"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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Monday, December 08, 2003


Gore endorsement open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, December 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
discuss it here!


I called it

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, December 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Then Vice President Al Gore shakes hands with then Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (news - web sites) during a visit to a daycare center in Lebanon, N.H., on Jan. 19, 2000, where Dean announced he would be endorsing Gore's campaign. According to sources, Gore will endorse Dean's presidential bid this week. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

No, it isn't definite, but it certainly seems highly probable. Gore's landmark Move-On sponsored speeches pointed directly to Dean - and I predicted in August that we would have a Gore endorsement by the end of the year :)

But this story isn't just about Dean and Gore. As has been noted previously, there is a civil war brewing in the Democratic party, with the Clintons on one side, and the anti- (including some former) Clintonites on the other. Gore broke free of Clinton in 2000, and an endorsement would be a clear signal that it was no fluke.


Gore to Endorse Dean: 2000 nominee passes over running mate Lieberman

posted by Editor at Monday, December 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Heath touched on this below. I wanted to share another article. Amazing. Wonderful. Fantastic.
Update: as this develops, I'll be posting more links with short story clips. I've removed portions from when whole stories were pasted.

MSNBC Reports:
MANCHESTER, N.H., Dec. 8 — Former Vice President Al Gore intends to endorse Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination, a dramatic move that could cement Dean’s position in the fight for the party’s nod.


By choosing Dean, Gore would be bypassing Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, his running mate in the 2000 election.

The Washington Post Reports:
His endorsement, which caught Dean's rivals by surprise, comes after an intensive courtship by the former Vermont governor, who reached out to both Gore and his wife Tipper repeatedly over the past year. Dean sought reassurance from Gore during the spring about his opposition to the Iraq war at a time when that position appeared to be politically risky.


"This is huge," said Donna Brazile, Gore's 2000 campaign manager. "This gives Dean the credibility he's been lacking, from someone from the inside of the party. This will give Dean a tremendous boost in locking down the nomination."

CNN is reporting:
Another source said the endorsement would occur at 8 a.m. Tuesday in Harlem, and that the two would then travel together to Iowa.

Reacting to the news, Erik Smith, a campaign press secretary for Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, said, "Dick Gephardt fought side-by-side with Al Gore to pass the Clinton economic plan, pass the assault weapons ban and defend against Republican attacks on Medicare and affirmative action. On each of these issues, Howard Dean was on the wrong side."

The New York Times Reports:
Dr. Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi, declined to confirm the report. "We're having our event tomorrow at 8 o'clock," Mr. Trippi said. "People can find out who it is then. We're not saying anything."

The decision by Mr. Gore seems likely to help Dr. Dean rebut what has been one of the biggest charges raised by his opponents: That he is a weak candidate who would lead the Democrats to a devastating defeat next year. Mr. Gore has repeatedly said that his top priority next year is helping the Democratic party defeat Mr. Bush.



posted by Heath at Monday, December 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
If confirmed, as it seems to be right now on all major networks, this is HUGE. The first major establishment politician from Washington, D.C. turns his back on his old running-mate Joe Lieberman to join US.

According to Newsday:

Manchester, N.H. -- Former Vice President Al Gore intends to endorse Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination, a dramatic move that could cement Dean's position in the fight for the party's nod.

Gore, who lost to President Bush in the disputed 2000 election, has agreed to endorse Dean in Harlem in New York City on Tuesday and then travel with the former Vermont governor to Iowa, sight of the Jan. 19 caucuses which kickoff the nominating process, said a Democratic source close to Gore.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Dean will return from Iowa in time for Tuesday night's Democratic debate in New Hampshire.

Thanks to Dean Nation's Barb and John in upstate NY for the heads-up. Please express the many thoughts you must have. Hey maybe that guy on the Zonkboard who keeps yelling "Dean-Gore 2004" knows something we don't?



posted by Trammell at Monday, December 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As I noted on Points West recently, in preparation for my move to Los Angeles in January, I'll be using a pseudonym. You may have noticed that I've recently changed my byline from Scott Moore to Scott Trammell -- and in the next few days I'll be going by simply Trammell. For the curious, Trammell is my Ma's family name. Reason: not sure where I'll be working yet, and I wanted to add a small "firewall" between my blogging and my company, clients and co-workers. It's one thing if they "know" -- but it's another thing all together if they think it "reflects" on them somehow and the dots could easily be connected. Wouldn't be hard to figure out that it was me if someone tried, but especially with clients and customers this will give me a degree of anonymity so that I may continue writing what I actually want to without sanitizing. So say goodbye to the blogger formerly know as Scott Moore -- when I make the final change, I plan to delete this post. Thanks!


Dean welcomes lawsuit, says let Judge decide on records

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, December 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said Sunday he will let a judge determine which of his sealed records from Dean's years as Vermont's governor should be made public.

Speaking on ''Fox News Sunday,'' Dean said he has decided to use a lawsuit by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, suing to open the records, as a mechanism to determine which records should be released and which should be kept sealed.

''What we think the best thing to do is to let the judge go through every single document and decide for himself what ought to be revealed and what not to be revealed,'' Dean said.
The fairest system is to have a judge review the documents, Dean said Sunday.

''Clearly our campaign can't review the documents, because nobody would believe that we weren't doing something political,'' he said. ''So let an independent third party -- and I think the Judicial Watch suit gives us the opportunity to let a judge go through every single document.''

The practice by Vermont's governors of sealing records when they leave office is not unusual, but the length of time Dean chose is longer than his two predecessors, who imposed time locks of six and 71/2 years.

The sealed records under discussion contain correspondence that should remain private, Dean said.

''There are some things in there that are really not fair to reveal,'' Dean said. ''Privacy concerns, people writing letters in to me that are private. I mean, everybody admits that if somebody writes a letter to me saying, you know, 'Dear Governor, my wife has AIDS' or something like that, that should not be revealed.''

I have to say, this is exactly the right way to handle this. Can you imagine Bush ever agreeing to this kind of third party control? It also nicely defuses the "what's he got to hide" attack.


open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, December 08, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
good monday morning!

Saturday, December 06, 2003


Kerry's Ducking Fesperate

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, December 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Bottom line, this language is unnacceptable in a serious contender for the office of the President of the United States.

Struggling 2004 Democratic wannabe John Kerry fires an X-rated attack at President Bush over Iraq and uses the f-word - highly unusual language for a presidential contender - in a stunning new interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Sen. Kerry (Mass.) used the undeleted expletive to express his frustration and anger over how the Iraq issue has hurt him because he voted for the war resolution while Democratic front-runner Howard Dean has soared by opposing it.

"I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, 'I'm against everything'? Sure. Did I expect George Bush to f - - - it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did," Kerry told the youth-oriented magazine.

Brookings Institution presidential scholar Stephen Hess said he can't recall another candidate attacking a president with X-rated language in a public interview.

Note also that Kerry consistently can't critique Bush's policies without attacking Dean's personality.

UPDATE: via Atrios:

Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out. -- George W. Bush, March 2002, as reported in Time.

You no-good fucking son of a bitch, I will never fucking forget what you wrote. -- George H.W. Bush, to journalist Al Hunt in front of his 4-year old daugher, 1987.


Keep Those Cards And Letters Flowing

posted by Dana at Saturday, December 06, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I posted this to the Dean Defense Forces blog, but I think it's important enough to be repeated here.

Nicholas Kristof (pictured) is out with the latest "conventional wisdom" about "why Dean can't win."

It lives, like the work of most Washington Democrats, in a steady-state universe. Fundamental change is not possible. Democrats must play the Republicans' game.

It ignores the possibility of a Big Bang.

The Dean Campaign is a Big Bang. It does not just attract Democrats. In fact, it repels many Democrats who have been in the party for decades. That's because it's bringing new people into the system.

Second, Kristof ignores Dean's attraction to Republicans. Deficit hawks are appalled by Bush' spending. Libertarians are appalled by Bush' embrace of extremist religious sects. Cold warriors question the strategy of fighting on the other sides' terms.

Dean has answers for all these dissidents. He is a deficit hawk. He has a compromise on gay marriage. He promises to de-Americanize the Iraq struggle.

Transformation happens when the assumptions of the past fail in the real world. Does Kristof have any doubt that the Iraq policy is failing, that tax-cutting is creating a ruinous deficit, or that the old saw of blaming the hippies for everything has grown tired?

George McGovern had no Republican support, which Dean has. McGovern brought no new voters to the system, as Dean has. McGovern represented the last gasp of a New Deal democracy, the optimistic side of the Greatest Generation. He was hammered because there was a new coalition, a cynical Nixon-Wallace coalition, which was getting out of Vietnam (albeit slowly), which had balanced the budget (at least once), and which (if Kristof has forgotten) would STEAL the 1972 election, resulting in Nixon's impeachment.

