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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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Wednesday, July 14, 2004


"conservative" values,1,2864401.story

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, July 14, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
This is an interesting story about Kerry's intent to reach out to "conservatives" - but more than anything else, it evokes Dean's legacy of moderation.

"I'm going to talk to people on the right," Kerry told The Times on Friday during a joint interview with his vice presidential pick, Sen. John Edwards. "I want to talk to conservatives."

As for rank-and-file party members, Kerry said his record of strong support for environmental protection, gun control and abortion rights — all core Democratic issues — "speaks for itself about my priorities in policy terms."

Indeed, Kerry seemed unconcerned about antagonizing his liberal supporters.

"I'm a hunter. I'm a gun owner. A lot of people on the left don't like that, but that's who I am," he said.

The Massachusetts senator has already begun his effort to broaden his political reach. During a recent swing through the Midwest, where he tramped around farms and toted a shotgun on a trap-shooting range, Kerry said that he represented "conservative values," and emphasized his personal opposition to abortion.

Last week, as he and Edwards made their joint debut, they spoke continually of their commitment to helping the middle class, which they said had been harmed by President Bush's policies.
A GOP media strategist who watched the event on a television with the sound off was struck by the ticket's "very wholesome" image. "If America wants to turn the page, it's a pretty attractive page to turn to," the strategist said on condition of anonymity.

Note the article illustrates how the driving force here is the ABB sentiment, which will hopefully keep the far-left in line (evidence: Nader's complete nadir)

I put conservative in quotes because it's really mainstream - in fact apart from extreme wingers on both sides, the basic "progressive" and "conservative" mindsets are not that different. This is because as a whole, the country has moved leftwards on social issues like civil rights, etc, so even conservatives are liberal by the standards of the 50's.

Still doubt the influence of Dean, though?

During their 20-minute interview with The Times, as they flew on their campaign plane from West Virginia to Albuquerque, they sat side-by-side behind a small table, often jumping in to finish each other's thoughts. Both had their shirt sleeves rolled up — a style Kerry has adopted since Edwards came aboard.


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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.