Showing posts from July, 2003

Backbone Awards: open thread for nominations

Scott has generously allowed me to open up the floor to nominations for the third Dean Nation Backbone Award. To recap, the first Backbone Award went to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats, and the second nod went to Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Who will it be next week, Dean Nation? Any elected official can be nominated, regardless of party affiliation. Our only qualifier is that the nominee must have shown courage, determination, and resolve in dealing with a recent issue. I'm opening this thread today and will run with it through Sunday afternoon. The winner will be announced on Monday.

phase II:Kucinich woos Greens

Dennis Kucinich has an article on Common Dreams urging Greens to support him. Suppose you were with a Kucinich supporter and a Green in a room. What arguments would you make to try and persuade the Green to support Howard Dean over Kucinich?

Gay Marriage: wedge issue

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to feel sympathy for Andrew Sullivan. Here we have a gay man who is also a Republican and ardent supporter of Bush. He has built a readership of thousands and made impressive fortunes off his essentially conservative positions (he, like Christopher Hitchens, have gained great mileage from their personas as former/recovering leftists who are therefore uniquely qualified to indict the excesses of Liberals). But as he noticed from Bush's conference yesterday, his erstwhile political allies are on the wrong side of history on this one: President Bush said yesterday, in so many words, that he is considering amending the constitution to deny gays legal equality in their relationships - indeed to enshrine second-class citizenship for gays in the sacred words of the founding document. It is very hard to think of any act any politican could endorse that would alienate and marginalize gay citizens and their families more. The Republican lead

Dean Not 'Soft' on National Defense

Slate's take on Howard Dean demonstrates how Dean's nuanced position on national security can win people over - especially convincing those still on the fence of his foreign policy credentials. This short column dissects his position on foreign policy and shows that Howard Dean is not just "anti-war," but rather for ensuring that the use of force is justified in all instances. The line on Dean from his primary rivals (and surely the Bush camp) is that Dean is soft on defense... a bona fide "dove." Dean's positions are more complex than either being "against" or "for" military action. Rather, there is a set of ideals and some principle behind his positions on foreign policy.

WaPo's 'Talking Points' on Dean

Terry Neal's headline 'Will the Real Howard Dean Please Stand Up?' is a bit misleading. This column isn't (as the headline implies) that Dean has contradictory positions, rather it demonstrates the unconventional, principled positions that Dean has taken on a range of issues. The result is that Dean becomes difficult to pigeonhole as 'liberal, moderate, or even conservative Democrat' as some would like. It's interesting that Bush ran as a 'compassionate conservative' and everyone took him at his word that he was a more moderate type of Republican. Meanwhile nothing he had done as governor (or more recently as president) has supported that view. Meanwhile Dean defies expectations and labels and the pros get worked up because he won't fit into that nice "liberal box" that the mainstream press, his primary foes, and the Bushies would like. I hope that he continues to confound the pundits since it will only broaden his appeal to Ame

Defying Labels Left or Right

This NYT piece is the kind of broad, accurate overview that clearly says "Dean has arrived." There is a wealth if detail here, perfect for a prospective supporter to get a good feel for the truth about Dean and be immunized against "he's too liberal" or "Dean = McGovern" memes. Some of the info was new to me, for instance: He inherited a state budget deficit of about 11 percent, the highest income taxes in the country and the lowest bond rating in New England. To the dismay of liberals in the Legislature who wanted to expand social and environmental programs, Dr. Dean and his chief economic adviser, Harlan Sylvester, a conservative stockbroker and investment banker, stuck with the Snelling budget-cutting plan. Helped by a booming economy, the state's finances improved sharply. Dr. Dean lowered income tax rates by 30 percent and put away millions in a rainy day fund. Vermont's bond rating became the highest in the Northeast. In his

Bloggers take on DLC

See the link for Liberal Oasis's brilliant analysis of how the DLC misinterprets their own polls. Also see Digby's anti-DLC rant which starts off as follows: "The Internet may be giving angry, protest-oriented activists the rope they need to hang the party," wrote Randolph Court in the DLC's bimonthly newsletter, The New Democrat Blueprint. I sure wish that the Republicans had believed that about talk radio because then we’d hold both houses of congress, the presidency and the courts today. Dissing the internet’s power to organize and communicate says so much about these guys that I’d written them off even before I read about their latest bone-headed useful idiocy.

Dean Nation at bat!

