"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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Sunday, August 31, 2003


Deja vu

posted by G at Sunday, August 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Adam Nagourney is not my favorite New York Times reporter. That would be Judith Miller (just kidding!) His political analysis often just echoes the latest spin put out by the Bush administration or the DLC. His article today, however, says some accurate things about Dean, so before I get to the sardonic ridicule, let us praise the following excerpts from the article:
The unorthodox character of Dr. Dean's candidacy — and the nature of his support from men and women who have been drawn into politics for the first time by his candidacy — has turned Dr. Dean into a difficult target for conventional political attacks.
What is increasingly clear, several Democrats said, is that primary voters are not likely to choose someone who is promising to run a nuanced campaign against Mr. Bush. Dr. Dean has set the tone on that, as he made clear again today.

"John Ashcroft is not a patriot," he said, referring to the attorney general's advocacy of the Patriot Act. "John Ashcroft is a descendant of Joseph McCarthy."

Harsh or not, Dr. Dean's attacks on Mr. Bush have heartened Democratic audience, and the pitch of attacks on Mr. Bush by other Democrats has increased with each new sign of Dr. Dean's success.
OK, time for ridicule. Here's the thesis of the article:
The race for the Democratic presidential nomination shifts into a more intense phase this Labor Day weekend, with some party leaders worried about the strength of their field of candidates and fearful of what they view as President Bush's huge advantage going into next year's election.
Lo and behold, through the miracle of Nexis, we find that Nagourney has previously written many articles about how tremendously difficult it will be for the Democrats to defeat President Bush ... in 1992. A few choice bits from his 1991 articles in USA Today:

March 22 --
Battered and facing a bleak future, Democratic Party leaders meet in Washington today in search of a way to shift voters' attention from the Persian Gulf to the economy.

State party leaders say their only hope for defeating President Bush in 1992 rests on a continued deterioration of the economy.
Still, the signs do not bode well for the party that has won just one of the past six presidential elections.

Bush's popularity has soared to record levels because of the war.
August 8 --
What once was shrugged off by Democrats as a passing gust of the political winds - the absence of heavyweight challengers to President Bush - is now looming as a major political embarrassment.
The way things are shaping up, the Democrats could easily end up with only two viable candidates: Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, both little-known outside their states. The third, and only announced candidate, is ex-Massachusetts senator Paul Tsongas, whose campaign has yet to catch on.
Still, the lack of interest only reinforces the notion that Bush is unbeatable.
August 21 --
During times of international turmoil, voters are reluctant to turn out presidents. Further, Democrats acknowledge that Bush is now in his element - viewed as a strong president needed to stand up to a renewed Soviet menace.
To make matters worse, the turmoil spotlights the holes in the foreign policy resumes of Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and former Masschuasetts senator Paul Tsongas.
It must be easy being a political reporter these days--you don't have to come up with any new story ideas, since you just can just pull up those articles from Bush I's re-election campaign and search-and-replace the Democrats' names. You don't even have to change the incumbent president's name. What a cushy gig!


Dean sweeps first Texas straw poll

posted by annatopia at Sunday, August 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This one's hot off the email presses. *smile* Texas state volunteer coordinator Glen Maxey conveys some good news to our wonderful Texas volunteers:
At the LBJ Birthday BBQ sponsored by the Hays County Democratic Party, Dean swept the first Texas straw poll organized by an official Party organization.
(If you're out of state, this is the County between Austin and San Antonio where LBJ went to college and taught. For those who lived through Monday's Sleepless Tour, it's where Dean switched buses!)
What's so great about this: We didn't EVEN try to pack the meeting. This was ALL local San Marcos and Hays County folks!!!
Dean 62%
Kucinich 12%
Clark 6%
Edwards 5%
Undecided 4%
Gephardt 4%
Kerry 4%
Lieberman 2%
Graham 2%


New Straw Poll

posted by Joe at Sunday, August 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
AFSCME, the public employees union of over 1.4 million members, has a new Presidential Straw Poll up on its website:

Head over now to vote for Howard Dean, and be sure and pass the link along to friends!


LA Weekly Profile & Clark

posted by G at Sunday, August 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Little new information for Deanyboppers in this impressionistic first-person, all-about-me-the-journalist profile in the LA Weekly, and it's too steeped in political details to be good reading for the Dean neophyte. One bit is notable:
When I ask Dean about Clark, his response is characteristically two-fold. He praises him with sincere fervor: “I know Wes Clark, he’s a very good human being, and he’s got an enormous amount of integrity.” At the same time, on the subject of Clark entering the race, he shows more than a glint of steel. “It’s going to be very hard to start late,” he says, “and think you’re going to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s going to be incredibly hard. I mean, we’ve already got 39,000 people working for us all around the country . . . I really do believe — and I think about this — I want to get this nomination, and if I don’t . . . these kids are not transferrable. I can’t just go out and say, ‘Okay, so I didn’t win the nomination, so go ahead and vote for the Democrats.’ They’re not going to suddenly just go away. That’s not gonna happen.”
So will Clark run? Like many Dean enthusiasts, I like many things about Clark, chiefly the fact that his positions on the major issues mirror Dean's. However, I have deep concerns about a Clark candidacy.

First, unlike Dean, Clark is an unproven campaigner. He has zero experience in the world of electoral politics. He has never run for office or raised money for a campaign. While he might do fine at these tasks, we just don't know.

Dean's comment in the LA Weekly article points to another concern--that the passion he's generated won't be transferable to another candidate. This is certainly true for the other current candidates for the Democratic nomination. But I think many Dean supporters would embrace Clark with enthusiasm in the main election.

What is most worrisome is the danger that Clark could draw some energy away from Dean's campaign without generating enough to achieve lift-off himself. It's possible to imagine scenarios under which Clark enters the race, neither Dean or Clark win Iowa and New Hampshire, and then Kerry ends up getting the nomination. While I'd certainly support Kerry in the general election, I think he would be a weak candidate against Bush.

Despite rumors to the contrary, I'd wager Clark won't enter the race. He's a smart guy. He won't risk a nearly guaranteed VP or Cabinet spot for a gamble at the presidency. He can run in 2012.

I also doubt the speculation that Dean will declare Clark his VP choice before the primaries. While Dean would have everything to gain from such a move, Clark would have everything to lose. Like the methodical military man he is, he'll keep his options open. That's my read of the tea leaves. How do you see it?


Profile in The Stranger, a Seattle weekly

posted by G at Sunday, August 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
There's not a lot of magic on Howard Dean's plane. For the crowds at the rallies, it's all excitement and energy and red meat. For those of us on the plane--reporters and campaign staffers alike--it's all cramped airline seats, bag lunches, warm sodas, and uncomfortable bus rides to the rallies. When we do make it to a hotel, we only score about three or four hours of sleep before we board Dean's chartered 1960s-era 737, dubbed the "Grassroots Express." It is a grueling pace. On the plane, Dean admits the schedule is tiring. He's able to draw energy from his growing throngs of energized supporters. Unfortunately, I'm not.

Still, there is some fun to be had on the Grassroots Express. As the already bedraggled press corps is being checked through security on the tarmac of Portland International Airport on Saturday after- noon, twenty four hours and four cities into into the tour, Dean stands off to the side mimicking his most distinctive stump-speech gestures for one of the photographers who now chronicle his every public move. He raises his arms from his side into a two-thumbs-up pose while mouthing, "You have the power," the signature slogan he shouts repeatedly to close many of his campaign appearances. The rest of the press waiting to board the chartered 737 watches the spectacle and titters. Then Dean stops, chuckling at the sheer ridiculousness of it all.
The Grassroots Express carries a rotating cast of roughly 30 members of the media at any given time. There are reporters from major newspapers, Eleanor Clift from Newsweek, and a guy from Time, a slew of television people, and a woman making a documentary for HBO about the presidential candidates. A guy from Rolling Stone hops on board part way through the tour, as does one from the New Yorker. There are three alt-weekly guys, including myself, on the trip.
"Seeing all those people out there [in Seattle]," Dean said. "The enormity of it all really struck me. For the first time I realized what it really means to be President of the United States--seeing all those people out there, counting on you."


Cuba: moral litmus test

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, August 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
by way of Tacitus, is this article on the continuing oppression in Cuba of political dissidents:

Another important Cuban economist that Fidel has sentenced to his gulag is 58-year-old Marta Beatriz Roque. This courageous woman has already done years in the slammer for authoring, with three others, a paper discussing Cuba's economic problems. She is gravely ill with a heart condition and has lost more than 40 pounds.

Oscar Elias Biscet is a devout Christian and a pacifist whose work to teach Cubans about the Universal Human Rights Declaration riles Castro. He was arrested in March and no one has been allowed to see him since April. In a June 1 letter to his family he described his first 37 days in jail: "They took away all my personal belongings including my underwear and led me to a dark and dirty cell with the only ventilation consisting of the soot and petroleum smoke coming from the prison kitchen."

Librado Linares lived in the province of Villa Clara and became a threat to Castro because he had such success in organizing intellectuals and activists. He also led humanitarian efforts like lunch programs for the elderly. He has played an important role in the national dissident movement. He was the first person arrested in March and is in solitary confinement.

