Nation-Building >> post-mortems on the campaign abound | return to front page

"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

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online Add to netvibes

website stats

Previous Posts
Netflix, Inc.
ThinkGeek T-Shirts will make you cool!
illy coffee - 2 cans, 2 mugs for just $26.

Thursday, February 19, 2004


post-mortems on the campaign abound

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, February 19, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
The link goes to a USA Today story that essentially blames Rogan for dysfunction within the campaign. Contrast that piece with this one in the Times that blames Trippi. Then there's also the WBUR radio show "The Connection" which featured a number of analysts, including Matthew Gross and TNR's Ryan Lizza, which takes a broader look at what worked, what didn't, and what the legacy of the campaign's innovation was.

I think what most of the analyses are missing is an understanding of the point that Dean imself made in his final speech:

Change is hard work. Change does not happen simply because you go to a rally and simply because you make phone calls -- and I know how hard everybody here has worked. But change is a process that you can never give up on because change is the state of America and change is the state of humankind.

In a sense, most of the analysts above saw Dean's failure as one of process, namely problems with personalities or gafes or strategy. But in doing so, they set the bar of expectation very high. Dean's campaign has already succeeded in its three basic goals that I laid out earlier in my post-Deanism entry, namely :

  1. bring Americans back into the political process
  2. force the Democratic party to stand up for its beliefs
  3. transcend the divisive politics of Left-Right/Us-Them

There's a strong sense running through th epost-mrtems on the campaign that it failed to properly channel the powerful forces it has harnessed. I see it more as succeeding in releasing those forces, with no pretense of harnessing them. Ryan Lizza said in the radio show that he though Dean never really made his case to the larger electorate beyond the core Deaniac base; but I think that Lizza is getting ahead of himself. That broader appeal is a process that could only begin this cycle, not finish.


Post a Comment


View blog top tags
The Assault on Reason

Obama 2008 - I want my country back

I want my country back - Obama 2008

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.