Dean beat Cheney-Bush ! The Dean campaign just raised $508,640 from 9,621 supporters in one weekend (and conservatives took notice ). All of us are waiting with baited breath to see what the Top Secret use for that money will be! But raising money is an ongoing challenge - especially in light of the Bush fundraising juggernaut, which is estimated to pull in $250 million dollars of special interest and cheap-labor conservative cash before the general election. And we in Dean Nation must do our part - you may notice that our Dean Nation All-Star Team thermometer now reads 81%, reflecting our updated goal of $15,000. Each month until the general election, we will raise the bar $5,000, meaning that by the time November 2004 rolls around we will have raised $80,000 for Dean! Please do join in this collective effort. Our dollars have a transforming effect, not just on Dean's campaign but on American politics itself. When NPR Marketplace or The Boston Globe or even GOP USA sp

First Major Dean Speech on the Economy

Sharpton's Not-So-Psychic Network

Now mind you, I think Sharpton would make an awesome keynote speaker at the Dem Convention and I dig the guy, but we've heard this ludicrous meme repeated by many folks, and I wanna address it head-on. This exchange from Wednesday's Crossfire between Tucker Carlson, Paul Begala and Rev. Al Sharpton (the opening DLC stuff I just threw in for good measure): CARLSON: The Democratic Leadership Council two days ago described the lurch to the left of the party. Senator Evan Bayh said the party is in the thrall of left-wingers like you and that the end result is, quote, "assisted suicide." Are you the Jack Kevorkian of your party? [...] SHARPTON: Well, first of all, my party does not control the House, the Senate or the White House. So it is very difficult for someone laying in the funeral home to talk about assisted suicide. All we can talk about is a resurrection. And I think that I'm the candidate in this race that can talk about that. BEGALA: Let me ask

audio: NPR Marketplace (7/30/03)

Howard Dean: The Net’s best fundraiser? Most campaigns have a Web presence and many are hoping that cyberspace will turn into a fundraising goldmine. Democratic presidential nominee Howard Dean knows this well, as he has used the Net successfully for his campaigning. Thanks to the Web, Dean emerged as the leading Democratic fundraiser for the last quarter. So, what’s Dean doing that’s working so well? Some say that’s partly because he has put some established Internet marketing tactics to very effective use, like mass-e-mailing. The campaign also makes aggressive use of viral marketing, the strategy of asking subscribers to forward online messages to friends and family. Dean has about 130,000 subscribers to his Web site -- and 59,000 donated money. Now, other campaigns are using some of Dean’s tactics. But it’s hard to match Dean’s success in that arena. Reporter: Kim Masters

Really On the Road with Howard Dean

This is a follow up to Scott's earlier post . To quote reader cricket, who said in response to the original Suellentrop article, "My jaw dropped when I read this." Maybe there's something in the air on the McBus, but it seems like we might have a full-blown convert. Sure, the article drips with the usual snark and sarcasm, but it's funny . And the big plus is that it reflects the fact that not only is Dean able to work with the press, he's capable of charming them: At this point in the trip, I’m in the midst of a full-fledged Dean swoon. Sure, I think he’s pandering on ethanol, his claim that he’s going to bring in 3 million to 4 million new voters to win the election sounds far-fetched, and his idea to raise $100 each from 1 million voters sounds perilously close to Orrin Hatch’s “skinny cat” flop from four years ago. But I like him anyway. Barring an implosion like the one McCain had when he attacked Pat Robertson in Virginia Beach, I think Dean has a

Kerry Slams Dean And Thinks We'll Sit Idly By?

John Kerry is sniping at Dean over Dean's promise to repeal the tax cut in order to get health care and an economic plan into place. But Kerry's attacks won't work. Click the link above to find out why.

cheap-labor conservatives

When it comes to the issues, Democrats win. Part of the reason that the Republicans have so much power is because they have successfully managed to poison the well of policy debate, painting dissent as treason, equating critics with terrorists, lumping progressive social policy in with socialism and Stalin, etc. This ongoing verbal tirade amounts to a perpetual character assasination of "liberals" - a term that is defined by their own usage as "people who disagree with the Republican Party" [1] But let us embrace the term liberal, as Dean has done - I think of a liberal as someone who desires a dialouge-driven social policy, whose ultimate purpose is to liberate the human potential of each individual and enable them to contribute back to society. Only through a healthy debate can the best ideas be encouraged to propser and find their way into policy, and above all shunning ideology. Republicans know that such a dialouge is an anathema to their ideology, and have

Bush press conference at 10:30 EST

Watch it on C-SPAN. Post comments here.

Open Thread

Have at it, Deanyboppers.

NY Times profile

I think Diane at Dean Defense Forces is a bit too defensive in her take on the Times' generally fair look at Dean. I urge you to read the whole thing. Just one excerpt: Isn't he too liberal to get elected? "If being a liberal means a balanced budget, I'm a liberal," Dr. Dean said, delighted at the opening. "If being a liberal means adding jobs instead of subtracting them, then, please, call me a liberal." "I don't care what label you put on me," he finished, "as long as you call me Mr. President!" Also see the letters in today's Times , which all take the DLC to task on its criticism of Dean. One says The popularity of Howard Dean is not a coup but proof of how overwhelmingly his positions resonate with Democratic voters.

