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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, September 01, 2004


Kerry's campaign evaluation

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, September 01, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Well, which is it? Is Kerry's campaign asleep at the helm, and ceding the momentum to Bush, as claims Joe Trippi? Or is Kerry being remarkably competitive, holding his own against a popular incumbent despite having been the focus of a coordinated, multi-million dollar smear campaign, as claims Chris Bowers at Daily Kos?

A little bit of both, actually.

Kerry's campaign staff has ballooned, and the resulting inertia makes it hard for the organization to spin on a dime. Hence the slow, largely defensive response to the Swift Boat smears. But despite that, Bush's victory is in no way guaranteed given his poll situation, one that no previous incumbent has ever prevailed against.

2004 is 2004, not 1968 or 1980 or any other year we want to invoke to justify our pet analysis of the moment. The reality is that Kerry and Bush are in a close race. Either side can stumble, or rally, for that matter. The bulk of the independent voters won't even decide until the final days of October.

This election will be decided in the endgame.


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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.