What do Kristof's "electable" Democrats have to offer in contrast? Nothing but the same tired strategies, and the same tired proposals, that have given us defeat-after-defeat for a decade now.

Maybe Dean will lose. But you need to let Kristof know, now, that he's also the only Democrat with a hope of winning. Because Howard Dean is the only Democrat who is Changing the Game, on the ground, thematically, in every way possible.

Howard Dean has said, repeatedly, that insanity is doing the same thing time-after-time expecting a different result. Howard Dean is no re-run.

Friday, December 05, 2003


Oops, We Did It Again

posted by Dana at Friday, December 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Another day, another broken bat.

This one was amazing. Trippi put a $100,000 budget on the ad. He asked for $200,000, because he's Trippi. (He always wants more than he needs.) The bat was broken less than 24 hours after it went up.

Are we hungry for a winner or what?

And check out this Howard Dean "baseball card" from the O-blog. The "44" is the number for his Presidency. (I'm guessing he morphed a Mark McGwire card, judging from the "action pictures" near the top.)


Dean Leads in New Florida Poll (South Carolina too)

posted by Trammell at Friday, December 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean National and Points West editor and contributor Paul Dem has an excellent post published on the main page of Daily Kos today:
From the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald.  Seems to be no trend lines yet.

Dec. 1-3 MOE +/- 5.3%

Undecided 31
Dean 16
Clark 15
Lieberman 15
Gephardt 8.5
Kerry 6
The rest 3

Interesting this:

In hypothetical head-to-head matchups with the five leading Democrats, Bush would beat any of them by eight to 18 percentage points. Dean and Clark came the closest: Each trailed the president by eight points.

Update: Bush's re-elect number, at 43 percent, is good news for the Dems.

Clark is strongest in Pinellas County, with 24.2 percent of voters favored Clark, with Dean and Gephardt at 12.2 percent each.

In Hillsborough County, Dean led the pack with 23.8 percent, followed by Gephardt with 16.7 percent and Clark with 14.3 percent.

Update 2:Dean has a small lead in the new Zogby poll out of South Carolina:

Dean 11 percent, Lieberman 9 percent, Clark 9 percent, Edwards 7 percent, Al Sharpton 7 percent, Gephardt 7 percent, Kerry 4 percent, Braun 3 percent, and Kucinich 3 percent. (J A)
Nice job, Paul! JUST NOTICED: Anna has a great post on Florida here as well!


Dean supports the steel tarrifs

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, December 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I have to say, I think Dean is on the wrong side of this issue:

"Despite what President Bush may claim, the steel industry needs additional breathing room to get back on its feet. But the tariffs are a short term solution to a larger problem - this Administration's broken trade policy. Our trade agreements need to benefit workers, not just big multinational corporations.

"The President's decision to lift the steel tariffs early is just another example of this Administration playing politics with peoples' lives. When he imposed the tariffs, the President's rhetoric suggested that he actually cared about American steelworkers, their families, and the communities in which they live. If that were the case, he would not be lifting them today," said Governor Dean.

the right thing to do would have been to do nothing at all. Bush has backed down and incurs political damage, despite the spin (see Kos for details). But the tarrifs should never have been applied in the first place, and caused significant economic damage in steel-consuming states like Tennessee and Michigan. Dean's commitment to free trade is clearly not that strong, and oddly enough on this issue the unions pull him in both directions, since either way an American industry gets hurt (be it steel suppliers or consumers).

All things considered, no tarrifs are better. Dean should have attacked Bush for introducing them and letting teh EU "determine US economic policy". But not for repealing them.

UPDATE: This policy paper on the campaign website seems to contradict his rhetoric about the tarrifs. IMO had Dean focused more on the trade critique and less on these specific tarrifs, he would have had a stronger argument. I'm not interested in pandering, I'm interested in good policy.


Boswell was second choice

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, December 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I found it interesting that Boswell wasn't the first politician approached by dean with an offer of fundraising help - the campaign actually approached NY Congressman Tim Bishop first, who declined:

A New York congressman who declined Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean's offer to help him raise money did so to avoid the appearance of giving Dean his endorsement, his aides said Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell of Iowa has pledged to remain neutral as candidates vie for his support, but he will get more than $50,000 from Dean supporters, courtesy of an Internet fund drive by the Dean campaign.

Last fall, New York Congressman Tim Bishop turned down Dean's offer, at the time preferring to avoid the appearance of endorsing a candidate in the race for the 2004 nomination, the Long Island Democrat's spokesman said. Boswell was Dean's second choice, after Bishop turned down the offer.

"He was undecided as to who he was going to support, and he certainly didn't want to behave in a way that would make it appear that he had made a decision," said Jon Schneider.

Any speculation on why Bishop would have been approached first? Boswell seems a natural ally but I don't quite understand what courting the NY congressman would have achieved.


Major Strategy Announcement

posted by annatopia at Friday, December 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Joe Trippi is holding a conference call with the national media in about ten minutes to announce a "major strategy". I'm going to dial in, and I'll give you all the details when the call is done.

update: The Dean campaign will begin campaigning aggressively in the primary states that vote on February 3. On Sunday, a 30 minute tv program will air in Madison, Wisconsin. The program will feature a bio as well as information on Gov Dean's vision for America. Beginning on Monday, the Dean campaign will air tv ads in in South Carolina (where we are now in the lead according to the latest Zogby poll) and New Mexico which will run through February 3. Within 7-10 days, we'll begin airing ads in Arizona and Oklahoma which will again run through the primary. There are also plans for Missouri, North Dakota, and Delaware. In addition, Dean for America will be pumping additional resources into the grassroots organisations in those states and essentially kicking the campaign into high gear in preparation for February 3. As Joe Trippi said on the call, "'We intend to win all of these states."
I interpret this as throwing down the gauntlet and challenging the other campaigns to prove that they can compete in all 50 states. On the call, Joe said that no other campaign has the resources (both in people and in money) to compete nationally, and that this move will once again force some of our competitors to shift their strategies to compete with us. Once again, Trippi & Co. are ahead of the curve. This move will take quite a bit of resources, so let's make sure our coffers are replenished. Go take a swing at the bat.


Momentum in Florida

posted by annatopia at Friday, December 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Via the O-blog comes the news that Dean is now polling ahead of Lieberman in Florida, . Granted, we are within the MOE but this is great news as we head into the Florida Democratic Convention this weekend. Speaking of the convention, are there any Floridians in the audience? Last night a friend and fellow Ranger offered me one of his American Airlines buddy tickets, so I'm flying to Orlando for the event. There are three Rangers going, and we need to find out if we can get a ride from the airport to Disney (we're arriving at 10:30am), and we are also trying to find supporters to stay with on Saturday night. If you can help out, or if you know of anyone we can contact, please email me. Thanks in advance if you can help. Oh, and just for fun, here is the most recent Dean photoshop thread. Some of the images are not safe for work, and most of them are absolutely hilarious.


open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, December 05, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
how did the Meetup go? what else do you want to talk about? any new links to share? this is the place. link goes to DeanLink - sign up now!

Thursday, December 04, 2003


The Club For Truth -- Swing, Batter, Batter

posted by Dana at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The Bat is back.

This time the target is the Republican front group called The Club for Growth.

Like all Republican fronts, the name is one only an Orwellian could love. It's a club the rich use to force their ideology on the rest of us.

What they have done is launch attack ads against Howard Dean, by name, in early primary states. (Still think the GOP wants to run against us?)

But we're not going to take it. The Dean Campaign has launched The Club for Truth and plans to run ads against the lies, right now.

Lies will no longer be able to get half-way around the block before the truth gets its pants on. Contribute now, and let them know this. Let them know their day is past, their lies are unmasked, and that they're going down.

They want to club us? Club 'em back.

UPDATE: Howard Kurtz is already up with a story about the new ad. The buy has a budget of $100,000. By 11 PM, just a few hours after the new bat went up, we had raised over $70,000.

That's a nice piece of hitting.

UPDATE (Aziz): Here's an important excerpt from Trippi's post on the o-blog about these new attacks:

The Iowa Caucuses are only 45 days away, and the attacks from George Bush and the special interests are coming fast and furious. To see why it is so important for us to respond to these distortions now, watch the attack ad here: (RealVideo)
(Windows Media)

The only way to beat back their lies is for everyone to participate. We are now facing the opening salvos of George Bush’s $200 million air war on the American people. If you haven’t been able to contribute before, now is the time. Even a small amount, when combined with the contributions of thousands of others, can send a loud message to George W. Bush that our campaign is going to stand for the truth—and defeat him in the general election this November.