On the Road With...Dean?

Be Like Dean! John Kerry's voters ask their candidate to act like the other guy. By Chris Suellentrop, MSNBC & Slate DES MOINES, Iowa, July 29 — When I arrive at John Kerry's campaign headquarters Saturday afternoon for a "Kerry Country BBQ," the candidate's staff is buzzing about a tall young blond man who has arrived for the event. They want to prevent him from getting anywhere close to the candidate. Before I came to Iowa, I was conditioned to think of Howard Dean as the unpredictably exciting, insurgent candidate and to think of Kerry as the aloof, preprogrammed establishment contender. This is my first taste of what the differences look like up close. What's all the fuss about the blond guy? I ask Kerry's Iowa press secretary, Laura Capps. "He takes pictures of himself with the candidates and posts nasty comments about them," she says. I’m not sure, but this may be a historic moment for the Iowa caucuses: The Kerry campaign i

Base Anger

The conservative Weekly Standard sees a real threat from Dean - and recognizes the symbolism of the fundraising model of the campaign, as tapping into the real roots of the Democratic party: But these itty-bitty donations have a symbolic value, too. The Democratic party is a wishbone of proletarian sloganeering and plutocratic direction that, when snapped, always leaves one side disillusioned. Racial and lifestyle minorities provide the electoral ballast for the party, true. But outside of those categories, the Democrats are the party of America's crème de la crème--not just the "cultural elite," as Dan Quayle put it, but the elite, period. Overwhelming evidence for this came in the form of a June study by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. It found that Republicans outraise Democrats by 63 percent to 37 percent among penny-ante donors--those who give under $200. The GOP retains that advantage at all levels up to $100,000, although it steadily narrows a

Sidebar update

It's been a while since we've updated the links on the sidebar. Some of you have added URLs, moved, or created new Dean sites. While I realise there is a comment string on the side for sidebar updates, I'm a bit pressed for time right now and I can't go through and check the veracity of all the links. Can everyone please check your respective state links and leave a comment here if you need a correction or addition? I know of two or three that we need to update for sure, but I want to make sure we can cover this in one fell swoop. Please leave a comment now if you need your site updated on the sidebar. Thanks!

Dean Tackles Bush, Economy

Dean is beginning to hit his stride on the economy. For those wondering if Dean has a second act, my guess is that the economy will be "exhibit A" in a new burst into the public consciousness, and a mainstreaming of his message. A sampling: 'In his remarks, Dean assailed Bush and his economic plan. The president, in addressing the National Urban League Monday, had touted his policies, including tax cuts, for providing greater opportunity for Americans. "Never has a president talked so much about jobs while doing so much to destroy them," Dean said.'

The Dean of Surprises

Brian McGrory writes in today's Boston Globe that Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is not what he expected... and he clearly is not going away: 'What I found was the candidate standing amid a couple of hundred fascinated people inside Elliot Hospital, taking questions that centered not on Iraq, but on health care. With national reporters ringing the room, Dean spoke off-the-cuff in a way that few politicians do anymore. To be sure, there's little of the backslapping and two-fisted handshaking that send the message that he deeply cares. Nobody's ever going to mistake him for Jerry Seinfeld or, for that matter, Bill Clinton, especially when an elderly man called out, ''Can I ask one more question?'' Dean said, ''No, I want to give others some time.'' Then he turned away. Later, sitting back at his state campaign headquarters, Dean seemed more relaxed. There was no blood on his lips. When asked whether he worried that his candidacy might be

Dean and immigration

The Pat Buchanan-led "paleo-conservative" crowd, which has been anti-Iraq-war for strictly isolationist reasons, writes in the American Conservative that they would go for Howard Dean if he was anti-immigration . The strangeness of this is lessened when you realize that they see Dean as a "Rockefeller Republican" in disguise (and that the neo-conservative foreign policy of the Bush Admnistration is very much against the grain of classic conservative thought). The essence of their argument is that Dean can get the "poor white vote" to help him against Bush in the general election: As George Borjas and other immigration economists have argued, while some immigrants do benefit the overall economy, a large coterie of low-skilled workers has costs, and those costs are borne disproportionately by less-skilled and lower-paid American workers. If you are the sort of person who wishes to hire someone cheap to clean your pool, you are probably someone who benef

Dean's Army

Billmon has a long post about why the Dean Team matters, in teh context of the Emerging Democratic Majority theme (whose autors paradoxically seem to be against Dean). It's a fascinating post and does a fantastic job of tying these two things together into a big picture.