Roberto De Miranda is the head of Cuba's Association of Independent Teachers, which seeks to provide education without ideology. He is also "guilty" of involvement in Cuba's grass-roots democracy movement known as the Varela Project. Mr. De Miranda has a very serious heart condition and has suffered at least one heart attack in prison. As with the others, his living conditions are not fit for an animal.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, a blind human-rights lawyer and a Christian, has been in prison without trial since March 2001. The regime now accuses him of self-mutilation. In a letter he corrects the record and appeals to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. "In the 16 months I have been confined in this dreadful place, I have suffered the most savage physical and psychological tortures . . . to force me to become a collaborator of the State Security," including, he says, attacks by the common criminal prisoners.

Dean's position on Cuba has evolved, but is still consistent with his unvarying principle, that foreign policy should have a moral component:

I will not divide the world into us versus them. Rather, I will rally the world around fundamental principles of decency, responsibility, freedom, and mutual respect. Our foreign and military policy must be about the notion of America leading the world not America against the world.

In that context, his initial support for lifting the Cuban embargo was based on the assumption that increased flow of American goods would allow increased flow of American values to Cuba - and generate a pressure upon Castro to increase freedom (much as has been occurring in Iran, where the transmitters of our cultural freedoms is largely the Internet and satellite TV).

However, in the wake of Castro's recent crackdowns, it is clear that a hard line is needed in the short term. I personally disagree with Dean and I think that the embargo should be lifted regardless, but I respect the position Dean has adopted because it is not black and white.

Characterizing Dean's stance as a flip-flop, however, is a gross mischaracterization. The underlying principle is the same: fostering liberty in Cuba. And our trade and foreign policy must be used as instruments of that goal. These levers are not monotonic - they can be applied and they can be lessenned, much as the Fed can both raise or lower interest rates as needed to adapt to a changing economy. Being wedded to embargo or wedded to its abolishment is to limit our freedom of action, and ultimately serves domestic political needs rather than foreign policy and the promotion of freedom and our values abroad.

The Cubans in Cuba should not be held hostage to the whims and demands of the Cubans in Miami.


Tacitus defends Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, August 31, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Tacitus defends Dean:

A phrase I thought I'd never write, there. But seriously, what's the big deal in shifting some positions during a race? The positions in question, according to Jim VandeHei's WaPo piece, don't even seem to be particularly central ones: The Cuba embargo? The Social Security retirement age? Don't get me wrong, I care about the former (it's a moral litmus test of American foreign policy), and rather less about the latter; but neither are driving questions of the age. God help me for sounding like Atrios, but this does seem like a press-concocted issue.

It's hardly an endorsement, and his assertion that Dean has never been a straight-shooter is probably based on misinformation than anything else, but it's still a nice gesture.

It would be nice to have a debate with a principled conservative about trade issue, the Cuba embargo, and other topics. Tacitus' comment boards are reknowned for their civility, research, and intelligence. I encourage Dean Nationites to head over to Tac and engage him in discussion, but trolls be forewarned: you'll be banned from Dean Nation if you try to screw with him.

Saturday, August 30, 2003


Dean Opponents Taking Aim...

posted by Christopher at Saturday, August 30, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Washington Post's Jim VandeHei is jumping on the bandwagon of Dean's opponents, charging that now that Dean is the "frontrunner" he is changing his positions on the issues. The article specifically cites three key items: 1) the public financing issue; 2) Social Security; and 3) the trade embargo in Cuba.

I think it's fair to say that most of us realize this has the fingerprints of rival campaigns all over it. They're trying to tear into Dean's straight-talking image.

"He has sold himself as the straight-shooting candidate, the truth-teller, the one who will say what's hard and unpopular," said Jim Jordan, campaign manager for presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). "In truth, he's a very crafty politician, very calculating."

Thanks, Jim. We know you think he's crafty (he's leading you guys by 21 points in NH!).

It serves to remind the other campaigns AND the pundits, that Dean has not made a final decision on this issue. The attempt to raise the issue now is a red herring in a vain attempt to discredit Dean. However, were he to change his position, it is simply in light of a) the reality of the Bush fundraising juggernaut, and b) the power of the American people to reclaim the broken political financing systemt through small, individual donations.

The reality is that six months ago none of the candidates could have imagined they would be in a position to forego public financing through small contributions and individual donors - without accepting big money from special interests. Kerry's team is angry because they could do it only by tapping the Heinz fortune and funding the campaign himself - hardly a legitimate show of strength - in an attempt to buy the election outright. And, isn't that what public financing is really all about? It's about not buying elections through individual and special interest wealth. Dean is now in a position to demonstrate that individual Americans still have an important role in American politics. That small contributions count, and can offset advantages to incumbency and the vastly disproportionate amount of influence that wealth begets. That is the point, folks. This is not a "flip-flop" so much as it is a door opening for everyday Americans to exercise some control over politics again. And, let's not forget that George W. Bush has already declared he will circumvent the public finance system in order to ensure his fundraising advantage. It makes sense that the Democratic nominee would factor that into their decision about whether or not to accept public financing.

On Social Security, Dean made a mistake by engaging Kucinich in a debate and denying that he ever considered raising the age requirement for Social Security benefits. He did... as Governor of Vermont about 6-8 years ago! Big deal... back then we did have to consider everything from means testing, to the age requirements, and it was not a radical idea at that time. However, as Dean points out, Clinton showed that budgets can be balanced and Social Security can remain solvent through other, fiscally responsible means (LIKE A SOUND TAX POLICY!). Thus, he has been saying in this campaign that the Social Security age requirements should remain where they are. Makes sense to me, and his consistent message on this during this campaign is probably why he slipped during the debate in responding to Kucinich. Note to the campaign: stop responding to Kucinich. He's not a viable candidate, and his role at this point is to try to cut into Dean (although, at this point, I suppose that's everyone's role!).

Finally, on Cuba. Dean has been saying that he favors lifting aspects of the embago for humanitarian aid, etc. Due to recent events and some of Castro's recent "trials" for political opponents, Dean wants to look carefully at that before taking any action. Sounds reasonable to me... where's the beef with not wanting to reward dictators for bad behavior? This is also consistent with his recent positions on holding nations responsible for violating human rights when it comes to trade agreements and/or MFN status. This position is clearly compatible with Democratic values.

A few well-placed letters to editors on any or all of these issues would be timely, take the initiative away from Dean's opponents, and help set the record straight.

Friday, August 29, 2003


Ridiculous Bush-Crap Again

posted by Trammell at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
WASHINGTON--President Bush's campaign--expected to dwarf Democratic hopefuls by raising $200 million or more for the primaries, with no GOP rival--is appealing for donations by portraying Bush as a fund-raising underdog who won't have enough cash to defend himself against Democratic attacks.

''Democrats and their allies will have more money to spend attacking the president during the nomination battle than we will have to defend him,'' campaign chairman Marc Racicot wrote in the fund-raising e-mail sent Wednesday night. ''If you need more convincing the president needs your help, consider what the Democrats are saying. The race is just starting, but their rhetoric is already red-hot.''

NOTE: Oh, Please. What a load of crap is this! -- and ya --- get worried, Mark, worry Dude, worry, Dude. (Thanks to Wayne Alvarez (again) in Santa Barbara, CA for the link.)


New additions to the Deanroll

posted by annatopia at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
We've got a few additions to the Deanroll this week.
First, there's Expats4Dean. They're working hard to publicise Dean meetups being held abroad, and I'm told they'll be helping Americans abroad obtain their absentee ballots.
Second, we've got a Song for America. You might have seen Bryan's post over on the O-Blog comments section, but if not, there you go. Oh, and there's also People-Powered Howard, sent in by Marcus Ehrlander.
And I was cleaning out my email box (currently I have over 1100 messages in there) and found an old email with a link I need to plug. Please allow me to apologize for not posting One Student, One Vote for Dean earlier than today.
Next, I'd like to spotlight the First Primary Blog. They bill themselves as "news, views, rumors, humor and analysis ahead of the nations first primary".
We've also got The Moderate Republican, who is affiliated with Republicans for Dean.
And now for a humorous link. "America's Best Christian", Betty Bowers, is hawking Dean merchandise on her site.
I'll update the template over the weekend to include all these links. If anyone else has a new Dean site, leave it in the comments section.

update: ARG! Too much email... Here's one more: Seniors for Dean.



posted by Trammell at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Democrats' unhappiness is even more evident when contrasted with the positive feelings Republicans have for their party. Fully 57% of Republicans believe the GOP is doing an excellent or good job of advocating traditional party positions like cutting taxes and promoting conservative social values. In May 2002, 55% of Republicans gave the party high marks for standing up for core principles.

Among Democrats, liberals have become especially unhappy with the party's performance in standing up for traditional principles, and this has led to a large ideological gap within the party over this issue. In May 2001, near the beginning of Bush's term, roughly the same numbers of liberal and conservative Democrats expressed satisfaction with how well the party was doing in this area (48% of liberals, 45% of conservatives). But today, just 31% of liberal Democrats say the party has done an excellent or good job of advocating traditional positions. [...]

Since July, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has made somewhat larger gains than the other candidates. His name recognition is up nine points (from 37% to 46%), and among those who have heard of Dean, 41% say there is a "good" or "some" chance they would vote for him, up from 32% in July. But Dean continues to trail Sen. Joe Lieberman (50%), Sen. John Kerry (47%) and Rep. Dick Gephardt (45%) in terms of potential support. Most voters (54%), including 55% of Democrats and Democratic leaners, have still not heard of Dean.Lieberman, Gephardt and Kerry have much greater name recognition, among all voters and among Democrats. Candidate visibility and support - as well as other opinions measured in this survey - did not change significantly over the course of the polling period.