(emphasis mine). I can't stress this enough - these attacks are WHY we instructed Dean to forgo $19 million dollars in federal funds. But in order to respond, we have to make up that difference - and then some. Donate now - if we win each battle, we can win the war.


Daily Review

posted by barb at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean's Ads Get Fiscal

Dean slams tariff dropping

Dean hits jackpot in Illinois Rebel With A Cause

Experts Say Dean's Ads Strike Chord With Voter

Howard Dean


Flood the Zone Friday Returns

posted by Matt Singer at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It's been a while, but NotGeniuses has Flood the Zone Fridays back.

This week's topic: Remember Afghanistan.


Dallas is Dean country!

posted by annatopia at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The link above goes to the AP wire story about today's Dallas appearance. It's the usual wire report that includes a few choice quotes. Today's speech was very good and tailored for the audience. Gov Dean spoke in a measured, matter of fact tone about how Bush has ruined our economy and sent our men and women to war for dubious reasons. I've got a few pictures here for you, but I must admit I'm disappointed that I didn't get a chance to run down to the hotel lobby where IUPAT members were rallying outside for Dean. IUPAT has done a great job and my thanks go out to them. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to say it in person. Alas, such is the life of a volunteer! Not that I'm complaining mind you. This campaign is a lot of hard work, but it's also a lot of fun. Here's the pics:


Gov Dean arrives at the Renaissance Hotel main ballroom in Dallas TX.


Gov Dean addresses a standing-room-only crowd in Dallas. I'm serious when I say it was SRO. I was in charge of the volunteers working the check-in table at the luncheon. We had 15 volunteers working their tails off and an expected crowd of 250 donors. In addition, we had 4 extra tables (40 spots) for walk-ins. Those walk-in tables were filled within 30 minutes, and the staff at the Renaissance had to scramble to get us more chairs which were positioned against the side walls. Those chairs filled up quickly and finally we had to announce to walk-ins that it was SRO. Texas came through for Dean once again.


Gov Dean greets attendees after delivering his speech. He was particularly gracious today. Everyone who wanted an autograph got one, everyone who wanted a picture got one, everyone who wanted a handshake got one, etc etc. He was being a real sport considering he still had to talk to the press before heading to Chicago.


Gov Dean speaks with the press following the reception. I peered at the press sign-in sheet a few times. All the local tv and print media outlets were there, as were the AP, Boston Globe, and Washington Post.

All in all, today was fantastic. It was well worth burning my last vacation day in order to be there and help out. Special thanks to our volunteers who worked the sign in tables and to the volunteers who played table police inside the venue. You folks are fantastic. To Kate and the Gov, we hope to see you again soon.

*all pictures were taken by your's truly. you are welcome to use them as long as you credit anna brosovic and provide a link back to annatopia. ** images are now only at annatopia in order to conserve bandwidth


Florida Democratic Convention is this weekend

posted by annatopia at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
My hometown of Orlando, Florida hosts the Democratic State Convention this weekend. There are a ton of Dean events happening over the weekend, and you can sign up for them by clicking here. There are volunteer oppportunities for today, tomorrow, and Saturday, and a big rally with the Gov at 3pm this Saturday. You can download the rally flyer by clicking the main link at the top of this post (warning! .pdf).
This convention is our only chance to show support for Gov Dean before the votes are cast. It's imperative that my fellow Floridians get out there and make some noise and have a big presense on the ground so that we can prove to the Florida Democratic establishment that Dean is the candidate with the momentum in the Sunshine State. Many of the other contenders are running hard in Florida (particularly Lieberman and Clark), but I know we can win if we do our thing.
There's also a perception that Florida's gone totally conservative, but I don't think that's accurate. I spent a month there back in May, and I traversed the entire state from the panhandle to the Keys, and I only saw one Jeb! bumper sticker. Everyone I met - from waitstaff at restaraunts to cashiers in checkout lines - was a Democrat who was very upset with George W Bush. And believe me, I talked to a *lot* of people. Floridians still haven't gotten over the sting of Selection 2000, and they are going to play a huge role next November.
I think that right now we are in a good position to show our strength. With the recent addition of Gwen Logan Graham Graham Logan and the Nov 25 Florida poll showing us surging into second place behind Lieberman, we should be able to make a great impression at the Convention. So please head out to the rally and volunteer some of your time this weekend. While you're at it, go vote in this online Florida poll, which is read by many party regulars and power brokers. Seminoles, Gators, Rattlers, 'Canes, Dolphins, Bucs, Heat, Magic, and Jaguars - let's see all of you in Orlando this weekend!


Open Thread: Backbone/Jellyfish Nominees Please!

posted by Heath at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
It's that time again folks! Who's worthy of the coveted Dean Nation Backbone Award?
Who washed ashore like a spineless Jellyfish?


The winners may qualify for a jar of pickles!


Trippi's Conference Call on the Success of the Call To Action For Iowa Congressman Boswell

posted by Heath at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
After raising $51,557 in 24 hours for Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell, Dean For America Campaign Manager Joe Trippi said today that it signals to Washington, D.C. how the movement for Dean will make a much stronger Democratic party to compete against Bush.

boswell.jpgThere were 1,359 individual contributors donating an average gift of $38 for Boswell.

"We did this as a test. We wanted to demonstrate the power of this grassroots movement," said Trippi in a media conference call this afternoon. "No other Democrat has done this before, this early. We're making the Democratic party stronger."

When asked how often Dean supporters could be tapped for other Democrats, Trippi said the campaign is more likely to help others after Iowa and New Hampshire voting.

"This was an optimal response because contributors were conflicted between helping Dean or Boswell," said Trippi. "In March or April we believe we will be able to go to the well to help targeted Democrats in the House and the Senate."

Trippi also said the call to action for Boswell showed once again that the decision to opt out of public financing was the only choice the campaign really had to be able to compete with the onslaught from Bush.

"We always maintained that the Republicans would use their money to work over the Democratic nominee early. That's why we opted out of public campaign finance--to compete against Bush--not the rest of the Democratic field."

By organizing what they call the "Club For Growth," the Republican National Committee started campaigning two weeks ago in New Hampshire and Iowa by running television ads critical of Democrats. The early attack ads are unprecedented in American political history.

As a response, Trippi announced the formation of the "Club For Truth" to respond to the conservative media blitz.

"As Governor Dean says in one of our ads, 'I'm Howard Dean and I approve this message because they're not trying to stop me--they're trying to stop you."

Trippi said there is no doubt in his mind that after signing up the current list of 450,000 supporters that the goal of 2 million will be reached by the time of the Democratic National Convention next summer

Noting the the fact that RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie was dispatched to Vermont this week to bash Governor Dean, Trippi said it was a sure sign that Karl Rove is afraid of the growing grassroots movement of Howard Dean.

"If they wanted us so bad, I don't know why they are attacking us," said Trippi.

In other related news: Trippi said he would not comment on the sealed records issue until after the conservative Judicial Watch law suit they were served was digested by the campaign.

After being asked by a reporter if the campaign would start to help out the Internet teams and bloggers who spurred the movement financially, Trippi said that for the time being relations would continue on a volunteer basis.

This Press Release fostered at where it will be disseminated as well.



How Iowa Was Won

posted by Dana at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
MSNBC has a vested interest in seeing its "Democratic Derby" as a horse race you will want to watch wire-to-wire.

That's the only excuse I can come up with for this -- a drawing showing Gephardt nose-to-nose with Dean and Clark closing fast on the outside.

In fact, despite all Bush's Weapons of Mass Distraction despite the supposed "Soviet Union" gaffe, despite every dirty trick Gephardt could pull, I think history will record this as the week when Howard Dean won Iowa and, with it, the nomination.

No, it wasn't our letters (although they're great), and it wasn't the inspiring "Common Sense" pamphlet (which will help against Bush).

It was two words: Leonard Boswell.

What are the great laws of politics? All politics is local. Follow the money. Are you starting to see what I'm talking about.

Look, Rep. Boswell has not even endorsed Doctor Dean, but he is the only Democrat among Iowa's five Congressmen. And when the Dean campaign learned Boswell had been targeted by the RNC, Joe Trippi sent us all an e-mail about it.

Within two days, over $50,000 poured into Leonard Boswell's campaign.

What better demonstration could Iowa's politicians have of Howard Dean's grassroots power. He practically snaps his fingers and money pours down from the heavens. Can Dick Gephardt get an embattled Iowa pol $50,000 by tomorrow? Can Wes Clark? Can John Kerry? Not without a personal check.