WE DID IT!!! Final Total: $508,540.31

WOW. This from grassroots guru Joe Trippi's O-blog thank you: From Robert's first questioning if Burlington had gotten timid, to the suggestion that Governor Dean enjoy a sandwich while blogging today, the Dean Team vs Bush-Cheney fundraising challenge has been an amazing demonstration of how a Presidential campaign can interact with the grassroots -- and how individuals who believe in each other and work in common purpose can make a difference. The bat is a symbol of what can happen when power is placed where it rightly belongs, in the hands of the people. A few days ago the bat was placed in your hands, and 9,568 Dean supporters responded with over $507,150.31 in contributions to Dean for America. PS: The Governor said it was the best sandwich he ever had.

phase II: Coverage of the National Urban League convention

Early reports are beginning to trickle in from the National Urban League convention, in which Bush and the Democratic contenders shared a stage for the first time. By most accounts, the contenders got in some real good jabs at Bush's policies, and Bush received a polite yet tepid response from the crowd. Here's what we've got so far. WaPo covers the event, noting that Bush emphasised his faith-based initiatives. Yet the article also pointedly mentions that this is only the second time in nearly two years that Bush has appeared before a large African-American group. As for the contenders, files this report , noting that Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Bob Graham of Florida were no-shows. They mention that Dean got a standing ovation from the crowd when he said, "There are lots of white politicians who go before black groups and talk about race. We need white politicians who go before white groups and talk about race." The AP wire stor

Dean's $3-a-plate Turkey Sandwich Luncheon

Democratic Presidential Candidate Howard Dean enjoys his $3-a-plate turkey lunch with now close to 10,000 supporters, raising an astonishing $482,000 just a few bucks at a time, nearly doubling Dick Cheney's efforts at a South Carolina luncheon with a mere handful of special interest donors. Great job, everyone, but come on, let's do our best to make it a cool half-a-million bucks, eh? That'll show 'em! Woohoo!

Dean Leads Kerry in New Hampshire!

The Boston Herald has conducted its own poll in New Hampshire - ostensibly gauging support for a Hillary Clinton run against the rest of the field. Two things immediately jump out in this poll. First, Dean runs second only to Hillary (and she doesn't take much from his support, only from others in the field). Second, Dean leads Kerry head to head by 28% to 25%. Clearly this remains well within the margin of error, but this supports the other polling data posted earlier today. Good news for the Dean team. An excerpt: "The race now tied between Dean and Kerry would quickly become a Dean-Clinton standoff, with Clinton picked by 27 percent of voters and Dean by 23 percent in the poll. Kerry would fall to a second tier at 16 percent and all other candidates would be relegated to single digits. But Dean's support among independent- and reform-minded voters seems intact with or without Clinton in the running. ``She doesn't eat into Dean's lead at all,''

Dean Defense Forces Growing, itself in the middle of a rebuilding, is becoming a better site all the time. We now have Randy Mayeux kicking some ... well ... something. We've got other new bloggers. We're going to be adding more to the site soon as well. Keep your eyes peeled, and, if you're ever looking for ways to help the Doctor, our site should be able to keep you active.

Georgy's Shameless Play, or, Blush Light

What do sexy underwear, Howard Dean and Gray Davis have in common? Well, in a shameless play to the Dean base, Georgy Russell, who's running on the recall ballot to replace the California governor, asks us to vote for our favorite underdog, with Howard Dean prominent among them -- along side Harry Truman! You can also buy Georgy's thong underwear and other merchandise. But instead, vote for Howard Dean, check out Georgy's blog and don't forget to come on back here and give a little to help Dean defeat Cheney/Bush! Maybe you're shameless, Georgy, but you got spunk! UPDATE: Lior Abraham, Georgy's campaign manager, sends me this e-mail regarding this post: "Thanks for the heads up. We were actually about to change the poll anyway, but maybe we'll hold off and let the Dean base have some fun." Thanks, Lior! So Dean Nationals, get to voting. We are currently leading Georgy herself by a small margin, and the fun can't last forever....

Untitled Memoir by Howard Dean

Having some fun on today I came across this interesting book that Amazon states "has not yet been released. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives." Doctor Dean's untitled book is currently ranked 63,505 on I think we should all pre-order a copy and see if we can't get that sales ranking up a bit. According to the book is slated for release in November of 2003. :: CLICK HERE for MORE INFORMATION

