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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, February 05, 2004


after Wisconsin

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, February 05, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Dean has rightfully drawn a line in the sand for Wisconsin - but let's think for a moment beyond a victory there. Dean will have won a state, but still will face a hostile media, an establishment friendly to Kerry, and other candidates drawing blood.

It's time to start thinking about strategy again, instead of tactics. And one strategy that needs to be put on the table is to sweeten the deal for voters wondering why they should choose Dean. The answer is simple: Dean should choose a Veep running mate.

That running mate needs to be Southern, to compete against Edwards. And a military man, to compete against Kerry. The natural candidate would be Clark, but unless we win Wisconsin we can't make a decent argument to his camp as to why they should settle for #2. A Wisconsin win however will give Dean all the operational advantages - money, grassroots, and delegate count. Clark and Dean are competing for the same voters, just as Edwards and Kerry are (and I predict a Kerry/Edwards ticket on the horizon in practice if not in name soon enough). Dean needs to address the issue of basic survival with Clark, and point out that together they may yet stand whereas apart they fall.

Kerry/Edwards is going to be a compelling ticket. Certainly far better than Dean/X or Clark/X. But Dean/Clark is something else entirely - a civil union, whose whole is greater than the sum of their parts. The writing is on the wall for Clark and Dean regardless of wins in OK and WI - unless they find a way to make a bold move that freshens them in the eyes of voters who collectively yearn for Anybody But Bush.

Dean/Clark is our natural next step after Wisconsin. The media buzz and coverage will be a natural boost to Super Tuesday, and the operational and logistical advantages of the two top-funded candidates will also be a powerful argument to the mass of undecideds out there who still buy into the "electability" meme. It's our only hope.


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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.