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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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Thursday, January 29, 2004


media visibility crusade - on the cheap

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Here is how Dean can immediately get exposure in the Feb 3rd states without expensive ad buys:

  1. get on local talk radio. His Hannity appearance was excellent, and I heard he appeared on Hannity's TV show with Colmes last night to follow up. Deliberately target conservative media - that makes Dean look unafraid to challenge the right wing and also gets him broader access. Plus what other candidate is sticking it to the wingnuts? Certainly not Mr. Front Runner.

  2. Target national daytime television. Someone suggested Oprah (with both Howard and Judy!), other good avenues are Rosie O'Donnell and the Wayne Brady show. Lots of undecided voters are captive audiences at home during the day, and an informal apearance can give him a chance to make an appeal based on his record of accomplishment. It's those ordinary people watching TV at home that disproportionately are feeling the pain of the Bush economy and are wondering what these Democrats are doing for them.

  3. Stump in South Carolina with Jesse Jackson Jr and with Al Gore. Spend a whole day there talking to local church communities. Attend a service in Sunday and give out a yell for God.

  4. Target Hispanic media like Unavision - there must be daytime talk shows on the Hispanic networks where Dean can appear. Is Dean fluent in Spanish? If so, hold the entire interview in that language. If not, ask someone from Latinos for Dean to appear with him on the show.

  5. Get on late-night television. Dean should do at two of the following shows: Saturday Night Live, Late Show with Conan O'Brien, Letterman, Leno. Avoid cable talk shows since it's a more limited market (though do take up Chris Matthews on his open invitation to Dean for HardBall)

  6. Run grassroots-created ads on basic cable channels - USA Network and TNT for example are cheaper to buy ads on than primetime television, and they reach as many viewers. Launch a new bat dedicated to funding this effort. Use the best ideas from Project Deanlight and Switch2Dean in their entirety without any edits or changes - just dump them on those markets.

This should keep his visibility high in the Feb 3 round and sustain momentum into Feb 7th. After Feb 3rd, though, he needs to spend all his time in the Feb 7th states to be on the ground making his case in all the local media (including making a direct pitch to the various newspaper editorial boards asking for their endorsement).

On Feb 4th, Dean needs to attend a meetup in Ann Arbor. Make it the biggest meetup ever - let's shatter the old New York record. Hey Michigan for dean, are you listening? Bombard Burlington with invites now, you guys! Send two people to drive to campaign HQ and camp out waiting for Dean to invite him in person!

After Feb 7th, he needs to maintain his visibility:

  1. Appear on The West Wing on NBC by having Martin Sheen throw his weight around.

  2. Blog interviews. Dean needs to conduct a telephone interview with Daily Kos, Liberal Oasis, Atrios, and Blogging of the President. Dean also needs to take the time to personally answer the Dean Nation Interview Questions.

  3. Work together with to utilize the best ideas of some of the ad winners from their recent Bush in 30 Seconds contest. Gore can help make a case for this and Rob Reiner can edit the films, along with recruiting the actual producers of the home-grown submitted films themselves. Put Heath Eiden and Karl Frisch in charge!

  4. More late-night television - finish off the ones he didn't get to before Feb 3rd.

what else? Remember he has to be on the ground between Feb 3rd and 7th in Michigan and Wisconsin. IMHO it's a waste of his time to go stumping on foot before Feb 3rd, anywhere, because voter memory is short and voter fatigue will be high. If he maintains the media visibility campaign as suggested above then he can swoop in to the Feb 7th states and capitalize on the momentum. And that leaves the time before Feb 3rd to do the other things suggested above that are more unorthodox.

And note how the laundry list above relies heavily on contacts and endorsers and netroots supporters. That is by design. More suggestions along those lines are needed.

UPDATE: added some more bullet items. Keep the ideas flowing in comments!


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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.