in more detail:

Establishing the Dean National Media Network of Creative Talent

I had a long conversation with Nicco (webmaster, video) at DeanForAmerica about 10 ten days ago. One of the things they still need, among many things, from the Dean supporters are PHOTOS from venues where Dean appears, preferably mixing with people vs just on a stage.

There is also a need for coordination of video assets that are avail all over the web -- so more people (and city-sites) know about them, and to push more media out showing Dean in action. Moving broadcast quality video, DVD quality and even quicktime media fluidly from city to city is important and requires coordination. There are asset management issues, there are general questions like "I shot this video and I don't know where to send it"...

Third, there is a need to identify pro video photographers in Meetup cities who can cover Dean at local appearances -- wherever he might be -- then get that video fed back to the Campaign and to State/Regional/City sites.

Fourth, a number of creative folks in LA, SF, NY and elsewhere have been developing targeted ads to introduce Dean to their city's various communities of people. We also need more people, and want to identify who these people are in each Meetup city.

Such as: Video Photographers & Editors, Ad Producers, Still Photographers, Designers, Illustrators, Flash Animators, Writers, Copywriters, Creative Directors, Music Composers, Production Artists/HTML Builders, and any other creative personnel.

For all these reasons, I discussed with Nicco that having a single place for compilation of these resources would make coordination of these creative efforts much easier -- and speed up the whole process of message creation and distribution thru web, DVD, print, broadcast media.

Nicco stated the Dean Campaign itself is not that coordinating place, largely due to the boundaries that need to be maintained between "Campaign" and grassroots volunteers.

Therefore, SanFranciscoForDean took on the task to coordinate Media talent in forming a National Media Network. Meetup is right upon us. What we're asking Dean Supporters in all Meetup cities across the country to do is: At your Meetup meeting, specifically ask and solicit within your Meetup group: Who are the professional crreative media personnel who would volunteer their services for Dean in these areas: Video Photographers & Editors, Ad Producers, Still Photographers, Designers, Illustrators, Flash Animators, Writers, Copywriters, Creative Directors, Music Composers, Production Artists/HTML Builders, and any other creative personnel.

The intention is not that all of these people come together on a national project. The intent is to be able to share media assets -- and ideas that work -- so that appeals to take a look at Howard Dean are targeted for different voting segments.

PLEASE HELP AND SUPPORT THIS COORDINATION EFFORT by having your Meetup Group coordinator gather this information and post it
to the SF website here:

Thanks very much!
Richard Hoefer, Media Committee

(note to Richard: get a dedicated blog to this effort set up and send me an icon, and I'll link to it from the Dean Blog directly)


The In These Times Profile

posted by G at Monday, June 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Lots of familiar material in this long article. Points I hadn't seen before:
Dean describes himself as an anti-ideological pragmatist. “I’m not an ideologue,” he said in an interview with In These Times. “I think the great problem with this president is that his is an ideological administration. Facts don’t matter to them. I’m a complete pragmatist. I really believe that people who have ideologies that can’t be bent and are insensitive to the facts can’t govern.”
More significantly, Dean—along with Kucinich and Dick Gephardt—strongly advocates making it easier for workers to organize unions, both at home and abroad. “I’ve recently concluded that we ought to allow card check in this country,” Dean says, referring to employer recognition of a union simply when a majority of workers sign membership cards. “It’s the only way to unionize places that pay substandard wages that you can’t support a family on.”

Dean embraces unions as vehicles for bringing poor workers into the middle class. “My attitude toward unions is, at a time when the gap between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger, at a time when the unions in my view have been much more responsible than they were in the ’70s and ’80s when they were mostly interested in protecting high-wage industrial jobs, they’ve really gone out of their way to recruit the people who need the help the most,” he says.

Dean rejects privatizing social security, and he argues that the federal government should give refundable tax credits to low-income workers to invest for their retirement. He also proposes drastically revamping the existing pension system. “Pensions shouldn’t be controlled by corporations,” he says. “They should be independent, controlled by trustees. Corporations would appoint half of them, and labor would appoint half of them.” This would keep corporations from looting pensions, and workers could remain in the same independent pension fund as they change jobs.
Despite his criticism of corporate behavior, Dean rejects the rhetoric of “class warfare.” “I think it’s less productive to worry about how much rich people have than to worry about how much middle-class and working people have,” he says. “I believe that as long as rich people are around, they’ll find ways to get around the rules other people have to follow. That’s one of the costs of living in a capitalist system. The thing to do is concentrate on the 90 percent of people who don’t have what they need and make sure they have it, and not worry about the people who make $500,000 a year. Of course, it’s obscene, but so what?”