New Hampshire poll: Dean still trending upwards

AMR released their latest New Hampshire field poll last week. AMR has traditionally undersampled independents, but this time around they're broken down the numbers for us. Here's a quick summary of the latest NH numbers: If the race were held today.... Kerry 25% (-3), Dean 19% (+1) , Gephar d t 10% (+/-0) *the rest of the contenders are in single digits, but note that undecided voters are up to 30% (+7) Other notable Dean numbers: - Name recognition is up to 97% (+12), favorability is up to 57% (+11), and unfavorable is still low at 10% (+1) The poll concludes with this summary: Of the 30% of likely Democratic primary voters undecided in their preference for president, 42% have a favorable opinion of Dean, and 45% have a favorable opinion of Kerry. Of the 25% of likely Democratic primary voters saying they would vote for Kerry, 83% have a favorable opinion of Dean. Of the 19% of likely Democratic primary voters saying they would vote for Dean, 67% have a favor

phase II: a message of optimism and hope

CNN has a nice bit about the Iowa Dean Corps today, who have been volunteering at food banks and soup kitchens across Iowa. While the idea of volunteerism is nothing new, columnist Mark Sheilds (of CNN's Capital Gang) nails it when he says that the underlying message of this work is optimism and hope: The Dean Corps has already been involved in environmental cleanups, which given the popular image of the Vermonter's following, is not surprising. But if a presidential campaign actually does perform valuable human and social service and helps to restore a fraying sense of community, that could potentially change the entire dynamic of the caucus turnout next January 19. Imagine the profound contrast between the Dean campaign volunteers feeding the hungry and comforting the lonely with the Bush pioneer/rangers corralling their $200 million swag for a primary in which the president is unopposed. It's called the Great American Restoration , and Dean outlined this the

All Things Considered looks at DFA fundraising

today on NPR's All Things Considered: Participation in the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean is just a click away. On Dean's Web site, one can donate money, volunteer, or chat with other supporters. The candidate's staff believes its use of the Internet foreshadows a sea change in politics, but can it elect a candidate?

Dean Nation vs. Cheney-Bush

THE BAT IS BACK! Over the weekend, the campaign raised $250,000 to match Cheney-Bush's planned fundraising goal for today, Monday July 28th (at a luncheon in South Carolina). That's 4,818 regular Americans vs 125 elite special interests. And it epitomizes what this campaign is about. But the campaign isn't resting on its laurels having matched Cheney-Bush (over a slow weekend!). Now they have added a SECOND bat - and here's what it's for: You'll notice the second bat doesn't have a goal. It will be up to you and thousands of other Americans to fill that bat up to whatever amount you can by midnight, tomorrow. We've matched the Bush-Cheney fundraising machine. Tomorrow, let's see by how much we can surpass them. And wait til you see what we plan on doing with the additional money you help raise tomorrow. It's top secret , but we can tell you this-- it will surprise everyone. my speculation: the South Carolina primary is the pr

DN's "Backbone" Award: Senator Durbin & Ambassador Wilson

What a week to try and choose winners of Dean Nation's second "Backbone" Award. See comments in this post for all the nominees, some of whom will no doubt be future recipients. But for this week, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ambassador Joe Wilson rise above the rest. They are telling difficult truths and asking hard questions -- all while enduring scathing and sometimes dangerous smear campaigns -- yet they continue to exhibit an amazing amount of Backbone. Is there any doubt left that Howard Dean is a leader in this welcome trend of fighting the agenda of the Radical Right? Here's Durbin on WsMD and "sixteen words" from ABC News: "We've been asking the wrong question. We've been asking, why did George Tenet not stop the White House from misleading the American people? The more important question is, who is it in the White House who was hell-bent on misleading the American people and why are they still there?" And here is Wilson f

It's the message, stupid

Via the O-blog this great WaPo piece on internet and traditional organizing -- and our own grassroots guru, Joe Trippi: Trippi seems an unlikely person to help lead the Internet revolution in politics, a rumpled and sometimes controversial personality who broke into national politics doing the gritty and old-fashioned work of organizing. [...] Trippi is nothing if not confident. "The mistake others make is to say it's all Internet-driven," he said. "It's not all Internet. We're using the Internet as a tool for organizing. . . . It's [Dean] and his message that makes all this possible."

Unreliable Sources

Howie Kurtz is writing about the DDF, and we have some thoughts on it.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr (D-NJ) endorses Gov Dean

We've got another congressional endorsement to report! This time it's New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. Also, one of Pallone's former top aides, Mike Beson, is acting as Dean's state coordinator in New Jersey. "I came to this kind of slowly, obviously Mike Beson had a lot of input, but the bottom line is Howard Dean is the best candidate for Democrats," Pallone said at a Statehouse news conference. "I think he can win, I think he can win the Democratic nomination and I think he can beat Bush." So do we, Rep. Pallone. Can anyone from New Jersey provide some background on Rep. Pallone so that we can put this endorsement in perspective?

"Backbone" Nominations

Last week it was Pelosi, Rangel and the House Dems (you'll have to scroll down, the archive link is broken). After promising the Republicans' a "week from hell" Pelosi and the Dems forced GOP leaders to force Bill Thomas to apologize or face losing his leadership spot. Thomas, never humble, was hobbled and practically groveling. Nice job, eh? It's time for nominations. Who had "back" this week? Who didn't? Does anyone deserve the award? And who should get a Fruitcake Rebellion (TM) fruitcake? Winners (and losers) posted by Sunday.

