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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, April 26, 2003


Dean's Staying Power

posted by Christopher at Saturday, April 26, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
An interesting piece from The New Republic wonders if Dean will have staying power following the war in Iraq. Will the anti-war liberals that flocked to his campaign stay aboard when they hear more about his ideas? TNR thinks the upcoming Democratic debate hosted by ABC News is a big one for Dean to find out if his appeal can extend beyond the anti-war vote. They say that it's likely the campaign will try to reposition Dean as the health care candidate. Health care may indeed be an important issue in the race, but to pin his hopes on the health care issue is what everyone expects him to do... a better strategy to separate himself from the rest of the field (and to effectively attack Bush) is to become the "balanced budget" candidate.

Dean can hammer both Bush and the Dems in congress for pushing for tax cuts while state budgets languish, and social programs go down the tubes. Meanwhile Bush (and the Senators and House members) fiddle with tax cuts we cannot afford while the country burns. Dean is the only one who has consistently balanced budgets in this race and he needs to get that message out now and take the domestic debate to a new, and unexpected place. Health care can come later, after he's established his credentials on this issue. The South Carolina test is indeed a big one, but tactically it won't be health care that decides this presidential election - it will be the economy and foreign policy. Dean needs to establish himself as the candidate to be trusted on the economy.


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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.