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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 03, 2004


the Prize

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, February 03, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
You know, I feel pretty good tonight. I'm well aware that Dean is likely to be below the delegate threshold tonight in most of the states. But we have to have faith in ourselves. Right now there are thousands of Dean supporters out there working hard on visibility and outreach. And Dean is out there too, talking to ordinary people and getting his message out.

The main goal here is to build momentum, which can crest on Feb 7th. And then onwards to Feb 10th.

If the campaign falters, though, it won't be because we didn't try. I remain disappointed that Dean probably won't be at the Ann Arbor meetup, that he hasn't publicly leveraged his endorsements from Gore and Jesse Jackson Jr. yet. I am disappointed that Dean didn't seem to recognize the symbolic importance of South Carolina, or that Roy Neel hasn't said anything about Tennessee or Virginia yet. All these things are failures of motivation from the campaign - not us. But campaigns are large and massive entities that even the candidate himself doesn't really control so much as be tolerated by, like a wormrider from Dune.

At the end of the day today, Dean will have energized us. We remain convinced that he is the best candidate for the nomination, and we are acting on that belief. Some of us are on the ground, others are blogging, all of us have thrown in money at our bat time and time again - have you noticed we are almost at $40,000?

I feel good. This is February 3rd and the election is nine months away. Nine months is enough for a political gestation of sorts. We, Dean Nation and the 700k strong supporters of Dean are the embryonic seed of a new political movement. Dean may be at the apex of this new form of political life, but ultimately it is we who are the flesh and blood.

Stop looking at polls, Dean Nation. Stop looking at primaries! Start looking at the election, and at the energy that we have marshaled to get to where we are today. And reflect on this: we have only just begun to fight!

I'm feeding the bat tonight. Join me and let's make news tomorrow - Dean may not win delegates, but he is winning hearts and minds. And my dollars.

UPDATE: Joe Lieberman will likely withdraw if he doesn't win Delaware tonight. If that doesn't cheer you up, what will? :)

UPDATE 2: Superdelegates stand firm - and Al Gore is out there below the radar, where it counts!

Al Gore campaigns for Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean Sunday at a church in Detroit. Michigan holds its Democratic primary on Saturday.


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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.