3 Flavors of "Unelectability"

Al From and Bruce Reed, executive directors of the Democratic Leadership Council, argue that Dean is unelectable because he's a far out liberal out of touch with mainstream America. This is simply untrue. Clinton recently pointed out that as Vermont governor, Dean was very much a centrist, and a fair assessment of his record and positions would put him somewhere around where Clinton was in 1992. So what are From and Reed really thinking? Part of it may be that they just have already committed themselves elsewhere: From is an advisor to Lieberman, and Reed is advising Edwards. A more generous evaluation is that they sincerely believe that Dean is unelectable because he opposed the war. What I think must be their true view was expressed recently by Jonathan Chait in the New Republic: The main problem for Dean is not that the public is so supportive of the war in Iraq specifically but, rather, that it abhors any politician who smacks of weakness against foreign enemies generally.

Congress Takes Aim at Patriot Act

Dean says, "I would remove the parts of the Patriot Act that are clearly unconstitutional." Jonathan Chait of the New Republic writes Combined with his antiwar stance, Dean's opposition to the Patriot Act could be politically lethal in a general election. For years, Republicans painted Democrats as civil-libertarian purists unconcerned with fighting crime. ....Whatever the merits of Dean's absolutist position, from a pragmatic standpoint he is once again walking into a GOP attack ad while flaying his opponents for failing to do the same. Meanwhile, In a huge victory, the House voted on Tuesday evening -- by an extraordinary margin -- for an amendment to this year's Commerce, Justice and State funding bill that would bar federal law enforcement agencies from implementing "sneak and peek" search warrants. In one of its most controversial provisions, the USA PATRIOT Act allowed government agents to execute so-called sneak and peek warrants and search hom

Dean on the War

From an interview by Baltimore Sun columnist Jules Witcover: "The premise on which the country went to war turned out not to have been true," he says. "Saddam Hussein was never a danger to the United States. We're in more danger now than we were before the president went into Iraq." .... "The job of president means you have to really make tough decisions and clear-eyed decisions. So I think the four guys who supported the war have got some explaining to do, because they basically swallowed all the evidence that the president was dishing them up, the major proportion of which turned out to be exaggerated or simply not true." Mr. Lieberman, who was in support of the invasion from the start, may have an easier task defending himself, Mr. Dean says, but "the guys who sort of backed into it [support of the war], 'On the one hand I only did it to send it to the United Nations,' that kind of stuff, or they denounced the president while the

Report on Dean Corps in Iowa: Dean Campaign More Than Politics as Usual

Another great thing about the Dean campaign is its willingness to engage in the unconventional. Most campaigns are simply about increasing name recognition and finding new contributors. The Dean team is smart to focus on getting local volunteers plugged into community activities - not only will this generate goodwill for Dean, but it will multiply his base of support, as Dean Corps members introduce themselves to individuals at the local level. A great use of grassroots support! Bush's failure to engage citizens in community activities in the post-9/11 world, only underscores the difference between the two candidates. Dean's effort here should serve him well. ** FYI, I've been in Mexico the last six weeks, and now relocated in Montpelier, VT. Sorry to have been out of touch!

audio: Dean on VPR

Dean on Switchboard (VPR) Bob Kinzel hosts the show from Ottumwa, Iowa in this special simulcast on Vermont Public Radio and Iowa Public Radio. Dean will discuss his campaign so far and take questions from listeners and from a studio audience of undecided Iowa voters. (bonus link: previous archive of VPR coverage of Dean's campaign )

Life of the party?

A generally pro-Dean piece in Salon - if you aren't a Salon subscriber, you'll have to sit through a 30 sec commercial to access it though. The general theme is taking on the Dean = McGovern by showing how Dean actually is an embodiment of the real soul of the Party. And it starts out by quoting McGovern himself: the most important thing McGovern can see about the upcoming presidential contest of 2004 is that it is not taking place in 1972, and that he is not running in it. Certainly, McGovern can see some resemblance between himself and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. They're both from sparsely populated, rural states. They both entered their respective races early, and became heavily reliant on volunteers and grass-roots mobilizing. That aside, though, "I think it's difficult to draw a close comparison," says McGovern. "There's no transcendent issue now that he's identified with," says McGovern, who met Dean and some of the other

Open Thread

As a conversation starter, check out this new National prez pref poll and accompanying analysis at Daily Kos. Consider the floor yours. Now get to dancin' okay?

