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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004


How We Will Beat Kerry

posted by Dana at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
This candidate is amazing. Howard Dean is better than us, better even than his campaign managers. He is a brilliant politician.

All week Dean has been telling us how to beat John Kerry. We haven’t been listening. Kerry won Iowa by out-organizing us, and won New Hampshire by stealing our message.

He will not win again.

Howard Dean has shown us the way, in the debates, and in his town hall meetings. We can easily run to Kerry's right, on all the key issues, not just using rhetoric, but with hard facts. It comes down to these three key points:

1. Get this, South Carolina. Dean was FOR Gulf War I. Kerry voted AGAINST. Saddam Hussein was in Kuwait, Bush I had the approval of the UN, he had the entire world on our side and John F. Kerry voted NO. Then, when Bush II had no case, Kerry voted aye, and now tries to pretend he didn't. He’s a fraud on national security.

2. Listen up, Missouri. Dean can BALANCE A BUDGET, Kerry never has. John Kerry voted FOR this record deficit, both for tax cuts and spending increases. Want to visit Canada, Australia, Europe or Japan? YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT. That’s just the first step in a rapid process of economic destruction that can only be reversed by moving to balanced budgets, as in the 1990s. Howard Dean has balanced budgets. He will balance this one. He's a grown-up.

3. Are you hearing this in Arizona? Dean can PASS his health care program. Kerry can’t. Dean’s plan is simple. Buy insurance for the neediest, sell it to the nearly-needy. No big bureaucracy, no change in your present coverage. He did it in Vermont, which is no wealthier than the average state. Kerry wants a BIG GOVERNMENT PROGRAM for health care, another HillaryCare plan that won’t pass and thus won’t solve anything.

The good news, troops, is we will have a lot of help all next week. Edwards will be in South Carolina, hammering home these same points. Clark will be in Oklahoma. Even Joe Lieberman will be saying this in Delaware.

Yes, we need some new ads, and some new literature, but these are the facts. These are just the points Dean hammered home on the stump this last week. The problem is it didn’t sink in. No candidate from Massachusetts has ever lost the New Hampshire primary, and that streak continues.

So John Kerry tonight takes his place alongside President Henry Cabot Lodge, President Edward M. Kennedy, President Michael Dukakis and President Paul Tsongas. Fine.

We have him right where we want him.

Now let’s go out, prove the case, win the marathon, then go after George W. Bush.


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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.