Dean didn't write Leonard Boswell a check. He didn't give him "dime one," as my old man used to say. He saw a Democrat in trouble, he told us about it, and we gave Boswell the money.

Regardless of whether Boswell stands on a stage with Howard Dean in the next few weeks and delivers his endorsement, what do you think his people are thinking, right now? What do you think the staffs of every elected officeholder in Iowa is thinking, right now?

You know what they're thinking. They're thinking, For What It's Worth:

There's something happening here.
What it is ain't exactly clear.
There's a man with Website right there.
Tells my foes they've got to beware.

It's time to stop (children) what's the sound, everybody look what's going down.

Or, to update the analogy a bit, It's Raining Money.

Lesson learned.


Gephardt staffer: "help Dean, lose collective bargaining power in Missouri"

posted by Trammell at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Wasn't Gep supposed to be labor's go-to guy? Well, a key longtime Missouri staffer for Gephardt threatened leaders of AFSCME and SEIU -- unions that have endorsed Dean -- in his home state. I guess he supports collective action only on his terms:
Prominent labor leaders on Wednesday accused a St. Louis-based aide to Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt of threatening retaliation against state employees if two prominent unions assist rival Howard Dean in the 2004 Missouri primary.

In a letter to Gephardt, D-Mo., Andrew Stern and Gerald McEntee accused Joyce Aboussie of vowing to seek the reversal of an executive order that granted Missouri state employees collective bargaining rights. The two called on Gephardt to fire Aboussie from the campaign and issue a written retraction of her threats.
Gephardt has yet to fire the staffer or directly retract her threats -- in fact, his campaign has stated that she will not be fired -- rather, he has merely made a broad statement of support for collective bargaining while trying to distance himself from her statements by saying that he knew nothing about the meeting -- yeah, right. Go-to guy? Yeah, more like: Not with me? Go-to hell.

UPDATE: There are some interesting comments on the diary post I started on this topic at Daily Kos.


Molly Ivins Picks a Winner,2071,NPDN_14960_2475972,00.html

posted by Christopher at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins pens this recent column describing how she came to see Howard Dean as not only the Democratic nominee, but the man to take on President Bush... and win! An excerpt:

"Dean gives a hell of a speech -- even if you're Republican, you should go and hear him just for the experience. But I fretted about Dean on TV -- TV is so important. How could anyone poker up on Margaret Carlson of PBS, not one of the world's toughest interviewers? But then I saw Dean laugh his way through a Chris Matthews interview (which he should have done with Tim Russert, who was hell-bent on gotcha questions), and I know the guy can take care of himself. So he fights back if you get in his face -- that's not all bad.

I know, he's even less of a liberal than Bill Clinton was, but I don't think Dean is a moderate centrist. I think he's a fighting centrist. And folks, I think we have got ourselves a winner here. "


Vermont's 7 Days Columnist Peter Freyne Always Calls It As He Sees It: The Vermont Way.

posted by Heath at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Photo and Video credit to

Since we're on the subject, meet Peter Freyne! He's a real institution in Vermont as a journalist who has called it as he see's it for 20+ years in Vermont. As a columnist for Vermont's only real alternative weekly, 7 Days, he's not constrained by corporate borders or the kind of cubicle that can tempt one to write it without stepping out to talk to the people.

Freyne is a regular guest on Vermont's TV talk shows and in the government institutions where deal making is open to the public. He's the kind of person who keeps Vermont independent: much to the chagrin of the Republican front here that wants to trade the reason we're a tourist state for more manufacturing and logging jobs! He the one who coins the nicknames for our leaders!

Here's a video clip from Freyne after Dean's Campaign Finance Reform announcement (11-8-03) that you made the decision on with an 85% majority. He's got some good calming perspective about these desperate attacks. Thank GOD the twisted focus is coming from the leaders of the opposition now instead of the competition!

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Video and pictures are from the archives as a part of the preservation of Dean's (our) historic movement.


Dean Opens Up Big Lead in New Hampshire

posted by Christopher at Thursday, December 04, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Howard Dean has extended his lead in New Hampshire over John Kerry by an astounding 30-percentage points. The latest Zogby poll now shows Dean leading 42% over Kerry's 12%. Congratulations to all those NH Dean Volunteers and letter-writers!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


well, that depends on what the meaning of the word "available" is...

posted by Trammell at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
And the plot thickens....BriVT over at Kos came across this remarkable follow-up to the Dean "records flap" -- it's a doozy:
VT political columnist Peter Freyne wrote a column this week about the Dean papers "issue" with some pretty good stuff. But, lacking the resources of the NYTimes he was forced to do some reporting and--gasp--actually called the TX Archivist to follow up on the availability of Bush's gubernatorial records.

Here's the relevant passage:
How did George W. Bush deal with his gubernatorial records in Texas?

Our research indicates Dubya's done a better job than Dean of keeping his from public view.

When Dubya left office in Texas in 2000, he shipped his gubernatorial records to his daddy's presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M. According to Texas State Archivist Chris LaPlante, they were totally inaccessible to the public. There was no staff to catalogue them, said Laplante. And since "They were physically in a federal facility, they were subject to federal, rather than Texas, public-records law."

After complaints were made, said LaPlante, the attorney general ruled they should be shipped to the state archive for cataloguing. The Bush records arrived in Austin in August 2002. According to LaPlante, it's going to take another three years to complete the cataloguing. Then they'll be shipped back to daddy's library.

By Tuesday everybody, including two of Dean's Democratic rivals, was piling on. The New York Times' Jodi Wilgoren reported that "Mr. Bush's Texas records were moved back to state custody after a ruling from the attorney general, and an archivist for the state said the Bush records were available for viewing."

Archivist LaPlante called the above statement in the Times story "deceiving." While the Bush records are officially "viewable," said LaPlante, actually viewing them is another matter."
There's more on how difficult and/or impossible it actually is to view any of the Bush records, and how easy it is to view the majority of the Dean records.

Freyne can be an opinionated jerk sometimes (love ya, though Peter! . . . I know he reads blogs), but I've never heard of him screwing up quotes. This is legit, and sheds a bit of a different light on it than does the NYT lazy reporting.

Oh, and btw, the reason Kunin's records were sealed for six years (the "precedent" everyone talks about) was because that's how long she was Governor. No legal precedent, just a number picked out of the air.
More dirty GOP tricks and some other Dems piled on without checking their facts and actually backed up Bush's story on the Texas records -- and frankly, they didn't do their homework on Dean's. Issues is one thing, but this stinks and Joe, Dick and Kerry should be ashamed of themselves. There are many tantalizing tidbits in the rest of the column, such as Newsweek's main source regarding "secrets" in the records -- Dean's opponent in the 1998 and 2000 gubernatorial elections, Ruth Dwyer, who Freyne's named "Truthless Ruth." So, go read the rest here.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: From johhny rotten's comments at Kos come these to links from The Austin Chronicle -- here and here. One excerpt:
Publication of Berlow's article prompted the Chronicle to file a similar open records request, asking for all of Bush's death-penalty clemency memos, as well as all death-penalty memos prepared for Gov. Rick Perry by General Counsel Bill Jones.

Instead of releasing the documents, J. Kevin Patterson, Perry's assistant general counsel, appealed our request to the AG's office, asserting that both Bush's and Perry's memos (including those already disclosed) are "privileged" attorney-client communications and therefore legally exempt from public disclosure. The memos contain "advice and opinions" from counsel to governor, he argued, "made in confidence in furtherance of the attorney's rendition of professional legal services" to the governor, who uses the memos to decide whether a death row inmate will receive clemency or die by lethal injection. "Disclosure of information relating to such matters would inhibit free discussion among staff personnel as to this type of policy issue," wrote Patterson. On Sept. 10, the AG's office agreed, issuing an opinion, written by Assistant AG June B. Harden, that Perry's memos "may be withheld in their entirety."


Dershowitz to Government: Quit The Marriage Biz

posted by Trammell at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The GOP has already decided to make civil unions an issue in 2004 -- or actually they prefer "gay marriage" as an issue, as it's less popular. Why quibble with the tuth if you're a Republican?

Democrats can either wimp out or take Howard Dean's lead -- but like it or not, the die is cast. Notably, most of the Dems have followed Dean -- but our base seems to have some trouble climbing on board. That's one reason I'm currently on this crusade, as I really think the progressive blog community should open up further debate and reporting on civil unions. We need to hash it out, because eventually activists are going to need effective communication tools when talking with working-class Dems, union members, and minorities. Right now, I hear from many that they support Dean in spite of his stance on Civil Unions. However, even this has a useful tool at times. I recently heard a big Central Valley union organizer say simply: 'Listen, like it or not, you gotta give it to him, Dean stands for something and doesn't back down, and that is the only way we will win. It's simply the right thing to do." What's to argue? However, more nuance approaches will be required as well.