NOTE: We got some work to do! Thanks to Dean National Patience for the link.


Dean is no draft dodger, but Bush is a deserter

posted by annatopia at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Slate covers the draft-dodger allegation today. I think William and Ben did a pretty good job of presenting Dean's side of the case, so I won't go on the attack here. The story in a nutshell is that Dean received a 1-Y deferrment, meaning that he could only be called up as a last resort recruit. Dean's unfused vertebrae prevent him from running long distances, especially while packing a heavy load (military gear can weigh upwards of 50 pounds). Obviously this condition - which is congenital - would prevent him from participating in combat operations. The bottom line is that the US Government gave him that classification. Dean's family didn't pull any strings. It is what it is and it's a non-story as far as I'm concerned. And if this is the "worst of Howard Dean" then I think we're doing pretty good.
But what pundits keep bringing up is the ski trip and Dean's summer job pouring concrete. Let's be frank here. None of that matters. Dean was called in for the physical and received the deferrment. He didn't dodge the draft or use his daddy's connections to get a sweet spot in the National Guard. In addition, he didn't go AWOL or desert his post in Alabama like our current "Commander" in Chief. I find it hypocritical of the So-Called-Liberal-Media to be making such hay out of Dean's government assigned deferrment when they didn't bother to even question Bush. Not only did he desert his unit, but he refused to release an unedited copy of his DD214 (discharge papers) like McCain and Gore did in 2000. So really, if the SCLM wants to go there, I say "bring it on". Dean fulfilled the draft request and was refused. Bush got his daddy to get him a spot in the national guard, then didn't bother to fulfill his obligation.

update: Chris Anderson nails it in the comments section:
I think it is important, when this topic comes up, to point out that Dean got his 1-Y deferrment as the result of an INDUCTION physical. This is the physical that is given to new inductees immediately prior to being sent off to boot camp. In other words, Dean showed up ready and willing to do his duty. It was the army that turned him down.


Good News on the Labor Front

posted by Matt Singer at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Kos has some good news on the labor front. He thinks it is possible that the SEIU would endorse Dean. The SEIU is the largest, most diverse union in the country. And they're organizing like crazy. He also raises the possibility of a CWA endorsement of Dean and an AFSCME endorsement of Kerry (although that gets talked up a little less).

These events would be huge, not just because of what the SEIU and CWA could to help Dean's campaign, but because it would remove the spected of the AFL-CIO endorsing Gephardt in October.

In addition, such an endorsement would be a powerful signal that Dean can unite the party. These unions are diverse and if they're willing to join the Dean movement, it would be yet another sign that Dean is the candidate who can take the Dems to victory next year.


ABD: Anybody But Dean

posted by Trammell at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Well, I think us and the DDF have yet another task at hand. From yesterday's Hardball with Chris Matthews and punditry from Howard Fineman:

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the unnamed Democrat. It looks to me like in all polling we’ve seen today, pouring in the door, Howard Dean has, as John Zogby said on the show last night, the great pollster-and he is great-said he’s got a ticket to Boston (for) the Democratic convention. Is it that good for Dean right now?
FINEMAN: Well, I, too, don’t see the ceiling on Dean yet. OK?
MATTHEWS: But he’s still growing.
FINEMAN: But he’s still growing. And it’s still a growth stock.
But the thing is, it is still not Labor Day. And September, October, November, December, January before the voting begins. As the frontrunner, it’s a whole different dynamic and people are going to be taking pot shots. And what’s happening now is what’s left of the Democratic Party (NOTE: Fineman sucks up to Matthews on the show every week, and seems much different than he does in Newsweek. Does he need therapy?) is looking for the un-Dean or the non-Dean.
MATTHEWS: Who will be ABD? Anybody but Dean? Will it be John Kerry?
FINEMAN: I don’t know who it will be. I’m not sure. People sort of don’t want the role necessarily. They want somebody else to take it on first so they can come in behind.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let me ask you why it might be John Kerry.
FINEMAN: Other people, by the way, are looking for Kerry to take him on, which is probably going to happen. (NOTE: Hey, bring it on -- every single time Kerry mentions us, our numbers go up!)
MATTHEWS: Let me suggest why it might have to be ABD if you want to stop Dean. That is, the first contest is in Iowa. He’s now, according to our polling we showed tonight, ahead there. He’s clearly ahead by 20 some points in New Hampshire. By the way, he’s killing Dick Gephardt in Iowa, his home area.
FINEMAN: He’s ahead by four points, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Over the guy closest to him. OK. But isn’t he, if he wins both of those (IA and NH) , unstoppable? (NOTE: YES, he is!)
FINEMAN: I think pretty close to it, the way...
MATTHEWS: If Gephardt is going to stop him in one of those two places...
FINEMAN: ... stop him in one of those two place, I think you’re right. But I’m not sure necessarily that Kerry is the one in New Hampshire, necessarily, to do it. It is too early to say that yet. And it’s also too early to write a ticket to Boston, because this is now going to be about Dean. And as one person close to Dean told me just earlier today, the biggest obstacle for Howard Dean could be Howard Dean.
FINEMAN: Well, because...
MATTHEWS: Give me some dirt.
FINEMAN: Well, because they’re going to line up, not the dirt, but the statements and the actions as governor and his statements in the campaign. He’s been repositioning himself rather carefully in a sophisticated but attackable way. He’s taking different positions on different things. As governor and as a candidate...
MATTHEWS: Everything you say reminds me of Jimmy Carter back in ’75 and ’76, a man who clearly distinguished himself in the Democratic pack, became focused when everybody else was getting to be a blur.
MATTHEWS: Mondale, Scoop Jackson, George Wallace. All those guys got beaten. That seems to be what’s happening here. He’s becoming the Jimmy Carter of 2003 and 2004. (NOTE: Hey, at least the McGovern meme is dead!)
FINEMAN: It could be and hear the anger. With Carter it was anger against the Washington system.
FINEMAN: There’s a lot of similarity to that. And Dean has patterned his campaign and his candidacy after Jimmy Carter more than anybody else.
MATTHEWS: We’ve got to get Hal and Jordan (NOTE: I think he meant Ham Jordan, the transcripter was confused I suppose) on the show to talk about it, because Jordan would understand the similarities. He’s probably rooting for the guy.


Backbone Award: Nominations Etc.

posted by Trammell at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Okay, this last week I was asking "blog or food? blog or food?" and I chose to eat. Apologies, but to be honest, the only person worthy of a Backbone Award was not my personal favorite pick -- and I've been doing 12-hour-days on a last-minute contract job, and it simply did not happen. So, I'm thinking: Backbone is only awarded when fully warranted by Dean National enthusiasm, and your nominations and votes make all the difference. Does someone deserve it this week? Nominate Yoda would say "Do -- or do not. There is no try."


video: Sleepless in New York

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
CSPAN: New York Rally, Bryant Park


what use to libertarians?

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Jim Henley, libertarian stalwart, writes of the libertarian fear that a vote for Dean is a vote for higher taxes and a bigger federal government:

Of course, a vote for Bush is also a vote for greater federal spending and a bigger federal government. Taxes are, for the moment, lower. How long will that continue with a budget deficit approaching half a trillion dollars? Not long, I think, which is why I opposed so many of the Bush policies (and non-policies) that have contributed to the deficit. A vainglorious war, a complete lack of spending restraint, the elimination of not a single substantial federal program in three years, expansion of existing entitlements - well, it adds up.

And steel tariffs. And catfish import bans. And yadda yadda yadda. Two factors are at work here: the issues on which conservatives and libertarians have never agreed have become more salient, and on the issues where conservatives and libertarians traditionally have agreed - taxes, trade, federalism - conservatives increasingly suck. Having abandoned the substance of limited government since early in the Gingrich "revolution," conservatives increasingly eschew even the rhetoric of limited government. Animosity aside, they're just no use to libertarians any more.

All this will change again six months into the Dean administration.

It's a good day for Dean in the Blogsphere - righty-OxBlog blogger David Adesnik also has a spirited defense of Dean from the "birkenstock liberal" typing of the NYT. So-Called Liberal Media indeed!


Flood the Zone Friday: Unstable Stewardship

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, August 29, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Briefing for FTZF from Not Geniuses follows:

Talking Points

This is where it gets good. Today is "Unstable Stewardship Friday" and we're taking the Bushies to task for their anti-environmental policies:

Click the link to the Action Center (courtesy GWBUSH'04) and start writing letters!

Thursday, August 28, 2003


The Right is Getting Scared

posted by Ezra at Thursday, August 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The National Review Online has launched a blistering attack against Howard Dean. But all it shows is how scared they're getting. The Dean Defense Forces are all over it, and I suggest you go check it out. The poll numbers that we found while rebutting the argument make it supremely obvious how extreme this Administration is and how mainstream Howard Dean is. Click on the title to go to the Dean Defense Forces rebuttal.


We're up 25-21 in Iowa

posted by Matt Singer at Thursday, August 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It's not statistically significant, but we're still up, and there's no denying that.