“Rather than attacking executive salaries, which I do agree are a real problem, I want to build a middle-class safety net, so that people in the middle class in this country can be sure they’ll have health insurance, can be sure they’ll have opportunities for their kids to go to college,” he says. Beyond raising the minimum wage, he’d expand fringe benefits subsidized by government, much as he did to some degree in Vermont, including expanded child care, affordable housing, and health insurance.


LA Times Q&A,1,899205.story

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This Q&A session is meant as a companion to the LA Times profile. All the candidates will get their turn. Not much new here, but very valuable as promotional material for supporter recruitment. Some of the highlights:

Q: What will be America's greatest foreign policy challenge in the next 20 years?

A: Undoing the damage to international relations caused by the Bush administration's recklessness.
Q: Would you explicitly require that anyone you nominate to the Supreme Court commit to uphold the Roe vs. Wade decision that guaranteed a legal right to abortion?

A: I would appoint federal judges based on experience and merit. I would not employ litmus tests, and I would not ask prospective nominees how they would vote in any particular case. However, I would review a nominee's writings and professional record to ensure that they share my basic view of the Constitution. I believe that the Constitution guarantees Americans certain fundamental rights, including the right to privacy. The men and women I appoint to the bench would share that outlook.


video: California Teachers Association (6/1/03)

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Carl with a K does a typically fantastic job of bringing video coverage of Dean to Dean Nation - this time at the California Teachers Association:

Governor Howard Dean, MD knocked the socks off of nearly 1000 members of the California Teachers Association on Sunday. He was very impressive, displaying a great deal of knowledge on a variety of education related issues.

:: Governor Dean Addressing CTA Convention (6/1)
Dial-Up | High Speed

Karl also has a lot of photos and additional video of Dean addressing supporters outside the convention that are highly recomended. Kudos to Karl also for being recognized as a celebrity :)


LA Times profile,1,7660873.story

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is the profile that we wanted the NYT to run! A really fantastic analysis of Dean by the LA Times, it does a very solid job of introducing Dean to an audience that may be unfamiliar. There is a lot of information that I hadn't ever heard before, such as how Dean got involved in politics:

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Lake Champlain waterfront had all the charm of a junkyard when a young physician named Howard Dean moved here from New York in 1978. But Dean and others wanted a place to go bicycling, so they formed a group to buy up land and clean up the abandoned barges and boxcars littering the lakefront.

The effort, built on private donations, grants and volunteer labor, produced a nine-mile-long recreation area with splendid views of New York's Adirondack Mountains. It also launched the political career of a now-54-year-old Democrat who hopes to be the first president elected from this remote state.

Dean vaulted from the Citizens' Waterfront Committee to state representative to lieutenant governor — to a 5 1/2-term governor who extended health coverage to all Vermont children and signed the nation's only state law legalizing same-sex partnerships. He became known equally for his incisive mind and his occasionally sharp elbows.

"The more I did, the more I realized that I could effect change," he said on a stop home between trips to Iowa, California, South Carolina and other key primary states. "I realized that you could change the world by more than one life at a time, which is what you do in medicine."
Dean, a wrestler as a youth, has hiked the 270-mile Long Trail in Vermont's Green Mountains and canoed the state's Connecticut River. He has a listed phone number and neither smokes nor drinks — not even coffee. His wife, Dr. Judith Steinberg, dislikes politics, maintains a medical practice and vows to continue working as a doctor if her husband is elected president.

There are many other personal details in the article, from reflective (such as his response to the question of whether his brother's death influenced his choice of profession) to outright bizarre (his mastery of the rap sequence from the movie Bulworth. shudder). There is also a concise yet informative section of his political achievements and goals, which cover the spectrum in enough detail to give someone new to Dean a solid understanding of the breadth of Dean's positions. This isn't a "Dean the hyper liberal" meme-loving piece.

