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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, February 27, 2004


Bird's Eye View from New Haven

posted by Amanda at Friday, February 27, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
About a dozen Massachusetts folks (that I know of, could have been more) made the rush hour treck down to CT last night to hear Howard Dean speak about what lies ahead. We didn't get home until 1am last night. TGIF...

There were about 500 peeps in a medium sized hotel ballroom at the Omni. Dean debuted his speech on what he plans to create out of DFA. A formal announcement of the plans will be made on March 18, possibly via MoveOn or some other forum (unclear).

One of the CT for Dean steering committee folks intro'd Howard's brother Jim who lives in CT and has been very involved with CT for Dean. Jim spoke briefly and then intro'd Howard. Tons of applause. Howard looked great, very relaxed, upbeat, and it didn't look forced one bit. Short speech, maybe 15-20 mins, but very good.

Cliff Notes Version of Speech -- many thanks to all the volunteers for putting him where he is (ie national figure, etc), acknowledgement of how hard this past year has been on many volunteers' families and jobs, committment to go forward with a national grassroots group/movement that will be led by DFA/Dean, outline of the principles we all share (basically a mission statement for the new group/movement), urged vols who want to work for Kerry or Edwards to do so/those who want to continue to work for Dean, thank you -- but the most important and critical thing is for all of us to be united after the convention in Boston to beat GWB. Also urged all vols to support Dem nominee and not to go 3rd party bc again most important goal is making GWB a one term president. Great section of the speech -- "If you care about our children, George Bush must be a one term president!" "If you care about the environment, George Bush must be a one term president!" And so the 4th or 5th time, the audience was chanting the last part with him really loud and he was really getting into it.

He was quite good humored throughout the speech, seemed in a good space, very bouyed by the crowd. After, several of us went up to shake hands with him and a friend took a picture of me with him which hopefully will turn out okay despite my tendency to not be very photogenic. And, thankfully, our statewide coordinator for Massachusetts, Dorothy Keville, got to speak with him (they've known each other for about 12 years; they met when she lobbied him as Gov on a health care issue). When he saw her he said, "Dorothy! I didn't know you were going to be here! You opened an office in Boston!" And gave her a big hug. :-)

There were several reporters there (including the LA Times) and several cameras, including a DFA/CT for Dean camera.

We're trying to get a copy of the video of the speech that we can show at a big rally we're having on Sunday in Cambridge MA in advance of voting here on Tuesday. Howard's brother Bill will be our special guest, along with several local candidates that Mass for Dean has endorsed.



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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.