We must find tools and ways to state emphatically that civil unions are no threat to marriage, without getting to wrapped up in the real threats to marriage -- namely, divorce -- divorce typically caused by infidelity, substance abuse, or economic pressures. Ironically, the rate of dissolution for civil unions and domestic partnerships for gays and lesbians is likely to be far lower than the heterosexual 50% -- such unions are so charged and polarizing that few will enter in to them lightly. But as for the so-called threat to marriage, Allan Dershowitz actually suggests how civil unions could strengthen marriage itself:
To Fix Gay Dilemma, Government Should Quit the Marriage Business by Alan M. Dershowitz

The decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declaring that gays have a constitutional right to marry could become a powerful wedge issue in American politics. There is, however, a way to avoid that.

Those who oppose gay marriage believe deeply that marriage is sacred -- divine, a blessed sacrament between man and woman as ordained in the Bible. If they are right, then the entire concept of marriage has no place in our civil society, which recognizes the separation between the sacred and the secular, between church and state.

The state is, of course, concerned with the secular rights and responsibilities that are currently associated with the sacrament of marriage: the financial consequences of divorce, the custody of children, Social Security and hospital benefits, etc.

The solution is to unlink the religious institution of marriage -- as distinguished from the secular institution of civil union -- from the state. Under this proposal, any couple could register for civil union, recognized by the state, with all its rights and responsibilities.

Religious couples could then go to the church, synagogue, mosque or other sacred institution of their choice in order to be married. These religious institutions would have total decision-making authority over which marriages to recognize. Catholic churches would not recognize gay marriages. Orthodox Jewish synagogues would not recognize a marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew who did not wish to convert to Judaism. And those religious institutions that chose to recognize gay marriages could do so. It would be entirely a religious decision beyond the scope of the state.

Under this new arrangement, marriage would remain a sacrament, as ordained by the Bible and as interpreted by each individual church. No secular consequences would flow from marriage, only from civil union.

In this way, gay couples would win exactly the same rights as heterosexual couples in relationship to the state. They would still have to persuade individual churches of their point of view, but that is not the concern of the secular state.

Not only would this solution be good for gays and for those who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds, it would also strengthen the wall of separation between church and state by placing a sacred institution entirely in the hands of the church while placing a secular institution under state control.

Although this proposal may sound radical, it does not differ fundamentally -- except for labels -- from the situation that exists in many states today. Throughout the United States, couples have the option of being married civilly by going to town halls or to a justice of the peace and simply signing a marriage certificate. They also have the option of going to a church, synagogue or mosque and being married in a religious ceremony. So most Americans already have the choice between a sacrament and a secular agreement ratified by the state.

All that would be different would be the name we give the secular agreement. The word "marriage" would be reserved for those who chose the religious sacrament.

Though some traditionalists would be certain to balk at an explicit division between marriage and civil union, a majority of Americans already agree that gay couples should be allowed to join in secular unions with the rights and responsibilities that generally accompany marriage.

So let each couple decide whether they want to receive the sacrament of marriage or the secular status of civil union. And let the state get out of the business of determining who should receive holy sacraments.

Alan M. Dershowitz is a law professor at Harvard University.
Well, it's one suggestion, an interesting one. And so I request of the blogging community again, consider this as a front-burner issue -- it already is for the GOP, and we're not gonna win on this one by sticking our collective heads in the sand.

Crossposted in somewhat different form at Points West.


VT Gov Jim Douglas (Republican): Keep the records sealed

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Enough already! As has been stated in multiple posts, there is no smoking gun in Dean's sealed records, and there are perfectly legitimate reasons for keeping his personal correspondence sealed. Vermont's current Governor - who happens to be a non-hypocritical Republican (a rare commodity now that the trolls are popping their corks over the prospect of running against such a strong Democratic contender) - weighs in on this issue:
(Douglas) "I don't know there's any reason to feel there's any smoking gun or anything really incriminating or exciting in governor Dean's records. I think it's a matter of curiosity now on the part of the media and his opponents."
(Kinzel) In 1990, as secretary of State, Douglas negotiated a six-year agreement with Governor Madeleine Kunin as she prepared to leave office. Douglas says he believes that allowing governors to seal their papers preserves a more accurate historical record for the future:
(Douglas) "Ideally there would be no closure period but to be perfectly honest, my sense was that governors were more likely to leave more complete records of their administrations if there was a period of closure. There was less likely to be a sanitizing of the records and so the historic record would be more complete and that would be more beneficial to researchers over time. So I thought it was a small price to pay to have a brief period of closure, after which the record of the gubernatorial tenure would be more complete."

To be fair, the same could be said of Bush sealing his records back in Texas. Yes, I just typed that. As we all hopefully know by now, Bush shipped his records off to the GHW Bush Presidential Library, where they remained sealed until Public Citizen successfully sued for their release. It seems the same might happen to Dean, as conservative group Judicial Watch is threatening a lawsuit.
But with Bush, nothing from those records derailed his Presidency, and I imagine that nothing in Dean's records will derail his candidacy.
Trolls and wingnuts beware: Rove once joked that he wished Bush to face off against Dean. Now the RNC is so desperate that they're sending their top dogs out to attack us. This brouhaha is simply a desperate ploy to "stop Dean" and folks, that isn't going to happen as long as we remain focused. Don't take your eyes off the prize.


Scooping the O-Blog: Dean first on Texas ballot

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Monday morning, Oklahoma for Dean made us proud by being the first to file petitions and place Gov Dean on the Oklahoma primary ballot. This morning, Texas followed suit by filing more than 12,000 signatures to put Gov Dean on our primary ballot. These signatures were collected at fundraisers, rallies, meetups, and outreach/visibility events by Dean's Texas Rangers. Those same volunteers spent hours meticulously verifying the signatures before they were presented. Fourteen year old Dean volunteer David Broockman filed the paperwork promptly at 8:00am:

David gave a wonderful speech as he presented the signatures. Here is the text:
It's an honor and a privilege for me to be able to file for Governor Dean to be on the ballot in the great state of Texas!
Instead of using the money of special interests, we, a just formed but substantial Texan community, have banded together and decided that Howard Dean will be our next president. We've all heard Governor Dean's speeches, and they always end with him telling each of us that message that underscores our entire campaign: "You have the power!" The names of over 12,000+ people across the state of Texas lay on these petitions, silently sending a powerful message. These names join another 20,000 who have signed up online through the Internet. If nothing else does, those names and this event represent that we do have the power.
When I started working in Glen Maxey's office for Governor Dean only five months ago, Dean was still a nobody, a long shot. But I believed in him. It is our hard work and the work of people all across the country that has allowed Governor Dean to lead in Washington DC, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Michigan, California, New Mexico and Maryland, as well as here in Texas and nationally. We have the power.
President Bush has taken the problems of today, and instead of standing up to them, has ignored them. He's created a huge deficit. He's destroyed schools with his so-called No Child Left Behind, which I can tell you from personal experience is a sham of an education policy. And he's devastating the environment by shamelessly letting polluters into our treasured forests. When I graduate from college am I going to be able to breathe the air or drink the water anymore? All these problems that our president has created will have to be dealt with in the future. We are the future and we don't need those problems. They can be dealt with today, and in fifty years when I retire, I'll be glad that we recognized America was on the wrong course, and that we elected Howard Dean.
This is a great day for Texas, and when Governor Dean becomes President Dean, we should all remember that we had a part in it. We have the power. Let's use it!

David was joined by volunteers from across the state and was supervised by our director Glen Maxey:

And while I'm talking about Texas, I'm going to plug tomorrow's Dallas fundraiser with Gov Dean. He'll be in town for a few hours and we'd love to have you there. Click here for the details on the event.

*photo credit goes to Romain Nayalkar of The Foto Store. He tells us he'll have large versions of these prints for sale online shortly.
*cross-posted at Blog for Texas & D/FW for Dean.


The Trolls Are Scared (Goody, Goody)

posted by Dana at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Right-wing trolls have gone from being dismissive of Howard Dean, to contempt, and now to outright panic.

It is your power that has done this. But we have much more to do. This is quite easy to see by doing a quick Google News search on the Doctor ,.

Sorting the results by relevance we find a mass of pollution only a Bush could love, tons of "stories" from "publications" that are, in fact, no more than hatchet jobs from trolls, but which Google (for some reason) insists on calling "news," given far more credibility than blogs.

What's the difference between a news commentary and a troll? Facts, and respect for facts are two big differences. It's the difference between a doctor and a witch doctor.

