Friday, February 20, 2004
Hawai'i: the forgotten caucus http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/kucinich/articles/2004/02/20/dean_kucinich_could_be_factors_in_islands_caucuses/
No television commercials or satellite trucks. No mailboxes brimming with campaign literature. No candidates dropping by the coffee shop or the poi factory. In fact, there is little to alert islanders, except the most committed Democratic activists, that the party is about to vote its preference for who should carry its standard against President Bush.
But even in this sleepy atmosphere, former Vermont governor Howard Dean managed to inject new energy into the process this year. His team launched its effort in Hawaii more than a year ago -- far earlier than the other candidates -- and impressed party regulars by working its way into position for a strong showing at Tuesday's caucuses.
With Dean now giving up his White House quest, it is not clear how many of those backers will stick with their leadership, which vows to fight on for Dean's message, or will throw in with the nationwide delegate leaders, Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina. One major Dean backer, former governor Ben Cayetano, said he now supports Kerry.
"We have a lot of supporters and lot of those want to come out next Tuesday. But this adds a different dynamic. We don't know what will happen," Josh Wisch, chairman of Hawaii for Dean, said following Dean's withdrawal Wednesday. "We're going to try to do as well as we can here." Of Dean, he said, "This is a man who has single-handedly reenergized, redefined, and restored the backbone of an entire national political party. That needs to be heard at the convention. We're going to help him get some delegates."
The article points out that the caucuses have typically small turnout - as low as 3,000 in past years - which means a concerted effort could conceivably mean a major impact. And
Hawai'i isn't the only forgotten contest in advance of Super Tuesday - Idaho and Utah are also in play.
Any Hawai'i, Idaho, or Utah For Dean folks here who want to share their plans? Remember, vote Dean!
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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.