The article isn't a puff piece either - it does tackle Dean's fabled stubborness (and gives him a fair chance to respond). But overall it's the perfect introduction to the candidate and the personality. It's also a valuable tool for our grassroots recruitment efforts - I highly suggest taking copies of the article to the meetups to hand out.


ADMIN: zonkboard

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, June 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Fellow Deanizens - I'd like to solicit some site feedback. The DeanBlog has been slow to load for some readers and the culprit seems to be the ZonkBoard. Do you like that feature? Should we dump it and replace it with periodic (ie, regular) open threads? Is there a better Zonkboard-type accessory that anyone knows of that has faster loading times or features that we should switch to[1]?

Feel free to use the comments as an open thread about the DeanBlog in general - suggestions, comments, what you hate, etc. I will ask my fellow bloggers (The Dean Team) to help me find solutions to any issues.

[1] including non-free services - I intend to reserve the sole right to fund this website's expenses myself :)


Tom Tomorrow Weighs In

posted by Matt Singer at Monday, June 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Tom Tomorrow Weighs in on the Recent DLC Flap.

Let's just say that This Modern World does not think much of the Democratic Leadership Council.

Of course, they refer to Dean as Goofus, so, who knows.

Sunday, June 01, 2003


Howard Dean talks to 330,000-strong California teachers union

posted by Editor at Sunday, June 01, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Gov. Dean spoke to California public school teachers on Sunday. From the AP story on the event:

"I can personally say that I am the only person running for the presidency of the United States that knows what it's like to stand up without being able to go to the bathroom for five hours," Dean said to hearty applause.

Dean, 54, longtime Vermont governor and medical doctor who signed the country's only state law legalizing same-sex partnerships, said he taught eighth-grade social studies for three months while contemplating a post-politics career change.

But that was before Dean reinvented himself as a presidential candidate.

"I disagree strongly with President Bush on virtually every policy," Dean told some 800 delegates of the 330,000-member California Teachers Association, which will endorse a candidate.

Saturday, May 31, 2003


Dr. No and the Yes Men

posted by Editor at Saturday, May 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This article in the New York Times begins by painting Dean in a fairly positive light. He is the little known candidate who stormed upon the campaign trail.
Howard Dean is the guy who has dictated the theme of this early campaign season. Once written off as a little man from a little state, Dean has expertly framed the 2004 nomination fight as a choice between white-hot liberal rage on one side and the room-temperature promise of ''electability'' on the other. ''Democrats are furious at their own party,'' Dean says. ''They feel like the party's leaders have taken a pass.''

It does, however, seem to cast a shadow of unelectability on Gov. Dean:
The bad news for Dean's rivals, however, is that Democratic protest candidates have proved very effective at indelibly soiling whatever image the party is trying to convey at the moment. And you have to wonder if the other candidates, ensconced in Washington, have any real grasp of the grass-roots revolt that is fueling Dean's momentum. It's not surprising that the party's leaders feel like shoving Dean's stethoscope down his throat when he says they only care about sounding electable. What's harder to understand is why they seem so determined to prove him right.

I've heard this arguement and the past, and my response has generally been that Gov. Dean is not the far left liberal he is often painted as (just as the left wingers in VT who often felt frustrated). The author picks up on this theme:
If Dean ever belonged to the ''Democratic wing of the Democratic Party'' before this year, he must have kept his membership secret. During his five two-year terms as governor, Dean was proud to be known as a pragmatic New Democrat, in the Clinton mold, boasting that neither the far right nor the far left had much use for him. He signed into law a measure that legalized civil unions for gay couples, a decision that was essentially mandated by the state's Supreme Court. But he also faced opposition from the left-leaning Progressive Party in two re-election campaigns. And he forcefully upheld the rights of Vermonters to carry concealed guns wherever they went, which helped him earn an A rating from the National Rifle Association.

It writes a bit as well about the amazing take off that the governor's speach to the DNC winter meeting resulted in:
In November, Dean's campaign was getting about 50 e-mail messages a day from supporters; after Dean gave a fiery speech to the Democratic National Committee in February, which began with an indictment of the war, as many as 2,000 e-mail messages arrived in a single day. Polling data showed Dean's support shifting from white men and independents to women and younger voters. Dean raised a surprising $2.6 million in the first quarter of the year, outdoing his opponents in two of the most liberal enclaves in America: Cambridge, Mass., and Beverly Hills, Calif.