What do troll stories have in common? Their lies and misrepresentations are wafer-thin. They drip with hatred and contempt for their subject. And they engage in verbal gymnastics that, were we to use them, would have us sued for libel.

What lies are the trolls spinning today? That Dean is unraveling, that he's "packing the Senate" , that he's hiding a scandal (since there's no evidence), and that he "doesn't want to win."

But, let's face it. Methinks they doth protest too much. The trolls are panicking. They know the American people are seeing through their tactics, figuring out the game, and taking the country away from them.

So, watch 'em squirm, and laugh. Here a troll, there a troll, everywhere a lieing troll.

They can't scare us any more. They have lost their power. We shall count them, and compel them, we shall casually dispel them.


Bloggers raise $30,000 for Boswell re-election campaign

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Behold the power of the bloggers. Yesterday at about 3:45pm, Joe Trippi sent an email to Dean supporters asking them to financially support the reelection campaign of Iowa's lone democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell. This morning, Boswell issued a thank you letter to all of us:
hank you all. This is one of the most exciting projects I have ever seen! I am honored to be a part of this electrifying event--an event that I am sure Karl Rove is paying attention to.
Your campaign is doing some incredible things in my state and all across America, the largest of which is bringing a lot of new folks into the political fold. Folks, like myself, who are very excited about the opportunity to elect a new President, folks who are excited to tell Karl Rove what the real voice of the American people is saying, folks who are ready to do all it takes to get real leadership.
We need to get America back on track for the people whose savings are being whittled down because of this faltering economy, for the people who are tired of worrying about their kids safety, for the people who are looking for their voices to be heard.
It is time for a change in Washington. It is time for leadership that reflects all of America and not just the lobbyists in Washington. This campaign is about fighting for the values and beliefs we hold so dear. This is a fight we must win! We are working to take back our government and put it back in the hands of the people.
I thank everyone for all of your help and I promise to keep fighting for you!
Thank you,
Leonard Boswell

And the best part is that we raised over $30,000 for Congressman Boswell yesterday in less than 10 hours. You are amazing. You can still contribute to Congressman Boswell's campaign by clicking here.
This is step one in a strategy that is designed to help us send the Democratic President the support structure he or she will need once they assume office. Think about it. What good does it do to elect a Democrat if we don't elect a Democratic majority in the House or Senate? Think it's impossible? Think again. We are only need two pickups in the Senate. In the house, it's a harder battle (especially after the redistricting fiasco) but we need to start to turn the tide towards a Democratic majority during this election cycle. Picking up a few seats will go a long way towards putting our country back on track. If you're in Iowa, give some volunteer time to Congressman Boswell, who won reelection with a 55% majority last time around. And if you can, send a few dollars his way.


the perils of frontrunner-hood,2933,104697,00.html

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
this is a relatively minor issue, but it's worth pointing out. Transcripts are not 100% accurate- for example, from teh Hardball transcript, we have this exchange:

DEAN: I want accountability. What I really want is accountability. I don’t think it’s OK for ordinary people to invest in mutual funds and then find out that you’ve been cheated in the stock market. I don’t think rMD+IT_rMD-IT_it’s OK for Enron to steal ordinary working people’s pensions.

I'm not sure how rMD+IT_rMD-IT_ is supposed to be pronounced :) Keep this in mind when you hear the usual suspects - who defended Bush's utter ignorance of the name of the President of Pakistan when he was campaigning - get apopleptic about Dean;s supposed lack of foreign plicy expertise after this Hardball exchange:

DEAN: Iran is a more complex problem because the problem support as clearly verifiable as it is in North Korea. Also, we have less-fewer levers much the key, I believe, to Iran is pressure through the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is supplying much of the equipment that Iran, I believe, most likely is using to set itself along the path of developing nuclear weapons. We need to use that leverage with the Soviet Union and it may require us to buying the equipment the Soviet Union was ultimately going to sell to Iran to prevent Iran from them developing nuclear weapons. That is also a country that must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons much the key to all this is foresight. Let’s act now so we don’t have to have a confrontation which may result in force, which would be very disastrous in the case of North Korea and might be disastrous in the case of Iran.

I've listened to the video and I thought Dean said "former" Soviet Union quite distinctly. He may have omitted the word former on other occassions during that exchange, but it was transparently obvious what he meant.

Welcome to front-runnerhood. Every mistake, every verbal slip, every hastily-delivered line will be used to extrapolate all manner of reasons why Dean can not be permitted to give the People what they so clearly want - a leader commited to America's interest, not the interest of a political party or ideological group.

And yes, it's unfair how Dean will be scrutinized and asked the hard questions, whereas back in 2000 Bush got lobbed softballs and never faced any kind of rigorous questioning (where was Chris Matthews when Bush's AWOL status from the National Guard was revealed by the Boston Globe?).

But that's just how it is. Complaining about media bias is a waste of time. Complaining is a waste of time. Dean - and Dean supporters - have to simply soldier on. This week was going to be rough because Hardball gave plenty of ammunition to Dean's critics looking for any angle of attack they can find. This was a much more significant television appearance - and the stakes are much higher - since its his first as the front-runner. And it will get worse.

Is there any doubt remaining that sealing his Governor records was wise?


media regulation is in the public interest

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Matt Drudge is only one of many outraged media conservatives who are highlighting Dean's statements on Hardball about media de-regulation. Most of the alarmists are chanting "nanny state nanny state" in response to this exchange:

DEAN: First of all, 11 companies in this country control 90 percent of what ordinary people are able to read and watch on their television. That’s wrong. We need to have a wide variety of opinions in every community. We don’t have that because of Michael Powell and what George Bush has tried to do to the FCC.

MATTHEWS: Would you break up Fox? ... Would you break it up? Rupert Murdoch has “The Weekly Standard.” It has got a lot of other interests. It has got “The New York Post.” Would you break it up? ... No, seriously. As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power? ... how about large media enterprises?

DEAN: The answer to that is yes. ... I would say that there is too much penetration by single corporations in media markets all over this country. We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP.

However, what Drudge and the other commentators don't emphasise is this much more relevant exchange:

MATTHEWS: So what are you going to do about it? You’re going to be president of the United States, what are you going to do?

DEAN: What I’m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.

(emphasis mine) Yes, the President has enormous influence in terms of who he appoints to the FCC. In Bush's case, he appointed the son of his Secretary of State, who then proceeded to push for relaxation of regulations to the enormous benefit of the media corporations, and which required a massive public outcry to stop.

Dean will appoint people who are not beholden to interests but who are professional in their approach to the public, not the corporate, interest. That WILL lead to some breakup of large media conglomerates and a dilution of influence. That is overwhelmingly what the public wants (as evidenced by the massive opposition to the Powell power grab) and what is in the public interest.

It's not surprising that media conservatives are upset about it though.


MEET UP Tonight: New Hampshire State Director Karen Hicks REALLY Appreciates All You Have Done So Far

posted by Heath at Wednesday, December 03, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

There are two Meet Ups left prior to the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. With no votes cast we have a long way to go. Credit should be given where credit is due though, and New Hampshire State Director Karen Hicks took a moment to pass her appreciation on to you as we push to get the vote out in such a powerful way that it echos to the general election delegate count.

Here's Karen's video message to you from Polly and Terry Shumaker's beautiful House Party for Dean in Bow, NH on 11/30/03:

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As indicated at the HQ blog today, and based on every campaign official I have interviewed, the letters have been an incredibly effective way to get on a personal level with the voters in Iowa and NH. Like the personal calls and canvassing, they're making a big difference in reaching out to our neighbors. Funny, isn't that what Howard Dean is talking about when he recalls the sense of community this country used to enjoy so much?

If you're heading to New Hampshire this winter, stop by the PickleFarm and say hi. We make some good hot chocolate here.

This post originates from, where DeanFests and documentaries bring people together for Dean!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003


Daily Review

posted by barb at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Dean, Gephardt Battle for Lead in Iowa

Dean Looks for New York Love

Dean pushing Democratic Congress

Dean Records May Remain Sealed


Hardball Poker

posted by Editor at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Okay, Anna. I'll see your Hardball Transcript, and up you a streaming video!

I have a sneaking feeling that I was more amused by that little joke than everybody else will be. {Can't you just see Anna shaking her head and thinking, "Pathetic?" :o)}Regardless, now has the Hardball segment online.

Update: Hmmm... it doesn't seem to actually be working now. Damn it. I fold.


Hardball Transcript

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
For those who missed last night's Hardball appearance, the transcript has been posted. Objectively, I believe this was the Gov's best tv appearance to date. He's more polished than ever and he came across as the sensible, reasoned, pragmatic guy that we know him to be. The Gov's physical mannerisms obviously don't come across in this transcript, so I think we lose a bit just by reading it. But try to picture him very relaxed and smiling a lot and you'll get the mental picture.


