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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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Saturday, March 06, 2004


News from Burlington Free Press

posted by Conan at Saturday, March 06, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
This Burlington Free Press article discusses Dean's plans for the new grassroots organization (click the title above). An excerpt:

Dean acknowledged at a Wednesday night meeting of supporters in Burlington he was leaving for Washington, D.C., on Thursday to drum up funds for the new, as yet unnamed organization.

"Yeah, we'll do some fund raising," Dean said. "It's one of the reasons I'm going to Washington tomorrow."
Longtime Dean aide Kate O'Connor declined Thursday to say how much money Dean hopes to raise to fund the new organization. Dean will unveil his plans for the group in Seattle on March 18, then go on a cross-country speaking tour to tout the plan to supporters.

Dean has declined to discuss in detail what his new organization's focus will be, but hinted at the Wednesday meeting that one of its roles would be as a Democratic watchdog for progressive values.

"There's a mission for this party that's been forgotten and I think we've got a lot of people who can remind folks of what it's supposed to be," Dean said. "Our job, when we get to the new organization, is really to try to remind the Democratic Party why it was that we did as well as we did."

In fact, C-Span is preparing to broadcast Dean's address to the Pre-Gridiron dinner luncheon in Washington D.C. as I sit here writing this today (3/6 at 10:15 am pacific). Dean also indicated in a spearate article in the Free Press that he will be meeting with Kerry soon to discuss ways in which he can help the nominee get elected:

"I'm going to visit him next week in Boston to try to map out what we can do to make sure the president does end up with a lengthy vacation," Dean told a crowd of 60 supporters at a Meetup gathering in Burlington on Wednesday.

Dean mentioned the plan for the meeting while telling the supporters about a phone conversation he had with Kerry earlier in the day. Before he withdrew from the race last month, Dean was the Massachusetts senator's sharpest critic, attacking him as too much of a Washington insider to stand up to Bush.

Dean also used his visit to the Meetup gathering to thank supporters for their "stealth campaign" that helped him win the Vermont primary Tuesday. Meetups, organized via the Internet, were a major factor in Dean's rise to prominence last year.

"That was a real delight last night," he said to cheers. "Let me thank all of you who worked so hard, especially those of you from Vermont who did all the grassroots stuff. It really does work, although it helps to have been governor for 12 years."

While our own stealth campaign at Stanford was not notably successful (we took 5% of the vote in Santa Clara county – in the long run this will matter in terms of Dean's total share of the popular vote), my reward has been the look in the eyes of people who know me following Dean's landslide victory against Kerry in the Vermont primary. People who thought I was crazy for plastering the campus with Dean flyers and bumper stickers on March 1 understand and respect me now. We have at least created the possibility that someone, some day in this republic might just win an election as a result of grassroots activism. And that is a precious possibility.

When Dean spoke with him, Kerry was apparently acting as arrogant as Kerry typically does:

Dean said that during his chat with Kerry, he mentioned he was going to be celebrating his own win Wednesday night, at which point he said Kerry responded "Oh, really."

"I said, "Yes, I did win a primary,'" Dean said, laughing. Dean, an early front-runner in the race, failed to win a primary or caucus while an active candidate.

That article is available here:

As you all know, my sister was elected a (precinct-level) Dean delegate in the Washington State caucuses. I can't wait to tell her that Dean will be making his announcement in Seattle!


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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.