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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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Sunday, January 25, 2004


RNC thugs in Iowa, and how Kerry handed us our a**...

posted by annatopia at Sunday, January 25, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
One final brain dump about Iowa and then I'm done. The reason I waited until today to write this up is I was hoping someone would post the video from the Drake University event last Saturday in Des Moines. Since the video is still forthcoming, I guess I'll have to spill and hope whomever has it releases it later.
What am I talking about? Go click on the article above and read all about it. The RNC sent thugs to Iowa to disrupt our events. At the Drake University event, the RNC thugs stormed the event holding large Bush/Cheney04 signs and chanting "4 more years". A shoving match ensued and eventually they were driven from the room when everyone sang "The Star Spangled Banner" in unison.
Why all the fuss over a candidate that poses "no threat" to Bush? Because they don't know how to beat us. There are several conventional ways to attack the two Johns, the General, and the other candidates. And can those candidates stir up the kind of grassroots passion that will drive our GOTV efforts this fall?
On Sunday I got to watch the ten minute video of what transpired at Drake University. I don't know who took the video or where it is now, but someone out there has the footage and hopefully it'll be floating around the 'net soon. Everyone needs to see the kind of tactics these thugs are employing. For the good of the entire party all Democratic supporters need to know how far they'll go to beat us.
Now on to Senator Kerry. I really need to give him props (as we all should) for building a super stealth field organisation that kicked our butts in Iowa. This article credits Michael Whouley, longtime Democratic activist. Props to Mr Whouley. I'm glad he's on the Democratic side. Anyway. Whouley built the network, and got Kerry people into the important positions of leading the many of the precinct caucuses. This is where we blew it. We sent inexperiences newbies up against trained field operatives. On top of that, we tried to play nice and they didn't. The Kerry and Edwards people ran the show. They sat undecideds between the Kerry & Edwards groups and relegated us to the other side of the room. They planted their own supporters among the undecideds and were able to sway them. The Edwards people even came with their own attack packets which included smears against Dean and the others, and they used these arguments to sway undecideds. Mr Positive, yea okay. Anyway, the point being that when it came to the caucuses, these two were better prepared and we weren't. Our volunteers weren't up to speed, and there was random talk of overselling the Iowans, and it simply failed us.
This is why I was so upset when I came back from Iowa. I felt we could have done a much better job of being prepared. We should have trained harder, screened our phone lists better, and we should have prepared for dirty tricks. And above all, we did not need to go negative for those last few weeks. Gephardt/Dean took each other down a few notches.
But we can do better.
Apparently the field organisation in New Hampshire is much better than they were in Iowa. Based on the new ads, it seems our ads folks have learned their lesson. It also seems that the New Hampshire volunteers are better prepared as well, and above all, this is a primary. One person, one vote. How do I think we'll fare in New Hampshire. Well honestly, I think we need to prepare ourselves for a second or third place finish. I don't think we have enough time to catch Kerry, but the polls seem to indicate a slight recovery for us. The media blitz bounce is finally showing up, and things don't look so bad right now. Just remember that we have the resources to fight another day. We need to be thinking about Feb 3.
I'm anticipating a decent showing on Tuesday. But I also want everyone here to anticipate a media Gore-ing of us if we don't place first. Please get your pens and emails ready, because we are going to have to push back no matter what happens. I was serious the other day when I said the media was not our friend, so please get ready to write some letters/emails on Wednesday.
Here's a list of addresses for all the major media outlets (culled from the comments section over on Counterspin):

Thanks for letting me ramble on. I still had all these things on my mind and getting them out seems to help. I still believe we can win the nomination, and I hope that you have not lost faith. Ignore the trolls that keep dumping on this board. They want to dance on our grave, but we're not dead yet.


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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.