Dean 25
Gep 21
Kerr-dog 16
Lieberman 12
Edwards 6
Clark 3
Graham 1
Kucinich 1
Braun 0
Sharpton 0

Apparently, that leaves 17% undecided. This race is not as clearly tiered as NH and it is still relatively open.


Endorsements for Dean

posted by annatopia at Thursday, August 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Wow, the news is just pouring in today! We've gotten another endorsement, this time from former 6th District Congressman Berkley Bedell. He'll formally announce his support at a Labor Day event this weekend.
"I believe that Gov. Howard Dean understands the issues and values we face here in Iowa," said Bedell. "He comes from a state where he balanced the budget, protected the environment and created jobs." A Spirit Lake native, Bedell represented the 6th District from 1974 to 1986.

In addition, while we were in San Antonio we picked up endorsements from two of the Killer Ds! I couldn't find a news article that mentioned the first one, but the honorable Ruth McClendon Jones of San Antonio gave her endorsement at La Villita. Also endorsing was State Representative Mike Villarreal. Mike gave a fantastic speech that contained some really good digs at Bush:
Do you want someone in the attorney general's office that doesn't scare you?" "Yeah!"
"Do you want an election, not an appointment?" "Yeah!"
"Do you want a president who can pass a TAKS exam?" "Yeah!" *note - that's our statewide standardised test

By now I'm sure you're aware of the Nadler endorsement that took place at the NYC rally. I really enjoyed what Nadler said about securing our ports and how the EPA lied about the air in NYC after 9/11. Nadler is a great representative for Manhattan. Also in the article is news that Judith Hope, former chairwoman of the state's Democratic Party, is also supporting Dean.
Now who claimed we were peaking too early? *wink*


Yikes! Is Hillary In?

posted by Trammell at Thursday, August 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Op-ed by Robert Reeves on Hillary Clinton's possible entry into the race for the Dem nod:
Not for the record, though, Hillary and her advisers, including her husband the ex-president, her money men and pollsters, will meet shortly after Labor Day -- Sept. 6, I hear -- to discuss whether she should go for it. It is a decision that has to be made earlier rather than later because of November and December filing deadlines for the early primary elections that will almost certainly (and very quickly) identify the 2004 Democratic nominee. [...]

And polling could drive Hillary's decision, beginning with Bush's popularity ratings. On her own side, Democratic polls right now show Kerry, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, former House majority leader Richard Gephardt and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean as the Democratic leaders, each of them with 15 or 20 percent of the Democratic vote nationally. Throw Hillary's name into those polls and she gets between 37 percent of the vote (ABC News poll) and 48 percent (Quinnipac Institute).

Kerry and the rest drop to single digits. Unfair? Of course. If Bush is in trouble, Kerry and Dean could be the Gene McCarthys of their generation if Hillary decides to be Bobby.
All I can say is hmmm. (Thanks to Dean National Wayne Alvarez for the link!)


New Mexico rally for Dean plus a DNC debate!

posted by annatopia at Thursday, August 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Via the O-Blog, a reference to the Get Local site. It's a rally for Dean at the next Presidential debate. New Mexico, you can do it! There are already 45 registered participants. Let's see if we can get some more people signed up today.
This rally will coincide with the next Presidential debate, to be held on September 4 in Albuquerque. Venue and time are TBA. If you are in the Albuquerque area and want to receive updates, sign up here.


Labor runs ads for Dean in Iowa

posted by annatopia at Thursday, August 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is HUGE news. At a news conference this morning, 136 labor activists held a news conference. They endorsed Howard Dean. Tom Gillespie, president of the Iowa State Building and Trades Council, was among them. On Monday, ads will appear in the Des Moines Register. Part of the ad states that Dean is "the only candidate who will stand up for what we believe and isn't afraid of what Washington thinks."
"If we can afford to rebuild Iraq, then we can afford to rebuild our country," Gillespie said.

In response, Gephardt is already mischaracterising Dean's support of NAFTA. What Gephardt left out was Dean oft-repeated support for renegotiating those treaties to support worker and environmental protections in other countries. We are pushing hard in Iowa, folks. Look out for Gephardt's third-quarter numbers. I predict that if Dick doesn't make a strong financial showing, that the AFL-CIO will hold off on their expected endorsement. I also say that the AFL-CIO endorsement is anybody's to grab, but whomever receives it will have to possess three things: motivation, momentum, and money. And which candidate has that right now?


Here come the Bushwackers!

posted by annatopia at Thursday, August 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Since Trippi has revealed this strategy, it should be okay for me to talk about something I learned on the Grassroots Express. At the end of September, grassroots volunteers from across the country will descend on Iowa to participate in Dean Corps activities and canvass for Dean. If I'm lucky I will get to go to Iowa, although I've told our state coordinator that I've been really blessed lately and would gladly bow out to give someone else the chance to participate.
The Iowa trip is designed to build word of mouth and is specifically part of phase 2. We'll be doing some serious outreach events designed to maximise the effect of the volunteers we've organised online. We'll also be trying to reach the people who don't have net access and who may not have heard of Howard Dean. Basically, we'll be ambassadors to all those Iowa caucus voters. Those of us flying in from Texas are calling ourselves the Bushwackers. *smile*
If I get to go, I'll report from the road. I'll have my shiny new Dell laptop by then so my access will not be as spotty as it was on the road last weekend. If I don't get to go, I'll get someone else to send Dean Nation some road reports. Spread the word! Iowa, here come the Bushwackers!


Dean alters Cuba stand

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, August 28, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Speaking to reporters during a four-day national campaign swing, Dean said he supports rolling back the embargo in order to encourage human-rights advancements -- but citing Fidel Castro's recent crackdowns on dissidents, says that in recent months he has become convinced that ``we can't do it right now.''

Dean called Cuba a ''political question,'' and said that recent developments on the island would prevent him from his goal of ``constructive engagement of Cuba.''

''If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have said we should begin to ease the embargo in return for human-rights concessions,'' he said, responding to a question from a Herald reporter at a dinner Sunday night in Seattle. ``But you can't do it now because Castro has just locked up a huge number of human-rights activists and put them in prison and [held] show trials. You can't reward that kind of behavior if what you want to do is link human-rights behavior with foreign trade.''

This follows from his assertion of a moral-guided foreign policy. I don't think thhat human rights are as realistic a leverage when applied to China, but with Cuba it certainly is reasonable to make them a condition. Dean is demonstrating his adaptibility, not an ideological position on Cuba (whch is what almost everyone else does, in an attempt to maximize political gain with the Cuban exile bloc).

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


Lieberman attacks Dean from the Left!

posted by Matt Singer at Wednesday, August 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Apparently Lieberman realized that insulting the entire Democratic primary electorate was not a good strategy (way to go Al and Bruce!), so he is now attacking Dean for his stance on gun control. The full story is up at (click the title). But we just wanted to highlight that if you don't think Dean has independent cred, think again. Lieberman is now attacking him for not kowtowing enough to interest groups.


The Prospect misinterprets pride for shame

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, August 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
There's a short piece in The American Prospect about the Falls Church rally which is positive overall, but makes a gross misstatement of Dean's intentions:

But Dean did make a subtle jab at Bill Clinton and Al Gore. "If you make me the Democratic nominee," Dean said, "I'll make you proud to vote Democratic again." OK, it's true that many of us were unhappy with Clinton's personal behavior (which we didn't fully know about in either the 1992 or 1996 elections), but as a president, Clinton's record is much stronger than Bush's has been. And while Gore may not have been Mr. Excitement, enough Democrats did vote for him in 2000 to put him in the White House.

Mary Lynn Jones has read far too much into the statement. It's beyond bizarre that she sees this at a dig at Clinton and Gore - and no Dean supporter needs a lesson in how Bush's presidency compares to 1992-2000. The idea that Dean's simple statement of defiance against the conservative mainstream - that we are proud to support Democrats, unlike the DLC which would prefer a retreat from liberal values - could be interpreted in such a fundamental way reeks of a "Stop Dean!" hail Mary. The Prospect needs to be notified of the error and the insult (paging the DDF!)


How Dean can forego spending caps...

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, August 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
... and avoid the flip-flop charge, courtesy Liberal Oasis:

The reality is, George Bush is planning to game the system.

Bush Inc. has said the campaign won’t abide by spending caps during the primary, but will during the general election.

(The Federal Election Commission distributes matching funds for the primary, and a straight-up grant for each eligible major-party candidate in the general election.)

The Bush plan sounds innocuous, since he doesn’t face anyone significant in the primary. But the trick is the primary period doesn’t end until the candidate is officially nominated. And the RNC pushed the nomination all the way to Sept. 2, past the traditional August date for the incumbent party.

Since Bush is aiming to raise upwards of $200M for the "primary," he can dump all of that during the winter, spring and summer.

Then, scoop up about $74M of taxpayer cash in the general election grant.

That’s a blatant bastardization of the system (though it produces no dismay, only jaw-dropping awe, from the political press corps.)

That gives any Dem, who can pull it off, legit grounds to opt-out of the public system that he or she supports in theory. Yet Dean was so adamant about public financing before. How can he escape being called a hypocrite? He’s made the Bush argument already. But if it looks like he’s trying to buy the primary, that argument won’t wash.

Here’s how he could solve the conundrum.