Turmoil at his Burlington headquarters reflected the leftward lurch of Dean's campaign. In April, Rick Ridder, his pragmatic campaign manager, left and was replaced by Joe Trippi, the insurgent strategist who had run Jerry Brown's 1992 campaign against Clinton.

Dean's campaign, meanwhile, has become an online juggernaut. On the Web site, some 24,000 Dean supporters, at last count, had scheduled monthly meetings in more than 250 American cities. ''You've heard of the silent majority?'' says Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster. ''Well, Dean represents the screaming minority.''

Overall, it's an interesting read. There's a lot more I'd post here, but I trust that many of you will read it all anyhow!


Support Our Troops!

posted by Ezra at Saturday, May 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Got this in an E-Mail today from Cris Alvarado. He's absolutely right, the campaign should pick it up and run with it. Bush's willingness to eliminate the only bit of his tax cut that aided the poor, the child tax credit, is shameful. We need to show that the needy who Bush is attacking here aren't jobless degenrates, as Rove would have us believe, but quite a few of our enlisted men and women whom Bush is so happy to use as props for photo-ops.

"Did some research after a comment on the NewsHour intrigued me, specifically:

How many servicemen, just returning from Iraq, are shut out from the tax cuts because they fall below the approx. $27,000 cutoff?

I think this would be a devastating number to calculate precisely, and then circulate in the press.  "Mr. President, not only are 11.7 million children affected but (number) service men and women as well.  Is that how little you value our enlisted men and women?", or something like that.

As with all thing military, this is not straightforward.  Please find attached a pdf of the basic pay scale (Here's the HTML version of the pay scale - Ezra).  I was somewhat shocked to see just how low it is -- for example, a newly commissioned O-1, say out of West Point or Annapolis makes something like $2200/month (below the cutoff), as does every enlisted man regardless of experience at E-5 or below (some type of sergeant).

What is not straightforward is how basic subsistence and housing allowances factor into your tax liability -- I am not an accountant, just a physician! 

But someone in the campaign might take this ball and run with it. "

Y'hear that Campaign?


AP: Dean attacks Kerry as a copycat

posted by G at Saturday, May 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the AP account of the Lake Placid rural issues forum:
"I appreciate Sen. Kerry saying we don't need Bush Lite, and we don't," Dean told about 1,000 people attending a forum on rural issues in Lake Placid. "But, Sen. Kerry, we don't want Dean Lite, either."
Before his speech, Dean told reporters that he had heard about fellow Democratic hopeful Kerry's speech to the forum and the warning by the senator from Massachusetts that Democrats had to stop acting like Republicans. "I heard he did a great job giving my speech," Dean said.
While Dean directed most of his criticism at Kerry, the former Vermont governor also said his other rivals from Congress too often have supported President Bush on the war with Iraq, tax cuts and other issues.

"They can talk the talk, but they aren't going to be able to walk the walk," Dean told reporters.

To the forum audience, he was as blunt: "What we need in this party is not just people who talk about backbone, but people who have it."
Dean, who grew up on Long Island and went to medical school in New York City, stressed his work as governor of a rural state in his speech to the forum.
"People know who I am," Dean said before his speech. "I have a little advantage in the North Country (of New York), comparable to what Senator Kerry has in New Hampshire" where residents often watch Massachusetts television stations.

Dean's speech was interrupted repeatedly by applause and cheers, as was Kerry's to a somewhat lesser extent.
The Reuters story on the forum skips the attack and says only,
"[Hillary Clinton] showed the Republicans they can't take upstate New York for granted," said Dean, a doctor and former governor of neighboring Vermont.

Dean took straight aim at Bush, denouncing the administration's support for tax cuts as a panacea for all ills. Whether the economy is booming or struggling, whether there is war or peace, he said, the Bush response is the same: "Take two tax cuts and call me in the morning.".


Electability: Those Who Forget History...

posted by yoni cohen :: at Saturday, May 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Are Doomed To Repeat It.

The more we in Dean Nation read - and ask our friends to read - much of the political commentary that followed the 2002 elections, the better off we'll be. Rick Perlstein had a gem in Mother Jones. John Nichols had another in The Nation. (I'd provide links to similar commentaries in major newspapers were those pieces not today in costly web-based archives).