Chip Carter campaigning for Dean in Iowa

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
via the NY Daily News:

Jimmy Carter's son, Chip, apparently sees a lot of his father in Gov. Howard Dean. The 53-year-old Carter, president of the Atlanta-based Friendship Force cultural exchange program, has been campaigning for the presidential hopeful in Iowa.


RNC Chair Travels To Vermont To Attack Dean

posted by Editor at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Any of you Vermonters looking for something to do tonight? Grab your Dean signs and show Ed Gillespie a warm Green Mountain welcome. From Dean for America...

December 2, 2003

RNC Chair Travels To Vermont To Attack Dean

BURLINGTON--In another sign of just how unconcerned the Republican National Committee (RNC) is of Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., the RNC's chair, Ed Gillespie, will travel to Vermont today to preemptively attack a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In the keynote speech at the Vermont GOP's 45th Annual Fall Dinner, Gillespie will underscore how the RNC is not at all afraid to put its special interest-funded President up against the greatest grassroots campaign that presidential politics has ever seen.

While in Vermont, Gillespie is expected to study how Governor Dean managed to balance 11 budgets in a row while providing health care to nearly every child and preserving the environment—accomplishments President Bush has been unable to achieve as president or governor.

"We're pleased that Ed is coming to Vermont to learn about Governor Dean’s record of balancing budgets and providing quality health care," Campaign Manager Joe Trippi said. "Ed's political trip to Vermont to attack Governor Dean in his home state makes it abundantly clear that the Bush campaign is not at all concerned by the governor's message of taking our country back."

Details of tonight's speech are as follows:

WHO: RNC Chair Ed Gillespie

WHAT: Attacking Dean

WHERE: Champlain Valley Exposition
Blue Ribbon Pavilion
Essex Junction, Vermont

WHEN: Tuesday, December 2, 2003
Cocktails at 6 p.m.
Speeches/Dinner at 7 p.m.

-- 30 --


open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
link goes to DeanLink. Join now!


Democratic civil war

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Fasicnating article in today's BusinessWeek about the factional infighting in the Democratic Party - and how some of the antagonism towards Dean might date to Carter:

Still, much more is behind the Stop-Dean Democrats than heat-of-battle hard feelings. The unofficial board of directors of Democrats Inc. -- the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Democratic Leadership Council chief Al From, and katzenjammer consultant James Carville -- is probably almost as eager to see Dean defeated as the Bushies. For if, over the next 11 grueling months, Dean manages to win the nomination and convince America that he should be President, the Clinton mafia will lose control of the party and possibly the election of 2008.

The war within the party, a Democratic national operative mused recently, runs even deeper than that. The bad feelings toward Dean, he suggested, stem from a 23-year rift that has never healed. In the 1980 campaign, Senator Teddy Kennedy challenged a badly damaged President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination. Dean was a Carter guy. Kerry and Bill Clinton, who as President made no bones about his contempt for Carter, were Kennedy men. Neither side has gotten over the bruising fight that ended in Carter's nomination, the landslide election of Ronald Reagan, and 12 long years of Republican Presidencies.

Now the Stop-Dean forces of the Clinton/Kennedy wing of the Democratic Party have two horses in the race -- Kerry and Wesley Clark. To bolster Kerry's faltering campaign and bring order to its internecine bickering, Kennedy has dispatched his chief of staff, Mary Beth Cahill, to take charge. Clark, the general from Arkansas, is surrounded by shop-worn Clintonistas.

Puts Carter's recent supportive statements in perspective, eh? Note that Al Gore is not a Clintonista - and I stand by my prediction that we will get a Gore endorsement soon.


nothing to hide

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, December 02, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
If there's one truth about Howard Dean's 11 years as Governor, it's that he antagonized everyone. He disappointed the liberals by holding fast to a balanced budget, he outraged the conservatives by signing civil unions into law (and came under attack by gay advocates for not being more public about signing the same bill) - the list goes on.

And if you look at Vermont today, it's clear that his legacy was a boon to the state - the only state to have no debt and a balanced budget.

It's safe to assume that Dean doesn't have anything to hide. He governed well and did so surrounded by political enemies. If a bloody skeleton tumbles out of his closet tomorrow, I'll be the first to denounce him, but I think that on the whole it's a good thing that Dean has sealed his governing records for a decade:

As investigative reporters and “oppo” researchers flock to Vermont to dig into Howard Dean’s past, they have run into a roadblock. A large chunk of Dean’s records as governor are locked in a remote state warehouse—the result of an aggressive legal strategy designed in part to protect Dean from political attacks.

DEAN—WHO HAS BLASTED the Bush administration for excessive secrecy—candidly acknowledged that politics was a major reason for locking up his own files when he left office last January. He told Vermont Public Radio he was putting a 10-year seal on many of his official papers—four years longer than previous Vermont governors—because of “future political considerations... We didn’t want anything embarrassing appearing in the papers at a critical time.” “Most of the records are open,” said Dean spokeswoman Tricia Enright, adding there is “absolutely not” a “smoking gun” in those for which Dean has claimed “executive privilege.”

There's a very good reason for sealing these records - because "oppo" research is less concerned with finding honest facts to critique than with finding ammunition with which to smear Dean's record. Witness how Grover Norquist spun Vermont's record of fiscal discipline as a "tax increase". Or how Gephardt tried to spin Dean's statements on Medicare and painted his fiscal record as "governance without compassion". Sharpton says Dean is against affirmative action, Clark says Dean evaded Vietnam...

And just wait till Karl Rove gets his turn.

There's damn good reason to seal the records. If you want to know how Dean did in Vermont, ask the people still governing the state - including his political opponents, who now endorse him.

And if you want to see what real abuse of power by overly-secretive government looks like, then remember that many of the detainees in Gitmo are being released only after severe judicial scrutiny, which revealed that many were simply kidnap victims, not terrorists (see TalkLeft for details).

Dean's records need to stay sealed - and those who are selectively outraged have no credibility on the matter.

Monday, December 01, 2003


Daily Review

posted by barb at Monday, December 01, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Tiny but Trusted Inner Circle Surrounds Dean

Dean Plugs Gaps in Experience

Can Dean run out the clock?

Hollywood searches for a Democratic star

Dean Prepared to Go to Vietnam

No Wonder Howard Dean Is So Angry


It - Is - Time

posted by Trammell at Monday, December 01, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
After all, it is the Dean-Cheney position.


YOU are Howard Dean's Political Consultants! A Report From the Road in New Hampshire

posted by Heath at Monday, December 01, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Photo and Video Credit to

DeanTV had another whirlwind tour on the road with the Governor yesterday in New Hampshire. It started at the Merrimack High School cafeteria town hall meeting where a man doggedly asked Dean what we can do about a moral crisis in a country that doesn't seem to pause even to consider the civilian casualties caused in the vacuum of our government's freedom fighting escapades.

Then I made the mistake of trying to find the Alpine Club in Manchester on my own. What a blunder when you have Dean's trusty driver, Chad, paving the way in the big green van. The overflowing crowd at the club, combined with the hot TV lights, made the place into a virtual Dean oven.

After discovering I lost a magnet from the side of my "fairly balanced news" action vehicle, a paparazzi-type photographer rammed my rear brake light out in a desperate attempt to keep up with Chad. Heck, all he had to do was ask Chad to look for him. All the man could say was "you f***ing ***hole!" Watch for that action in's People-Powered Howard Documentary!

When I got to Polly and Terry Shumaker's beautiful House Party for Dean in Bow, NH it was packed with well wishers, voters on the fence--and some pretty mean spicy bean dip. Dean Senior Advisor Michael King was coughing up flames before heading out the door for our interview.

Later, at the Wolfeboro Inn town hall meeting, I had to wonder if the event was held downstairs in a bunker-like room because some locals didn't take too kindly to their turf being politicized by "hippies" like Dean. wolfeboro_inn.JPG

"This is where we watch football, not any of your political--whatever the hell it is that you're doing," snarled Diana as her beer mug overflowed onto the floor of a sports bar that was just above the covert Dean activity taking place downstairs. Diana looked at my neck-tie and my video camera. She took a deep puff from her smoke and bent over. "Here, get a shot of this," she hissed as the smoke flowed from her mouth.

Shortly thereafter, the event in Laconia proved how hugely successful Dean is with these independent thinking people. A big high school gym and enthusiastic people made for a real pep-rally effect. The organizers really out did themselves. laconia4.JPG
Despite the long day, as usual, Dean was just getting started. With Old Glory hanging behind him, Dean continued to convince others that he is the most electable candidate and the leader who will help us beat Bush back.