Formally opt-out of the primary matching funds system, so he can fundraise at will. But informally announce that he will not spend more than $44M – the estimated spending cap – in the actual primary contest. That way, he can’t be accused of unfairly drowning his Dem opponents in campaign cash, and violating the principle of public financing.

But he would be able to spend freely in the period between when he might effectively win the nomination, and technically accept it at the Dem convention in late July. That wouldn’t come close to buying the election. It’s just trying to keep pace with Bush Inc., trying to make it a fair fight.

And Dean, in particular, would still have the authenticity of being fueled primarily by small donors (while two-thirds of Bush donors have given the $2K max). Furthermore, the $44M move would also have a side benefit of imposing some spending discipline on the campaign during the primary.

I'm convinced. Bush is gaming the system, embracing the moneyed elites. Dean is sowing the grassroots, and imposing spending discipline on his campaign. Honor counts.


38% in New Hampshire!

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, August 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
New Hampshire is ours:

Zogby International, an independent firm, is scheduled to release Wednesday a poll showing Dr. Dean leading in New Hampshire with 38 percent of the vote to 17 percent for Senator John Kerry.

Remember, Kerry's official candidacy announcement is being held in South Carolina. He's already effectively conceded NH.


Dean to Top $10 Million for Quarter

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, August 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Washington Post goes into more detail about Dean's expected fundraising:

But he is also spending money faster than any other candidate. Trippi said Dean will spend $1 million on new ads in key early primary states, including Wisconsin, New Mexico and Washington. By running ads so early in the process, Dean is hoping to build on the buzz surrounding his campaign and generate more money and supporters before rival campaigns get rolling. The other candidates are mostly holding back until after Labor Day, the unofficial start to the heavy campaigning season.
Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass) and Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), who many leading Democrats consider Dean's toughest challengers for the nomination, will not come close to matching Dean this quarter, according to their campaign aides.

"We're not going to raise that -- that's for sure," said Steve Elmendorf, a top Gephardt adviser. But, "at the end of the day, money isn't everything."

Jim Jordan, Kerry's campaign manager, said Dean's fundraising has been an "impressive" feat his candidate cannot match. "We won't hit $10 million this quarter, and we don't need to."

It's astonishing to see other Presidential campaigns assert that money is not everything, and that they don't need it. I sense a reality distortion field.

I personally think $10 million is low, and $20M is too high. I predicted last quarter that Dean will hit the $15 million mark, and I stand by that estimate now, because with the summer ending, everything picks up. I think it will be close. Remember, my Meetup 100,000 by July estimate was only about a month off! current total: 91931.


In a Long Presidential Race, Dean Sprints

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, August 27, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The events of the past few days were sure to have roused Bush from his slumber, and shaken the other Democratic candidates out of their stupor. They all are now realizing that Dean is the man to beat! And the NYT summarizes just what kind of phenomenon that they face:

ive months before the first ballot is cast and 15 months before the last will be counted, Dr. Dean, the former governor of Vermont, spent the past four days being ferried from rally to rally in a chartered jet as though in the heat of a head-to-head national campaign rather than in the nascent chapter of a long-shot bid in a crowded field. He hit states like Oregon that have little to do with nominations but could be crucial in a general election and all but ignored his Democratic rivals as he roused rabid audiences against their Republican nemesis, George W. Bush.

The staggering, seemingly spontaneous crowds turning up to meet him — about 10,000 in Seattle on Sunday and a similar number in Bryant Park in Manhattan last night — are unheard of in the days of the race when most candidates concentrate on the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire and would seem formidable even in October 2004.

Yesterday morning, the campaign took another audacious step, saying that it would broadcast television advertisements in six new states beginning on Friday, and that it expected to raise $10.3 million in the three months ending Sept. 30 — more than any other Democrat in a similar period save for President Bill Clinton in 1995.

It wasn't audacious, it was Joe-dacious! I would like to see Trippi get some kudos by the media for his role in making this happen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003



posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
President Bush: Dean Nation has spoken. And now it's Dean's turn, in Bryant Park. I recommend you listen carefully - for your next President has some things he needs to say to you. For all of us.


Give Dean $1M before he takes the stage!!

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
ONLY $10,000 LEFT !!!!

Dean takes the stage in 20 minutes. Can Dean Nation help raise $500 a minute? I think we can. NOW is the time - let's push that Bat to $1M and beyond. We may not be i Bryant Park but Dean will hear Dean Nation ROAR nonetheless!!!!


CSPAN live coverage

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
link above goes to CSPAN's website live feed - starting right now!


New York rally starts at 10PM ET

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
there will be a live webcast, and CSPAN is scheduled to start at 9:30 PM ET (right about now!) ... There are 5,000 people registered to attend, but I think we know that's going to be a massive understatement. The crowd already numbers 6,000 and is still growing!

Dean has already picked the endorsement of Rep Nadler - now he just added Representative Major Owens (D-Brooklyn) today. Owens' statement:

"To win in November 2004 we need a real Democrat. Howard Dean will arouse the complacent and energize the weary. Governor Dean is the long awaited champion for working families because Governor Dean understands that a government that can spend one billion dollars a week in Iraq can certainly appropriate the funds necessary to fund adequate schools and provide health care for all families.


$1 Million is close enough to touch

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The campaign has raised $981,000 dollars. Only $20,000 more to go! If every visitor to Dean Nation visiting the site right this moment gave $25 we could push it over the top.

Remember Bush raked in $1M by hosting a $500 a plate dinner. But the grassroots numbered 17,000. Bush might raise 20 times as much money but we have 20 times as many people who speak with one voice - the voice of Howard Dean - and who want their country back.

Be a part of the Perfect Storm. Join the 5,000 in Portland, the 3,500 in San Antonio and Chicago, the 15,000 in Settle. Join the tens of thousands who are rallying with Dean right now in New York! Give what you can. Dean Nation, we can do this! we must do this! and we will!


Seattle: a picture essay

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Hey everyone! First, a big shout out to Dean National Ben in Redmond (pictured below with me)!! It was great meeting you. As you may have guessed, our net access in Seattle was not, er, what it was supposed to be. The report Scott linked to was sent in via a really nice gentleman at Starbucks named Steve. I'm going to file a longer DN exclusive report as soon as I finish processing all the events, but for now I'd like to address the size of the crowd.

Having experienced the Dallas rally, I figured the press would lowball our numbers. Reports said between 8000-10000 people were there. I am here to tell you that I wouldn't be suprised if it was at least 15,000. In fact, I overheard a reporter at the rally state just that. He was having a conversation with someone and he said something about having covered these types of events for two decades, and he said there were easily 15,000 people in attendance. Plus, I have it on good authority that when Al Gore came to Seattle before the 2000 election and spoke in the same park, he drew 4500 people. Those 4500 people were gathered in the space pictured here. (side note: if you look closely you'll see me at the foot of the stairs pointing up and asking people to start waving their signs for the camera) Look really closely at the picture. That is only about 1/3 of the crowd and that's 2 hours before he showed up.
Now check this one out. I took that picture from the third floor balcony at a mall across the street from the plaza. That is only about 1/3 of the space that attendees filled up. And then look at this. That's the back of the Starbucks and it was filled up too. Look at the street in the picture. When the rally started, it was packed with people all the way down to about the midsection of the taller white building. Now look at this shot. Take note of the concrete monument behind the press riser. About 40 minutes into the rally, I climbed over there and stood on top of the monument and took the next few crowd shots. This picture was taken on the far left hand side of the monument. This one was taken from the center facing the mall. That's the balcony I took the empty plaza shot from. I walked to the far right side to take this shot, then turned right to face the building the aerial shot was taken from. These are the people down there you could NOT see in the aerial. These are the people lining the street to the right of the stage. Now do you really doubt that there were 15,000 people there? I certainly don't.


Just When You Thought You'd Seen It All...

posted by Christopher at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean's campaign is shaking up the field AGAIN. Just announced on CNN is the Dean campaign's plan to launch a new ad in six early voting states: South Carolina, Washington, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Arizona! An excerpt:

"... Dean's aggressive move this week will force the rest of the nine-candidate field to reconsider their strategy as they try to determine how to keep pace with Dean's fund-raising and organizational strengths.

Trippi announced the ad buy at the end of Dean's four-day "Sleepless Summer" tour that drew thousands of supporters, a measure of the candidate's grass-roots support.

The ads will be similar to the ones airing in Austin, Texas, in which Dean promises to "take the country back" and urges voters to log onto his Web site. Dean has been leaps and bounds ahead of his rivals in using the Internet to boost his candidacy. "

Props to everyone who helped out with the success of the Sleepless Summer Tour, that energy and drive is what's helping to push the campaign forward, and allows small donors to have a say in the primary (and later, the general) election process.


Clinton is angry

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
What draws us to Dean is his unabashed embrace of being a liberal. His genuine anger at the misuse of our country and the way that public discourse has been hijacked by the right. Not a single mainline candidate other than Dean can express this passion, this primal anger the way Dean can. and has, repeatedly, on the trail.

But Clinton can. At a recent conference/political powwow in Aspen:

Clinton kept referring to the media as (contrary to Kinsley’s view) the “supine” media, pointing out that when Bush insulted Helen Thomas (who, by asking a rough question in the infamous prewar press conference had, Clinton said, “committed the sin of journalism”), no “young journalists” stood up and walked out.

