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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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Monday, May 19, 2003


A few notes from the trenches

posted by Adam F. at Monday, May 19, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
This is my first post at the DeanBlog. I want to thank Aziz for clearing me to come over from the National Dean Network mailing list groups and allowing me to add my two cents worth here.

For those of you who haven’t checked out your local Dean group, please come by and give us a yell. There are local mailing list groups now up for every state and major city in the country as well as many special interest groups such as students, seniors, disabled individuals and more. Think of them as a next stop for people after going to their local meet-ups. People are doing a ton of local grassroots work all across the country and we’d love to have you join us. A good first stop for checking in is the Howard Dean Coffeehouse. It’s a general hangout for Dean supporters with lots of link to your local Dean supporters. There is also a public networking group attached to the coffeehouse group that’s perfect for discussions about organizing techniques with other Dean grassroots activists.

I have a request for those of you who are experienced campaign organizers. Gov. Dean’s campaign has brought an incredible amount new people to the political process already. I would like to see these people get a chance to learn some good organizing skills before the things really get busy. I wrote an article on the basics of running tables at local events that ended up being named as inspiration for it’s own blog. The grassroots people could use more of these type of articles on subjects like manning and running phone banks, working with local party and elected officials, fundraising, and organizing local canvassing. We want more than simple raw manpower in this campaign. We want skilled organizers on the street for Gov. Dean, and you pros can make that happen. I request you guys start sitting down and writing some lengthy tutorials on the basic skills that volunteers need to be effective organizers for the Campaigning 101 series I started. You can post them at the coffeehouse site and I will make sure they get to all the volunteers in their local groups. Getting all the grassroots volunteers up to speed on their campaigning skills could be the most important thing we do in the next few months.

Adam F. Smith


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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.