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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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Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Mad City!

posted by Heath at Tuesday, February 17, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Reporting from "Ping," an internet cafe in downtown Madison that's filled with kids skipping school to play some kind of Columbine game where they are all killing each other with guns and yelling out loud. It actually looks like a lot of fun but I'm of the Dungeons and Dragons era with dice and character profiles...

I just thought I'd slip a little commentary in. It's quiet here in Madison. It has been for the past couple of days. It's nothing like Iowa or New Hampshire, of course.

(DUDE! The kid next to me just got killed! DUDE!)

There were a couple of people passing out info about Dean on State Street yesterday. I ran into John Edwards's wife at the laundromat yesterday (Edwards campaign headquarters). She was kind and upbeat, the same way the Dean staffers are: staying positive and hopeful.

I decided to mix things up a bit and went to a Kerry rally at the Kohl Center where the Badgers play.

(HAAAAAAAAAAAA! I Killed you! And you! And You! And--DAMN! You killed me!)

Teresa Heinz put everybody asleep with another one of her speeches about John's dignity. In fact, she spoke more about the principal draw--Ted Kennedy and his dignity. The corraled crowd was extremely polite, a pretty good mix of people rapt with funeral amazement. More polished. More button downed. A midwestern crowd, though, unlike the drunk old Irish mafia crowd that propped Kerry up in New Hampshire.

The Kerry press relations chief made the mistake of letting me in the heavily secured corral. It's amazing where you can go if you throw a suit and tie on. Unlike the Dean rallies, this one again had all the big cross-armed young men keeping watch over all the ropes and gates.

I focused my site in on wobbly, old Ted Kennedy with thoughts of Kennedy Vs. Humphrey in the 1960 Wisconsin primary.

(Dude the System's down! Shit! Dude that was my Kill!)

I aimed at Ted Kennedy.

I fired.

"Do the Democrats owe Howard Dean?"

"Well, ahhhhhhhhh, Governor Dean gave me, ahhhhh, we, an important addition to the discussion..." blah blah blah

He was quickly hobbled away by an aide who looked like he had a bright future of politics in his eyes.

Walking out of the Kohl Center with my trophy bagged, my thought was,


(Bang! You're dead.)

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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.