The media, the supine media, was going to have to “go to the meat locker and take out its brains and critical skills.”

Everybody seemed to love this. Clinton was not just the beloved former president, but he had become some sort of sassy oracle.

There was a party on the second day for Clinton at the Aspen version of Nobu, and then, later that evening, a discussion between Clinton and President Kagame, hosted by the William Morris Agency, at Whiskey Rocks Bar in the St. Regis Hotel (Michael Eisner, the Disney CEO, while not a conference attendee, slipped into the room).

This turned out to be the pivotal moment of the conference—even the primal one. When Clinton took questions, a young man from a technology company who identified himself as chairman of Bush-Cheney 2004 in California said he was offended by Clinton’s partisanship. To which Clinton, without hesitation, and with some kind of predatory gleam in his eye, said, “Good!” From there, Clinton went on, with emotion and anger, at a level seemingly foreign to most everyone here, to rip to shreds the motives, values, and legitimacy of the Republicans.

It was all anyone could talk about the next day. People seemed genuinely taken aback (some people kept offering that since it was late at night, in a bar, it didn’t quite count) that one of their own might have violated the accepted codes of lofty liberal behavior. There was a little current of fear at the sudden recognition that testosterone could fuel politics. It was a shock, apparently, that we might be this close to real feelings. That politics could actually be personal.

We don't need lofty liberal aloofness. We don't need to stay above the fray. We need to wade into the fight, and reclaim the princples that we espouse. We mkst not deny ourselves - Clinton never lost sight of his being a liberal even as he embraced pragmatism, and neither has Dean. And the signs of a Clinton endorsement of Dean's campaign have never been greater.


When was the last time you got 5,000 new volunteers for Dean?

posted by Matt Singer at Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Cause apparently our friends in LA did just that. I applaud them. I'm so lazy I haven't even bothered to sign up for the official email list (I'm joking people, I even gave money three times).

5,000. That's a new alarm clock, just by their actions.

Anyways, they got the full story over at Dean Majority (that thing we will become, instead of the Dean Significant Voting Force that we are now).

Our strategy holds, onward!


Matt doesn't read so well late at night. It's really, um, 500 volunteers. Which is still awesome.

5000 did seem like a lot.

So it's really 1/10 of an alarm clock.

Um, yeah, sorry.

Monday, August 25, 2003


Simon & Brownstein on Dean & Clark on Meet the Press

posted by Trammell at Monday, August 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From yesterday's Meet the Press discussion moderated by Tim Russert with Ron Brownstein of The Los Angeles Times and Roger Simon of U.S. News and World Report:

MR. RUSSERT: Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, has been telling people, Roger Simon, that, you know, “The conventional wisdom said that the Democratic candidate had to support the president on the war in order to reinforce his national security credentials. But, ladies and gentlemen, come next November, I will be the only Democrat who will have the rationale to oppose the president, because by opposing the war in Iraq I was right and all the other Democrats were wrong.”
MR. SIMON: Well, Howard Dean has clearly shown himself not only to be far more in tune with his party than some of the other Democrats, but perhaps, if these poll results are correct, the nation as a whole. Dean said the strategy of supporting Bush on Iraq, getting national security off the table and fighting George Bush on domestic issues was a losing idea. It lost in 2002. He said, “Let’s energize the base of the party instead of going for the vast American middle, which we’ll not win anyway. Let’s go for our Democratic base.” And this whole campaign, in a few short months, really has evolved into a “Stop Howard Dean” movement on the part of the other Democrats. This guy is just tearing up the field.
MR. BROWNSTEIN: I agree largely, but I disagree with one point. First of all, I agree that Dean has become the driving force in the Democratic race. I mean, his ability to raise money off the Internet-the crowds that he is drawing this weekend—he’s on a sort of “sleepless across America” tour that he’s doing. It began last night in Virginia with about several thousand, 4,000 people, by some estimates. He’s going to be going across the country. They’re expecting to raise at least as much money in the third quarter as they did in the second, when they raised more money than any other Democrat. Extraordinary situation, Tim, where the outsider candidate has become identified before the insider establishment favorite.
The only thing I differ with Roger on is, look, it is still going to be a challenge for Dean, if he is the nominee, to explain to the American people why he did not think it was in our national security interest to remove Saddam Hussein. The threshold of being an effective and credible commander in chief is larger and more important after September 11 than it was before, and I still believe that it will be a challenge for Dean to cross that threshold, having opposed the war; not impossible, but certainly more of a challenge than it’s been so far, with Bush pushing back at him, not just Dick Gephardt and John Edwards.
MR. RUSSERT: You may have a perfect storm gathering right now that is not good news for President Bush: the unemployment numbers; the difficulties in Iraq, no weapons of mass destruction, no Saddam Hussein. On the other hand, if you find Saddam Hussein, find weapons of mass destruction, and the economy starts ticking up, then what does Howard Dean base his campaign on?
MR. SIMON: Well, Howard Dean and everyone else is in big trouble based on that scenario. And as you pointed out, Tim, the president’s relatively bad poll numbers are the president vs. a generic Democrat. The president isn’t going to run against a generic Democrat. He’s going to run against a real Democrat. If it’s Howard Dean, and there’s no reason to believe this early that it will be, the president might feel that he’s going to match up very well.
MR. RUSSERT: The group has a new poll out tomorrow in which they show the president matched up against the various Democrats. The president beats the Democrats but he’s below 50 percent against most of them. They also show that their man, Clark—in generic form, when you describe his biography against George Bush, they like Wesley Clark. Do you think Clark gets in?
MR. SIMON: I think Clark gets in, and I think he hurts a lot of people in the Democratic race, including Howard Dean. He’s anti-war but he has a general’s credentials. Also, he hurts those candidates running from the South, John Edwards and Bob Graham, because Wesley Clark is from Arkansas. Also, he hurts John Kerry, because he will become the second veteran, combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, in the race, and John Kerry loses his main talking point, which is that’s what John Kerry is.
MR. RUSSERT: Those McCain Independent voters in New Hampshire, some going to Dean, some going to Kerry, now would have a choice in Wesley Clark.
MR. BROWNSTEIN: Yeah. Well, look, I mean, if he does get in—and I think most people are feeling that he is going to—it would be a good time for him, because there is a sense in the Democratic Party that, apart from Dean, none of these candidates have really taken off this year. They’re all either flat- lining or somewhat losing ground over the course of 2003. On the other hand, having seen him speak, I think he is still much more confident and assured talking about foreign than domestic policy, and obviously, for a Democratic primary electorate, Iraq is only part of the mix. There’s a lot of people who
want to talk about health care, the economy, the budget deficit. And he has some work, I think, to do on those fronts. [...]
MR. BROWNSTEIN: ...and, you know, Dean, in particular, has established a following that really isn’t going away. I mean, he has got some ability to stay in this for a while past Iowa and New Hampshire.
MR. RUSSERT: Message, money and momentum? MR. SIMON: Right. He’s all got all that.
MR. RUSSERT: But is the Democratic nomination worth winning?
MR. SIMON: (laughter) Oh, it’s very much worth winning! MR. BROWNSTEIN: Yes.
MR. RUSSERT: This is...
MR. SIMON: This election is not a lock for the president.
MR. RUSSERT: It’s going to be wild.

NOTE from Scott: Dean as the "frontrunner" is the story and it's sticking -- in fact, it's cropping up everywhere. And it's based on hard work, not simple name recognition or "favorite son" status. Of course, this interview was taped long before Seattle. I bet they were floored when they saw those numbers! By the way, is it my imagination, or is Russert playing footsy with Dean these days? Finally, I've just added a list of "Talking Head Transcripts" links on the left column at Points West -- kinda handy.


Anna's Seattle report

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, August 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Anna has been having trouble with net access, so head over to the O-blog for her first few reports. Hopefully she will get access soon to update Dean Nation!


I spent most of today walking around and speaking with my fellow Dean
supporters. Their reasons for supporting Dean were diverse - the economy,
the reconstruction of Iraq, equal rights for all, and health care. It's the same thing I read every day on this blog in the comments section. People are passionate in their support for Dean. They are impressed with his forthrightness and his willingness to take the fight directly to those responsible for the mess we're in today. They are ready to stand up against George W Bush and his destructive, reckless policies. People are tired of waiting for something to change, so they're taking action.
As for Dean's speech, as usual, I bawled like a little baby. There's just something about seeing him live that touches me in my bones. I saw the same thing on the faces of people in the crowd. I saw grown men and women with tears of joy streaming down their faces. Finally a politician gets it! Finally we have a candidate who is willing to fight for us, and we have a candidate who's calling it like it is. The frankness of Dean's speech never ceases to amaze me - he just "tells the truth and Republicans think it's hell". And it touches the hearts of all who come and listen.
Anyone who says Dean is peaking too early hasn't been paying attention. The crowds are getting bigger and bigger and you can feel the momentum as the Sleepless Summer tour heads to New York. I can only imagine what's going to take place there after what I saw today.


Administration losing Iraq mojo,1,3906008.story?coll=la-home-headlines

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, August 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
even Republicans are saying we need more troops in Iraq!

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), returning from a trip to Iraq, called on Bush to send "at least another division" — which could mean an additional 17,000 troops.

