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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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Friday, January 30, 2004


The Misunderstanding of Judy Dean

posted by Christopher at Friday, January 30, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
For those who haven't seen this, Gersh Kuntzman over at Newsweek/MSNBC writes a very complimentary article on Judith Steinberg Dean. It's just one more reason I have so much respect for both Howard and Judith Steinberg Dean. When I read this, I thought "finally, somebody gets it." This isn't some sort of slick media play to attract points. Howard and Judy are real people. Vermonters know this and understand who they are - I think many of the people who have become involved in this campaign appreciate a "real person" running for president. Howard and Judy Dean are certainly real people - good and bad together. Capable of doing great things, and capable of making mistakes and moving on.

I'm tired of demanding "the right look" for president. I want a President and First Lady with substance and self-awareness. I thought this article just reflected so well on Judy - and it says something positive about Howard's character that he picked such a woman to be his partner.

"In what is supposedly an enlightened age for women, we in the media should be celebrating Dean's independence, not questioning it. Shouldn't it be refreshing to meet a woman who'd prefer to be a doctor than gazing longingly from the edge of the stage as her husband delivers the seventh identical stump speech of the day? (And how come all of my supposedly gifted media colleagues missed the irony of an independent, modern woman, who nonetheless has one foot in that bygone age of doctors who make house calls? That alone should have won her points.)"

In The Interview, Mrs. Dean again showed us her humility, her professionalism, her dedication, her...what's that word?...her integrity (I almost forgot the word because it's such a rare sight on television). Every time Dean opened her mouth, I found myself hoping that my daughter grows up to be Judith Steinberg Dean.

Yet the more she spoke, the more "sins" she rang up.

"I don't watch TV that much," she said. Diane was visibly upset.

"I am kind of private...and I have a medical practice which I love," she said later. "And I think it's really important for me, and Howard knows it's important to me. But, I also love Howard, and I think he would make a terrific president...And, I think if I can help him, I will. And that doesn't mean he's going to disrupt my life, disrupt my patients, my son, but if he calls on a Saturday, and I'm not on call that weekend, I'll be out there Sunday." Imagine that, a husband and wife who support each other's careers. Diane was skeptical."

The interview goes on like this. At any rate, thought I'd share it with all of you... and three cheers for Judy!


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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.