Kurtz on Crowley on Kerry on Dean on Woodruff

The The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, remarking on TNR Primary writer Michael Crowley's musings on Kerry, and Kerry's (I think quite sneaky and dishonest) attack on Howard Dean from yesterday's Inside Politics: "People who talk about Kerry's ability to connect with voters typically focus on his 'aloofness' and patrician bearings. But Kerry's most off-putting quality may be his tedious long-windedness. The man desperately needs an editor lobe in his brain. When Kerry finally announced his position on Iraq last fall, for instance, he did so with a 45-minute Senate-floor sermon that threw off other senators' time slots. But the problem isn't just his big speeches; Kerry's television interviews are just as bad. Take, for example, his appearance on CNN's 'Inside Politics' yesterday. When the show's host, Judy Woodruff, asked him about the Howard Dean surge, Kerry rambled for what felt like three minutes." We'

Weicker Endorsement

From the Dean Campaign: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 24, 2003 Lowell Weicker Endorses Howard Dean for America Original Co-Sponsor of the American with Disabilities Act lauds Dean's leadership, courage IOWA CITY-Former Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker, Jr. announced today his endorsement of Governor Howard Dean, M.D, for president of the United States. Weicker, who is best known for his political independence and his sponsorship of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), said that he was attracted to Dean because of the former Vermont governor's common-sense and forthright agenda. "I'm endorsing Governor Dean today because he, more than all the other candidates, speaks to the issues that I care about-health care, civil rights, fiscal responsibility and most of all, a government that is truthful with the American people," said Mr. Weicker, who spoke with Dean via conference call this afternoon. "I firmly believe that Dr. Dean has his

Jonathan vs. Jonathan

The two guys who wrote the pro- and anti- Dean articles in the New Republic are now having an online back-and-forth about Dean. I think Jonathan the Good defends himself quite well and gets the better of his opponent. I like his posting here more than the original article. He also cites our blog for discussion of why Dean is not McGovern. Read it all! Then go over to Dean Defense Forces for info on how to e-mail the the New Republic a letter with your thoughts.

Carville on the "Big Message" for 2004

James Carville gave a speech in San Francisco recently to the American Trial Lawyers Association in which he identified what he predicts the “big issue” should be in the 2004 election. Carville was the Clinton strategist who developed the “it’s the economy, stupid” theme of the 1992 presidential campaign which led to the defeat of the first President Bush. While Iraq will not be the focus of the election, it should be mentioned: On Iraq, Carville said Democrats "should not exaggerate the facts," but merely state and restate them. "They lied to get us in. They don't know how to get us out," he said. "How did they not know the country wasn't divided? How do you commit 150,000 troops with no plan to get out? All we have to do is remind people of that." For the Democrats to have a chance to beat George W. Bush in 2004, they need a big issue to bring to voters. The article on that covers the speech reports Carville saying it is not go

Talk Back, Baby

Are you a Dean supporter? Are you A Dean Critic? Want your thoughts heard? I have questions for you. E-mail me at Points West

phase II: Steve Grossman and Howard Dean

Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees. ;^) After throwing out a blanket solicitation to Trippi to help explain Howard Dean's ties with AIPAC via Steve Grossman, one of our readers (DavidNYC) came through. He leaves this link and it says: During his four years as AIPAC's president, Grossman remained on excellent terms with both Clinton and Rabin. In 1993, after Rabin signed the Oslo peace accords and shook hands with Yasir Arafat in the White House Rose Garden, Grossman coaxed from his board a unanimous declaration of support. Grossman is the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, and his father was both an entrepreneur and a Boston political activist. Steve has a long history of being politically active and aligned with the power players in the Democratic Party. The Boston Phoenix's bio includes this gem: It was after business school, in 1970, that Grossman had a "political epiphany" about the power of grassroots activism. The occasion was

Internal campaign donations

This is an interesting little article that initially focuses on Edwards, but then goes on to examine all the campaigns, in seeing how much money they raised was from donations by campaign staff (and the candidates themselves). The Dean campaign is no exception, though most of its donations to itself were nowehere near the deadlines and thus clearly not intended to beef up the Q3 reporting: Five senior Dean for America staffers gave to the campaign on June 30, though three of them gave less than $300 each, and one of them, longtime Dean adviser Tom McMahon, gave $500. Most internal donations to the Dean campaign seemed to have been geared toward keeping the campaign afloat during Dean's stint in the cash-poor wilderness last winter . Fund-raiser Steve Grossman donated $1,000 last December and another $1,000 in January, while campaign manager Joe Trippi gave $250 in January and $1,999 on March 20, putting him $249 over the legal limit, according to FEC records. Trippi says the f

