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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, January 23, 2003


Get more on Dean

posted by B at Thursday, January 23, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

Here are some of the bloggers commenting on Dean's recent performance, or otherwise: Liberal Oaisis, MyDD, Political Parrhesia, Left in the West, Pleasant, Backup Brain, Into the Breach,

Dean's now led the straw vote poll for the Democratic nominee for three weeks in a row, out-polling the second place finisher Kerry by nearly a 2:1 margin.

From Vermont, here's Seven Days VT's snippet on Dean in DC:

Deanwatch 2004 — No shortage of glowing reviews of Howard Dean’s fiery performance Saturday at the Lind County Democratic Dinner in Marion, Iowa. Ho-Ho shared the podium with Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. John Kerry. C-Span ran the speeches twice on Sunday evening. The contrast between the new guy and the established veterans was like that between two lighted matches flickering in the wind and a bonfire of political sanity.

Dr. Dean opened his 25-minute speech by taking on the issue of the day — Bush’s announced opposition to the affirmative-action program at the University of Michigan School of Law.

“I was deeply, deeply disappointed,” said Dean, “more so than I’ve ever been after a long series of disappointments with President Bush’s administration, when the President last week went before a national television audience.”

Bush “used the word ‘quota’ seven times on national television. The University of Michigan does not have a quota system,” noted Dean, his voice rising with passion. “It never did have a quota system. The word ‘quota’ is designed to foster racial divisiveness and to encourage people to be fearful that other folks are going to take their jobs. That is a disgrace,” shouted Ho-Ho, “for the president of the United States to ever use that word!”

The audience roared. He had them eating out his hand as he strode though a litany of George Bush’s failures, from the economy and foreign policy to health care and education. “We can do better,” was his ringing refrain.

He ridiculed Bush’s “No Student Left Behind” Bill, as the “No Teacher Left Standing” Bill. Members of the audience leapt from their seats when Dean declared himself the only presidential hopeful who opposed the Iraq resolution. He was on fire!

On energy policy, Dean joked that he’d noticed the cars in the parking lot. “I’m not asking you to get out of your SUVs and trucks,” said the Vermonter, “but I want mileage standards for SUVs and trucks that are the same for the rest of the fleet.”

More applause. And a standing ovation when he got to civil unions. Ho-Ho learned forward, rested one elbow on the podium and told the hushed crowd, “I did not do this for gays and lesbians. I did this for America,” said Dean. “I want to be the president where everyone in America has equal rights under the law.”

Should he be the Democratic nominee, said Dr. Dean, “I can’t wait to stand next to George Bush in the debates and have him explain to Americans why everybody, even though they’re willing to go to Afghanistan and die for this country, shouldn’t have equal rights under the law when they get back. I can’t wait to see the President of the United States explain that.”

Tuesday’s ABC News “Political Note” put it best: “If you saw the reaction to Dean’s Saturday night speech and you still don’t think he can be a serious player in the Iowa caucuses (and maybe win them), you need to recalibrate your brain.”


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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.