"We are in a very serious situation ... a race against time," McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We need to spend a whole lot more money to get services back to the people. We need to get the electricity going, the fuel, the water. And unless we get that done and get it done pretty soon, we could face a very [serious] situation."

But it's not just McCain on the R side - via Liberal Oasis, even South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham sounded sour notes:

…I would agree with the idea we need more.

Not necessarily more combat troops, but more people to help get Afghanistan and Iraq into decent shape so that we can turn the corner on what's happening over here with the public…

…The public [also] needs to know that al Qaeda and Taliban that are left are regrouping on the Pakistan-Afghan border to try to destabilize Afghanistan as they go into their democratic elections.

So we need more combat aircraft in that area…

… [And] the infrastructure needs in Afghanistan and Iraq are billions.

We are underestimating the cost of this conflict, and we in the House and the Senate need to appropriate a lot more money.

the attitude of the Administration is "nothing to see here. move along." - Paul Bremer's response to being asked about needing more troops was a curt "I don't think so." It's obvious that the Administration is more interested in control of Iraq rather than stability in Iraq - and acknowledging the need for more troops would require either UN support (as the Democrats, notably Dean, have been advocating) or a draft (which would probably trigger an impeachment trial).


Veep alert

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, August 25, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
BLITZER: Let's move on and talk about General Wesley Clark. He may or may not, in the coming days, decide to become number 10, the tenth Democratic hopeful for the White House.

You have high regard for him. Would you consider him as a potential running mate?

DEAN: Yes. There would be a great many people, of course, that would be considered as potential running mates.

And I must say, I think it's much too early to discuss potential running mates. I mean, we're five months from the time the first official vote and delegate-selection process takes place, so I find it very premature.

But I think Wes Clark, he is somebody I keep in close touch with. He's a terrific person, very bright, very capable, very thoughtful. Our views coincide on a number of matters, and he is a -- I certainly can't say enough good things about him. It'd be tough to run against him.

BLITZER: Well, if he decides to run, would you be disappointed that he throws his hat in the ring?

DEAN: Not a bit. You know, I think this is a democracy, and I never get disappointed when people throw their hats in the ring. You know, he has every right to get out there and give his views and do the Iowa and New Hampshire and so forth thing, and I wouldn't be the least bit disappointed.

I'm convinced. There's just too much evidence. And - with Clark, comes Clinton's endorsement. developing...

UPDATE - Trippi also goes on the record:

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi, said it could be a struggle even to get Clark's name on the ballot in certain states, where thousands of signatures are required. "I don't think the question is whether he is articulate enough, credible enough or does he have the stature. ... He's General Wesley Clark, of course he does," said Trippi. "The logistics are going to be very tough. It took us seven months to get where we are today."

Sunday, August 24, 2003


15,000 in Seattle for Dean!!!!

posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Can you believe that number? 15,000!!! I expect we'll hear from Anna shortly -- her first posts are on the O-blog now!



posted by Editor at Sunday, August 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From the campaign...


AUGUST 24, 2003


NEW YORK -- As Governor Howard Dean, Democratic candidate for President, prepares to descend into New York for a massive rally on Tuesday at Bryant Park at 9pm, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is joining Governor Dean's campaign to win the White House, the campaign announced today.

Said Rep. Nadler, "I have decided to support Governor Dean because I believe he is the Democrat with the best chance of defeating George Bush. Howard Dean is motivating huge numbers of Democrats to re-engage in the political process -- Democrats frustrated by the backwards policies of the Bush Administration and angered by the failure of parts of our party to lead in opposing those policies and in promoting a progressive Democratic vision for our country. He is also bringing thousands of new voters into the process -- people who have never taken any political action. Howard Dean will revive our economy, create new jobs again, and provide affordable health care to all.

"Howard Dean will restore intelligent priorities in protecting our national security. He will fund critical security needs, from buying nuclear bomb materials from Russia before they can be smuggled to Al Qaeda, to inspecting shipping containers before they enter our ports. Howard Dean can be depended on to protect our civil rights and civil liberties and to ensure equal rights for all Americans.

"But most importantly, I am convinced that Howard Dean is the candidate with the best chance to restore decent government to our country by defeating George Bush in next year's election."

Governor Dean said, "I am thrilled to have someone as bright and influential as Congressman Nadler join my campaign. Congressman Nadler is one of the most recognizable and respected figures in New York, and has been a long time champion for the state. As the Ranking Democrat on the Constitution Subcommittee, Congressman Nadler's deep commitment to protecting our Civil Liberties and Constitution is unquestioned. Congressman Nadler's knowledge of and innovative ideas on transportation issues will be a tremendous asset to this campaign.

"After September 11th, Congressman Nadler worked tirelessly for his constituents who were most impacted by the fall of the World Trade Center, which was in his district, and his proposals to increase the security of this nation have been ahead of the curve. Congressman Nadler will be an important member of my campaign, and I look forward to working with him as we seek a restoration of honesty, integrity, and compassion in the White House and take this country back."

Rep. Nadler has served in the U.S. Congress since 1992. He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
-- 30 --

UPDATE (Aziz): Rep. Nadler has been a strong critic of Bush with regard to the EPA's false claims about air quality in New York City after 9-11.


O-Blog on Caffeine

posted by Trammell at Sunday, August 24, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Keep the coffee pots on and your eyes wide open for all the action at Blog for America as the Sleepless Summer Tour is now in full swing! After an amazing kick-off rally with 4,500 in Falls Church, Virginia the campaign has just arrived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a crowd of 800! According to O-blog reports, Dean said to the crowd: "I got off the plane, and I could not believe that on a night that the Green Bay Packers were playing, 800 people turned out for a rally." The crowd went wild!

UPDATE: 450 rally in Boise for Dean! Click here for all the O-blog posts from the Sleepless Summer Tour!

UPDATE: Dean National Victor Henzi just sent us a link to some great, up close and personal, photos of Howard Dean from the Milwaukee Rally! Thanks, Victor!

UPDATE: What a crowd! 5,000 (revised estimate from 4,000) rally in Portland for Dean! Dean just said on the Webcast: "Hi to everybody on the Web! Say Hi to Portland!" Kissing hands and shaking babies! Woohoo!

UPDATE:15,000 People in Seattle! 15,000! Can you believe that? And the bat just passed a cool 1/2 mil! Anna's first reports are on the O-blog now - check 'em out!

Our own Anna Private will be guest-blogging on the O-blog during the Texas and Seattle legs of the tour, and bringing us exclusives right here at Dean Nation! It's gonna be a fun few days -- and the bat keeps going up. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 23, 2003


Pictures from Falls Church, VA and Sleepless Summer update

posted by annatopia at Saturday, August 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean National rgilly posted this link to some pictures from the rally in Falls Church, VA earlier today. According to most reports, at least 4500 people showed up for the rally. Not bad considering organisers were expecting about 3000. *wink* Way to go Virginia for Dean!

The Sleepless Summer tour is getting some widespread press coverage already. Right now it's one of the top stories on CNN, and news outlets in Iowa, New York, San Antonio, TX, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington. If you haven't signed up to attend the tour in your area, do it now. And if you haven't made a donation towards the $1 million dollar goal, there's no time like the present. Let's keep the momentum going, Dean Nationals!


Tapped on the O-blog

posted by Trammell at Saturday, August 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
You may not agree with everything in this Tapped item about the O-blog (I don't) but parts of it are quite funny:
It's like watching a reality TV show with a very chatty audience -- and even has the same weird mix of edited-for-consumption real moments and self-consciously authentic presentations, like Trippi's recent stump speech, delivered while standing on a stump.
Hey, that must mean we all have featured roles on the hottest show on the Web! The post is riddled with links, so rather than reprint much of it here, why not just read it yourself? (Thanks to Meg on the ZonkBoard for the link.)


Dean can bridge the religion gap

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, August 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Liberal Oasis has an interesting post that calls for Democrats to be bold about injecting themselves into religious debate, such as the Ten Commandments circus in Alabama. And concludes that Dean may well be the natural candidate to take the mantle:

it’s safe to say that it’s perceived disputes over values that sets the Dems back in rural areas and the South.

(It can’t be because the South hates big government, as they benefit more from federal government largesse than supposedly liberal New York and California.)

And if Dems want to claim stable majority status, it can’t cede an entire section of the country.

So how can Dems bridge the cultural divide?

Creatively, and boldly, step into hot-button controversies, like the current one in Alabama over displaying the 10 Commandments in a government building.

Now, this is generally the last thing politicians want to do, for good reason.

There’s not a lot of room for win-win compromises with polarizing social issues. More than likely, you’re just going piss off a lot of people.

But when you run for President, you get asked about everything, especially what’s on the front pages.

If asked about this one, chances are most Dems will probably sidestep. The issue will probably fade, so why kick up dust?

Yet a response that successfully bridges the religion gap would show that he or she can really be a uniter, not a divider.

Such a response would have rely on admittedly predictable liberal arguments. For example:

“Our Founding Fathers wanted separation of church of state so we all can practice our religion and beliefs freely without the fear of the theocracy preached by Osama Bin Laden.”

But Dems should also include the unpredictable, praising those who believe so strongly:

“To see Americans bravely standing on a courthouse steps, to express their deep faith to the world, also makes our Founding Fathers proud.

