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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 15, 2004


Moseley-Braun drops out, will endorse Dean,+sources+say

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 15, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Of all the candidates, Braun is probably the only one who could drop out. Kucinich and Sharpton are trying to influence the party as a whole, and it serves their interest to remain until the very end, trading their delegates for the final nomination in return for a voice in shaping the overall platform. Kerry is doing miserably but has literally mortgaged the house - he can't back out. Lieberman has mortgaged his reputation and can't withdraw either without completely obliterating his career (which a simple loss to Dean won't do). Gephardt is in at least until Iowa but there are questions about how far he can leverage even a first-place showing there. Edwards and Clark are, in my opinion, in for the long haul on ideological grounds, and they probably haven't ruled out the possibility of VP either, though Clark is by far the strongest candidate besides Dean.

Only Braun had no reason, other than vanity, to remain in the running. we got a hint of her intentions when she defended Dean in the last debate - and since she couldn't even fill a delegate slate in Illinois, the writing was on teh wall. From her perspective, Dean is the likely nominee and so he becomes her best hope for relevance.

I've heard people say that Braun would be a good VP choice, but frankly with her history of ethics problems she would be more a liability than an asset. Dean is making his own case to the black community quite well without her help (and with the endorsement of both her and Jesse Jackson Jr.), and the women's vote is likely going to be fought on economic, not gender, issues. And she doesn't bring any geographic advantage with her.

The best place for Braun would indeed be in a Dean Administration, an option she clearly is trying to position herself for. But giving her a cabinet-level position seems counterintuitive to me. Her best role is probably as an ambassador or other diplomat role, where her eloquence is a true asset, and she is safely insulated from any stewardship of resources that could conceivably be compromised in any kind of scandal.

The Dean Administration needs to start Day One with a clean slate - and Braun in the Cabinet would be another obstacle.


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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.