Gang Green

Michael Tomasky takes on Ralph Nader and those Greens who are, as he puts it, "left-wing lions of ideological chastity." In addition to making the best summarized case of why it's self-interest defeating for Green party members to actually vote Green in 2004, he makes a suggestion that's audacious beyond words - that to counter the threat of Nader and a Green candidate for President in 2004, the Democrats need to attack Nader - ferociously, and immediately: Attack Nader right now, and with lupine ferocity. Say he's a madman for thinking of running again. Blast him especially hard on foreign policy, saying that if it were up to the Greens, America would give no aid to Israel and it would cease to exist, and if it were up to the Greens, America would not have even defended itself against a barbarous attack by going into Afghanistan. Have at him, and hard, from the right. Then nail him from the left on certain social issues, on abortion rights and other things tha

Howard Dean and Saving the Net

This is an astounding editorial by Doc Searls, the editor of Linux Journal. Searls ties together the FCC consolidation rulings, the real reason why broadband is still not widespread, the real reason we lost the Eldred vs Ashcroft case , and even throws in commentary about the different attitudes of liberals and conservatives and how this shapes the ongoing struggle to save the Internet. At the end, Searls invokes Howard Dean - and points us in the same direction as Lessig did a few days ago. (I'm not going to excerpt - the whole thing is essential reading). The discussion thread on Slashdot is buzzing - and Howard Dean is mentioned repeatedly (including calls for an interview ). I don't know if the campaign realizes just how attuned the Slashdot demographic is towards Dean right now - as Searls points out, Dean's campaign use of the Internet is exactly the kind of nascent innovation that poses a real threat to those who oppose the user-centric ideals that the Internet

Weicker to Endorse Dean

Dean for American announced today that former Republican senator and Independent governor Lowell P. Weicker of Connecticut will be endorsing Gov. Howard Dean for president. As a senator, Weicker was an original sponsor of the Americans with Disablities Act and was known as a Nixon critic during the Watergate scandal. As Connecticut's governor, Weicker instituted the state's income tax despite extreme opposition to the measure. Weicker lost his senate seat to Sen. Joseph Lieberman. He founded A Connecticut Party and was elected governor on that ticket. He was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate for the reform party in both 2000 and 1996.

Hilights from Trippi on Thom Hartmann show

Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi offered some real gems during his interview with Vermont talk-show host Thom Hartmann. The question and answer session last an hour and twenty minutes. Here are some hilights: * Dean supports Instant Runoff Voting. When asked about IRV, Trippi joked, "IRV is easy - Dean supports it. We wish moveon would have done it." * Regarding the Republicans slashing veterans benefits: "We believe you've gotta keep your committment to the veterans of this country. These people fought and died for our freedom and you've gotta support them." * On the dumbing down of political discussion in America: "The vocabulary of our politics has become totally meaningless." * On Dean and the national media that promotes the stupid "McGovern" and "wild-eyed liberal" memes: "Part of what's going on there is when you have five different campaigns who all go drinking every night with the press peopl

Boston Globe profiles the political blogosphere; focuses on Dean in Kerry's backyard

Lots of pro-Dean bloggers are featured in this article which ran on the front page of today's Boston Globe. You'll see some familiar names and some familiar themes, and Globe reporter Joanna Weiss does a good job of summing up how blogs are influencing politics out in the real world. She also mentions that the other candidates haven't been as quick to embrace the power of blogs. One thing I remember mentioning to her is that I think there's still room for the other candidates to build a community of online supporters. Witness John Kerry, who's finally gotten hip to meetup and now has over 7500 supporters signed on. Also, Wesley Clark supporters are getting a good response over at . However, I also feel that they're facing an uphill climb and a learning curve. If the rest of the contenders don't jump in the water soon, they might miss the boat. Do you think there's room for more candidates in the blogosphere? If so, is it poss

Listen to Trippi online at Noon EST Today

Alert reader Larry Patterson sends a heads-up. Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi will appear on the Thom Hartmann radio show today at noon EST, 11 CST, 10am Mountain, and 9am Pacific. Listen live at , on a radio station near you, or on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 145. Call 1-800-Talk-Yes to be on the air. Hartmann's show is billed as "Uncommon Sense From the Radical Middle", and it should be good. Tune in if you can.

Wesley Clark

This is the follow-up to yesterday's post on the ramifications of a Biden candidacy. I've taken what's below from the middle of my post so that what's on here is Dean-centric. Enjoy. Clark's likelihood of entering the race is inversely proportional to Dean's likelihood of winning it. Clark is looking at the same base, the same grassroots activists, and the same campaign as Dean - he needs people dissatisfied with Bush and with the "traditional" Democratic establishment. People who are loyal to Democratic politicians are going with Kerry, Gephardt, Lieberman, etc. People loyal to Democratic ideals and tired of our politicians are going with Dean. If Dean is looking weak as September rolls around (a situation that looks increasingly unlikely), Clark is more likely to get in. More of Dean's base will be nervous that they're backing the wrong horse and he has less of a chance of being picked as VP by Kerry or Gephardt. If Dean is strong,