The New York Times' Matt Bai quotes members of the Democratic Leadership Council because he and many members of the national media [wrongly, see below] credit the organization with Bill Clinton's electoral victory in November of 1992. Strangely, however, Bai and others fail to fault the DLC with the Democrats' numerous losses in November of 2002 -- "the worst midterm performance by a party outside the White House since the Republicans in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1934."

Democrats can justly criticize the DLC for lack of a backbone. Or we can go after the DLC where it hurts - and where the media will take notice: for lack of electability.

[Note: James Carville, Clinton's top campaign strategist and a liberal Democrat, steered the then-Arkansas Governor towards a focus on the economy and health care, the two issues that later won him the presidency. Historians also remind us that during Clinton's first year in office, he distanced himself from the DLC, prompting a backlash from none other than Joe Lieberman.]

Friday, May 30, 2003


NY Times Magazine Profile

posted by Matt Singer at Friday, May 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I do recommend that everyone read it, but I want to stress that the Times is an enemy we don't need. They're probably already feeling kicked with the whole Jayson Blair thing.

Keep feedback positive - constructive criticism.

Work with them.

And, remember, the article isn't officially being published for two more days. Sit on your letters a bit.


The NY Times Magazine Profile

posted by G at Friday, May 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Read it. Study it. And prepare those letters to the editor.


Dean Defense Forces

posted by Matt Singer at Friday, May 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
We've got our own blog.

We're up and running, come check it out. And if you've wanted to join, but have been unable to bring yourself to give your address to Yahoo, join now by following the instructions over at the new site.

Thanks for everything. And, please, come join us.


Funny if it wasn't true

posted by Matt Singer at Friday, May 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
One Father for Dean has a post up (no permalinks, perhaps he's worried about being bloggered) on Neil Cavuto's dumb ass rant about sending back tax cut checks if you disagreed with the tax cut.

Here it is:

"So I'm imagining myself at my big Reunion shindig this coming weekend with largely conservative alumni -- (yes, there are a few. Quite a few, actually, despite what the college conservatives would have you believe) -- who decide to gang up on me for my support of Howard Dean’s pledge to repeal President Bush’s tax cuts when elected President in 2004.

'A blatant sop to the unions, special interests and you bleeding-heart liberals,' one said.

'Our economy (and my business) will suffer,' another railed.

When it was my turn to speak, I said simply, 'You guys look like you're doing okay. If you don't want the government, don’t take what the government gives you.'

My point would and will be this:

If you don’t want that interstate highway coming your way, don’t drive on it.

You don't want workers to have any government-funded education in their backgrounds, start hiring some others now.

You don't want more international business development dollars, or more research and development grants, or more defense contracts, give them back. Divest yourself of all stocks, bonds and mutual funds for whom government sources of revenue, tax breaks and/or incentives total more than 0.5% of gross receipts. Don’t do business with or (gasp) own small companies of a similar non-individualist character.

And certainly don’t own any healthcare company that takes Medicare or Medicaid. Or own stock in investment banks utilizing privitized Social Security funds. Or manufacture voting machines.

You think the top earners’ bank accounts and personal assets are a better place for our money, give them your own money directly and leave our federal, state and local governments out of it. Think of it as a venture capital fund – about the same returns, these days, anyway.

You think our families’ already limited government services are better used on your projects, give back the government services that secure, protect and defend those projects.

You think you have all the answers, then eschew yourself, your family and your assets of all of government subsidies, every last one: the oil, timber and minerals from public lands; the military that protects your foreign subsidiaries. And including the airwaves over which major corporations broadcast – we can share the spectrum and do just fine, thanks.

It's too late for you to lecture other people what we should do with 'our' government. Practice what you preach and return 'our' government and its littered commons.

Quite a few of you are very well off and still you say you need government. Prove it, then... or give it – all of it – back to those who do.

As for the rest of us who think we know more what to do with our government than what you want to destroy of it, may I suggest this:

Instead of a speech, write out your 2004 presidential absentee ballot or your voting intentions:

I'll even give you the address:

Dean for America
P.O. Box 1228
Burlington, Vermont 05402

You think you have all the answers? Don’t expect anything from the rest of us who want to work on solutions for this great nation.

Stop using and abusing our country and its government, and then for goodness sake – be quiet."

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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.