“We must always stand up for rights of Americans to worship as they please, while making sure the government doesn’t send the signal that some faiths don’t warrant the same support.”

This is not an argument that is going to get hard-core religious voters to switch their positions on the intersection of politics and religion. That’s not doable.

And it’s not a simple silver bullet to winning the South in ‘04.

But such inclusive arguments, on this issue and future ones, may help Dems, over time, reverse the perception that the party is fundamentally antithetical to the core values of the very religious.

As well as mitigate GOP attempts to paint Dems as immoral.

Howard Dean may be the natural candidate to attempt such a bold strategy, as he has similarly tried to position his support for gay civil unions, and has talked of winning over voters who display Confederate flags by finding common ground on health care and education.

It would be awesome to see Dean make such a statement. The other candidates won't go near the issue, that's for certain.


when is $54.85 equal to $337,517.47?

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, August 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
when it's multiplied by 6,154 people, of course. The Million Dollar Summer will easily reach its goal by Tuesday, if we keep banding together and taking our country back, one dollar at a time.


Momentum Forces Dean To Shift to Higher Gear

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, August 23, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
There's a lot of information in this comprehensive WaPo story about Dean's momentum and the campaign's adaptation to "front runner" status. Dean is expanding his message beyond the red-meat partisan base, which is essential if he aims to win not just the nomination but also the general election itself:

Yet to win the nomination and defeat Bush, Dean will likely need to broaden his appeal to attract southern Democrats, who tend to be more conservative; independents, who often swing between the two parties, and even Fox News watchers and Journal editorial page readers, who tend to be Republicans.

Dean is increasingly reaching out to these audiences, which brought him to a bipartisan breakfast at the Queen City Rotary Club meeting here early Thursday morning. The 250 Democratic activists who listened to Dean bash Bush repeatedly the night before in a supporter's back yard might not have recognized the tame policy wonk detailing his positions on the economy and foreign affairs to this crowd. It was a sneak preview of how Dean might sound in a general election campaign.

"The nice thing about talking to this Rotary is I can take the spin off my fastball," he told the 50 or so Rotarians. "This is a bipartisan audience, so we don't do the red meat. I am just going to talk about programs."

That's key - there's deep substance behind Dean's positions on the issues, not just empty rhetoric for the fringe. This gives a far more balanced view of the campaign's appeal than what you'd infer from seeing teh chanting crwowds on the campaign trail, and a real preview of what Dean would be like against Bush.

kudos to Adam for noticing this additional nugget:

What started as a point-by-point review of his economic and health care policies turned quickly into his dissertation on foreign affairs in Cuba, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Iraq. Dean has been getting tutored on foreign policy by numerous experts, including retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar. He has also had several private conversations with retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander who some Democrats see as an attractive running mate for Dean if Clark does not join the race himself.

Friday, August 22, 2003


Dean v. Kucinich

posted by Ezra at Friday, August 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is an E-mail I got from a Kucinich supporter -- they've been sending this letter to everyone they can think of. I find it a bit insulting but, at least they're trying. Anyway, the Kucinich supporters comments and letter are reproduced below, my comments are in bold. Enjoy.

I am hoping that you will reconsider supporting Dean on your site, and begin supporting Dennis Kucinich. Here are a couple of reasons why:

I appreciate your input, but I hope you'll reconsider supporting Dennis.

1) He want to set up universal healthcare with a single payer plan, similar to Canada's, and the one that a respected doctor's organization just recommended to the current administration.

Single payer is simply unfeasible in this country, at this time. First off, we simply don't have the money for it, and the Bush Tax Cuts won't provide it. Second, people don't trust it -- it doesn't have overwhelming support and without that (even with it) it won't pass a Republican Congress. Dean's plan will go through. It doesn't offend every interest out there, and it isn't such a radical change that people will be scared. Change doesn't come all at once, disasters, however, do.

2) Full social security benefits at age 65.

Again, where is the money coming from for this? It's pie-in-the-sky, we don't have the funds. Hopes and dreams are nice, but fiscal moderation is essential. Anyway, my personal instinct is to move SS up a few years, not down.

3) Wants withdrawal from NAFTA and WTO.

I can't support this. When things are broken you fix them. You don't simply pull out of NAFTA (and make Mexico collapse), you fix it. Mend it, don't end it. And the WTO is an organization with terrific potential -- you can use it do great good, as Dick Gephardt wishes to do, with an international minimum wage (on a varying scale tied to development) -- to simply scrap it is horrible precedent. International organizations have a worth of their own, and we should be making them work rather than destroying those we dislike.

4) Advocates our citizens' right to choose, privacy, and civil rights.

And Dean won't? Dennis has been horrible on a women's right to choose. Prior to running for President as a liberal, he was anti-choice 95% of the time. Dean was on the board of Planned Parenthood...not a comparison Dennis comes out of favorably.

5) Wants more balance between the interests of workers and corporations.

So does everyone. Ideals are great, but they're not policies nor courses of action. Kucinich seems to be trading in dreams and ignoring realities, political, social, economic or otherwise.

6) Wants to guarantee a quality education, pre-kindergarten through college.

Dean has actually done that. Vermont was 6th in the nation for education. This is another bland ideal without a foundation to it. I prefer records to rhetoric and policies to wishes. Kucinich seems to be on the wrong end of those choices to often.

7) Would put forth a renewed commitment to peace and diplomacy.

Again, as opposed to Dean? This form letter (I've seen it elsewhere) might be an interesting contrast with a Republican, but not with other Democrats. Kucinich is for a foreign policy of unbelievable weakness...this is not a world that rewards weakness. It is a world that rewards prudence, caution, and strength. Dean has those qualities in spades.

8) Wants to help restore rural communities and family farms.

What does that even mean?

9) Would repeal the Patriot Act.

This is a bit better. He'd need Congress on his side and that wouldn't happen, but I appreciate the thought.

10) Wants environmental renewal and to develop clean energy sources.

Him and everyone else. Few people are running on "Kill the trees and rape the dolphins!" platforms. Even Bush titles his policies with environmentally friendly names like the "Healthy Forest initiative".

Want more info? Go to his website at I am currently volunteering with a group in Milwaukee to help him get elected. This is the first time I have ever volunteered for any campaign, and many other people in the Kucinich group here are saying the same. Not only has Bush pissed them off one too many times, but they finally feel like they see in Kucinich the one guy who can inspire them and spur them to action. I feel the same way. So, please consider supporting Dennis Kucinich on your site with some links to his site, and other info about him. I really think he's the guy we all could feel excited about for a change.

That's how people feel about Dean. The difference is that Dean is raising the money and attracting the support that suggests he can actually beat Bush, Kucinich is doing neither. I spent a couple months in Vermont working to get Dean elected, so I certainly appreciate your commitment, but I think you're backing the wrong horse.

Name Ommitted,

Ezra Klein


Dean Futures

posted by Trammell at Friday, August 22, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Today, I've had a particularly amusing back-n-forth e-mail exchange with a Freeper. Usually I ignore them, but this time I'm glad I didn't. In one of the e-mails he/she stated "I was in Vegas last weekend, and odds at Harrah's for Dean to win the Iowa caucus are 25-1." And I was like, heck, where can get $1,000 bucks quick? So, I started Googling, and I found a site called that trades in candidate futures. I guess there was a story about the Ireland-based site in The New York Times in July that's no longer available online, but surprisingly, I was unable to find any significant blog activity on this story (though I heard about the NY Times story from a comment at the O-blog and a couple of gaming journals) so hey, I'm gonna call it a Dean Nation Scooplet. At the site, click "Politics" from the left column and then choose "Democratic Presidential Nominee" from the list. It's pretty cool, well worth checking out.

From Harold's O-blog comments on the July 13 Times article by Matthew Ericson:
Candidates trade from 0 - 100 with each point costing $0.10. For example, John Kerry is currently (Friday) in number one spot trading at 32 points and would cost $3.20. If Kerry wins the democratic nomination the contract pays out $10, resulting in a profit of $6.80. If he loses, the trader loses the $3.20.

While Kerry, out of over 8 choices is currently leading at 32, he is way down from his former high of 54. Dean is at 19, in second place, and seems to be steadily rising. Everyone else, it appears, is going down, down, down.

"How accurate is the market? Justin Wolfers, an assistant professor of economics at Stanford Business School, says that with real money at stake, betting markets can do a better job than opinion polls in predicting election results."
Well, what a difference a month makes. While Kerry has slipped a little to 31, he's been in essentially the same position for a month, and is much closer to his all-time low of 25 than his all-time high of 54. Lieberman's high of 33 has tanked, and like Kerry, he's much closer to his all-time low of 9 and currently stands at 13. Edwards is at 5, an all-time low, down from his previous low of 6. Gephardt is at 7, very very close to his all-time low of 6.

But what about Dean? Well, you just gotta see this chart. He was at 19 in July, but now stands at 29, in a virtual tie with Kerry. In fact "buy" prices for their contracts are currently tied at 29. Dean's all-time high is 32, so he is far closer to that figure than his all-time low of 8 and is the only one of the candidates with upward momentum.

I know little about how much credence to give such things, but it's an encouraging sign. Still, your best bet on Dean is to give to the campaign, not trade in futures. At the very least, I found this quite entertaining, and of course I sent the link back in an e-mail to my pet Freeper!

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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.