I have much to share with you but thought this following shaky-camera-work quote from Dean in his closing remarks was more urgent. As Aziz writes below, the money reality and how we can help with that is imperative for obvious competitive reasons. But even your comments and criticisms are part of the job too. YOU ARE Dean For America's political consultants and focus groups as well.

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When Dean himself makes that idea part of his speech, in a crowd where 90% of the people probably had no idea what blogging is, you know he appreciates what you are doing.

This post comes from; where the blog is up to date, the site should be soon and the DeanTV Network correspondents keep going where the mass media will not.


World AIDS Day

posted by annatopia at Monday, December 01, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
We would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge that today is World AIDS Day. Here are some sobering statistics, courtesy of UNAIDS (these are current as of the end of 2002):
- There are 38.6 million adults living with AIDS and over 42 million total infected with HIV
- There are 3.2 million children living with HIV/AIDS
- During 2002, there were 5 million people infected with HIV
- Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35
- 95% of the total number of people with HIV live in the developing world
- The African continent has the highest per capita infection rate
- Over 18 million people have already died from AIDS-related causes (this includes over 4 million children)

Governor Dean's statement is here, and Out for Dean has released a statement as well which is very poignant:
World AIDS Day has always been a day of remembrance. We remember and honor those who we have lost in the fight against HIV/AIDS and we draw strength from their memory. In that spirit, we honor and celebrate the lives of our fellow AIDS Activists who have died this past year including Heidi Beddingfield, Carlton Hogan, Joel Martinez, and Evan Ruderman.
Their deaths are a somber reminder that this epidemic is not over. Their deaths are a reminder that even for the privileged few citizens of the world that have access to HIV/AIDS drugs, the medications that we have do not work for everyone. These drugs have short term side effects that people living with HIV/AIDS know all to well, and long term side effects we have yet to fully comprehend. And for many, these medications lose their effectiveness over time, causing people living with HIV/AIDS to try new treatment regimens, until of course, there are no new treatment options left for them.
That is why, while it is important to remember our dead this World AIDS Day, it is equally important that we continue to fight like hell for the living.

Indeed it is, and that includes those living in the southern United States. While this is truly a global crisis, I'd like to focus on American for a moment. The southern states have seen a surge in HIV infections, accounting for 46% of all new infections. African Americans and women in the south are particularly vulnerable. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (not known for being part of the SCLM) concludes that, "The South is more greatly plagued by AIDS and HIV infections because of racial and economic differences and a conservative cultural attitude that interferes with attempts to halt the disease." And let us be clear: the domestic health policies of the Bush administration have not done a thing to stop the spread of HIV, nor have his global policies. Planned Parenthood said it best when they summed up GWB's record on HIV prevention:

Earlier this year, President Bush made the welcome announcement that he would dramatically increase U.S. funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care in Africa and the Caribbean. Just weeks later, however, the administration made public its intent to expand the application of the global gag rule to all U.S. global health assistance, including funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services in developing countries. In addition, it is increasingly clear that the administration and right-wing members of Congress intend to funnel the bulk of the new HIV/AIDS money to religious organizations that have a very narrow, abstinence-based approach to HIV/AIDS prevention that excludes condoms.

Let's also take note of the fact that Bush doesn't have a real domestic health care policy, and in order to prevent the spread of HIV among Americans you've got to have some kind of battle plan. Sorry George, but privatising Medicare isn't a solution to this problem.
And remember Bush's SOTU pledge to fight HIV globally? Well let me tell you, it was yet another bait-n-switch. Read this excellent rebuttal, and focus on the HIV funding. Bush is not dumping another dime into the Global Fund, he's shifted most of the HIV funding into abstinence-only education, and he's fought to protect the patents of American drug companies while millions waste away from HIV and AIDS.
Today, please take a moment to think about this crisis and what you can do to help prevent the spread of HIV. You can educate, you can donate (each letter is a separate link), and you can help by speaking out and electing a President who'll actually focus on this problem instead of adopting Bush's laissez-faire approach.

*This post is in honor of my friend Brent Decoteau, who succumbed to AIDS-related pneumonia in 1999*
*NOTE: Some of these servers are very overloaded today (that's a GoodThing!), so if the links don't load the first time, retry later.



posted by Aziz P. at Monday, December 01, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
That's how much Dean Nation has raised for Dean. It's a massive figure - and it is entirely due to you.

But we all know it isn't enough. We have not been able to meet our goal of raising $5000 a month the past two months (we'd be at $40k by now if we had). Remember that most of us cast votes in the online ballot to tell Dean to forgoe federal matching funds- meaning he walked away from $19 million dollars. It's up to US to make the difference!

We have to do our part. We are the #1 Dean Team but we have barely scratched the surface - given that we have over 1500 page views on Dean Nation daily. Just imagine if every single one of us was willing to donate just $.67 per day. just sixty-seven cents. That would translate to $30,000 in one month.

Sixty-seven cents is such a tiny fraction of what we all spend daily. That is a simple commitment of just $20/month, and earns you the right to call yourself a Dean Rider. Or step up and be a Dean Minuteman, for commitment of $50/month (just $1.67/day).

Remember, Howard Dean's campaign is making history because it is People-Powered. Dean is the engine, but we are the fuel. And we told our candidate that we would be there for him, by voting against matching funds. It's time to step up to the plate. And make the commitment to Boot Bush - because Dean cannot do this alone.


unconventional conventions,1,4876352.story?coll=la-home-politics

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, December 01, 2003 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The LA Times has an interesting piece on the upcoming conventions for both political parties. There's a lot of interesting stuff in here about the Democratic convention's political environment and what the candidates need to do to win:

When Democratic delegates head to Boston for their late July convention, they might not have an obvious nominee. This possibility flies in the face of the party's record of the last three decades. Each time, the leading contender who won the bulk of the primaries won the nomination — on the first ballot.

In 2004, if no candidate breaks away from the pack early and clearly, Balkanization could set in, because too many convention delegates might be selected too quickly. By mid-March, with two-thirds of the delegates already chosen, you could have an incipient stalemate, with Howard Dean holding 28% of them, Dick Gephardt 22%, John Kerry 16%, Wesley Clark 12%, John Edwards 8%, Joe Lieberman 7% and Al Sharpton 5%.

Historically, this would augur ill for the Democrats. Since World War I, they have lost all four elections in which they chose a dark-horse compromise candidate after embarrassingly long bickering (more than 40 ballots in 1920, more than 100 in 1924) or later picked a nominee who had not run in the early primaries (Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and Hubert Humphrey in 1968). At first blush, doing so again in 2004 would look dumb.

However, should Dean or someone else lead with a delegate count below or around 30% through March, that probably wouldn't be enough to command the nomination. To win, the early leader would have to politick heavily enough and persuasively enough in the spring to gather 38% to 40% of the delegates by May or June.

Hence, the wisdom of Dean and Kerry to forgo the public financing system for the primary period. Either would need more money than the system would allow to stay in high gear during April and May. Reaching 40% of the delegate count without that extra money might be impossible.

The new context is that it could be good for Democrats to have the intraparty race remain active and full of Bush-blistering right up through the July convention. That would allow them to stay on message against the White House and the GOP. Should the Democratic primaries yield a winner by March, however, public interest could subside, leaving the probable nominee underfunded and lacking the wherewithal to be heard for four months while the White House and the Republicans, spending hundreds of millions of privately raised dollars, controlled the debate.

An encouraging Democratic scenario could include Dean wrapping up the nomination in May or June, gaining battle experience and the momentum of a winner without the GOP having been able to negatively define him with megabuck advertising. Instead, a Democratic drumbeat and Bush indictment could flourish.

Note that having Bill Richardson (current gov of New Mexico and Energy Sec. in the Clinton Administration) as chairman of the convention will be very helpful to Dean, given his strong affinity for his fellow governor. The single fact of Richardson's just-shy-of-endorsement support effectively negates the second, nonsensical scenario in the article of a Gore return and Dean as Veep. What is possible is a Gore endorsement, however.

The article also turns its attention to the GOP convention, calling it not a race but a "coronation" (I assume Blake Ashby won't be invited). There are some very interesting points however about the potential political liability and backlash to the GOP for draping itself in the flag and the ashes of 9-11 (Ground Zero will be only a few miles away, and will likely figure prominently), given the lack of success in finding OBL or Saddam and the general problems in Iraq. Not to mention the massive and aggressive security presence accompanying the President, which will no doubt look with extreme suspicion at the millions of Arab and Muslim inhabitants attending the more than 130 mosques in the immediate area.

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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.