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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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Tuesday, April 15, 2003


Iraq War's Ebb Challenges Candidate Dean

posted by Editor at Tuesday, April 15, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
In this AP story, Christopher Graff focuses attention on the "post-Iraq war Howard Dean." There is some speculation out there that Gov. Dean was simply coasting along on a wave of support from those who shared his opposition to the war and that now that it is "over," his best days are behind him. This belief, of course, ignores the reactions that Dean has received from the groups he has addressed throughout the war - his applause lines seem the loudest when he talks about fighting for the soul of the Democratic party, instituting healthcare for all Americans, and taking America back from extremists. The article does a fair job of addressing Dean's strong points as a candidate aside from the war:

In campaign appearances, Dean has raised other issues, including health care, education policy and Bush's proposed tax cuts, but they were overshadowed by his anti-war talk. At those events, Dean assailed the administration and also sought to draw a distinction with his Democratic rivals, particularly lawmakers who have backed parts of the president's domestic and national security agenda.

"I did not get in this race as the peace candidate," Dean said in a recent interview. "People are turning to my campaign because they want a sense of hope again, they want health insurance and they want leaders who are not afraid to say what they think."

Gordon Fischer, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, says Dean should not be pigeonholed as the anti-war candidate. "That does him a disservice," Fischer said. "I think Governor Dean's candidacy is about much more than the war.

"I think there is a feeling among Democrats who are most active that in the last election the Democrats suffered by not having more of a voice, not sticking up for their beliefs, and I think Governor Dean speaks to that," said Fischer, who is neutral in the race.


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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.