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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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Thursday, March 11, 2004


profile on Trippi and CFA,0,2954870.story?coll=bal-features-headlines

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, March 11, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
The Baltimore Sun has a piece on Trippi that mostly ignores Dean (dexcept for some tweaking). While there are some major flaws (for example, it insinuates that Trippi was personally responsible from growing the grassroots from 432 to 600,000, without really acknowledging the role of the grassroots and independent websites), it's still a good piece and does a lot to re-humanize the architect of the campaign. The most interesting thing is the closer though:

"I want to chill out for a week," he says, "and decide what I'm going to do with the rest of my life."

This is not a man who chills well. It's hard to imagine Trippi without CNN and Internet access and a cell phone pressed to his ear. It will be just him in a bathing suit and shades lying in the hot Mexican sun with nothing to do but roll over in the sand if a stranger happens to ask, "Senor, would you rather be dead ... or working for George Bush?"

The track record for populist political movements isn't encouraging. Where are Ross Perot's disciples now? Pat Buchanan's pitchfork holders? Is the Green Party raking in any green from contributors these days? Change for America has a rough road ahead. But the Web site is drawing 70,000 hits a day and plans are in motion to hold CFA "summits" in 10 cities. Trippi will return from Mexico tanned, rested and ready to attend every one of them. He badly wants to re-rally the battered Deaniac Nation.

"We've got the best pit crew on the planet when it comes to grassroots and the Internet," he declares.

All they need now is a new car to race.

Now, this is a point that needs to be made Our collective energy is indeed something that can dissipate if notharnessed, and that's really all that CFA is trying to do (I disagree with their implementation thus far, but not their intent). However, the absence of any real comparison to DFA and the only-tangential mention of March 18th's announcement strikes me as misleading. Still, this is really just a fluff piece about Trippi and not an exhaustive look at CFA from the inside, so we can't really extrapolate anything whatsoever from this.

The main thing is that Trippi is taking a well-deserved vacation to get away for a while in Cancun. When he gets back, I am hoping that there will be some real details to chew on.


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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.