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Friday, July 18, 2003


The Daily Show and phase II

posted by annatopia at Friday, July 18, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
In case you missed it Wednesday night, the Daily Show "reported" on the NAACP convention. As the video isn't yet listed in their archives, here's the transcript:

Jon Stewart: But we begin tonight with the 2004 Presidential election and our periodic coverage of the Democratic candidates: Race From the White House. (Mfume clip from convention begins, with Stewart providing voice over) NAACP President Kweisi Mfume was not so happy this week after three of the nine candidates failed to show up for the organisation's annual convention (note - this was broadcast before the other candidates apologised and showed up - Anna). Mfume railed against no shows Joseph Lieberman, Richard Gephart, and Dennis Kucinich.
(video)Kweisi Mfume: If you expect us to believe that you could not find ninety minutes to come by and address the issues affecting our nation then you have no legitimacy over the next nine months coming into our communities and expecting our votes.
Stewart (graphic of Gephart appears): In response, a nervous Congressman Gephart said, "We have to go into your communities?" Represenative Gephart claimed the convention - which was held in Miami Beach - conflicted with a family engagement. (graphic of Kucinich appears) Congressman Kucinich was in Washington voting on a health care bill, and Senator Lieberman (graphic of Lieberman appears), well, he tries to avoid Miami Beach all together. Um, too many retired relatives to visit.
Stewart: Ironically the organisation's annual lawmaker report cards have previously given all three absentees top marks for their actual voting records. But those records have now been tarnished, because apparently at the NAACP, 80% of your grade is based on attendance. The candidates who did show up took the opportunity to establish a little street cred with the crowd. (Sharpton graphic appears) Reverend Al Sharpton announced that he was the only candidate who had ever been incarcerated. This is true. (Kerry graphic appears) Then Senator John Jerry countered that he too had spent a night in hail in the seventies after a Vietnam war protest. At that point, not to be left out, Florida Senator Bob Graham whipped off his shirt and displayed this tat. (photoshopped graphic of Graham appears. he's pulled up his shirt and there's a tattoo across his belly reading "thug life') The attempt to court the black vote made Graham the first candidate in history to be escorted from the stage by the Sand Man. (Dean graphic appears) Former Vermont governor Howard Dean was also in attendance. He drew applause for attacking President Bush's tax cuts and his progressive record of fighting for African-Americans, or as they're known in Vermont, "Neil". (graphic of a clean-cut black man in a suit appears)

The Daily Show is right; Vermont doesn't have too many large communities of color (not to say there are none, for there is a large native American population), and few blacks. So right now it's very important for Howard Dean to show up.

As a doctor, he's trained to listen and formulate the most sound diagnosis of a problem. Listening tours - as they're sometimes called - are a critical part of phase two. You have to reach out to all of the traditional voting blocks that haven't been involved in phase one, sincerly listen to their concerns, and then work with them to formulate solutions. They are going to know more about the problems in their communities and how to solve them than anyone else, so it's important to listen to their voices and heed their advice. It's not about pandering, it's about that big-tent philosophy that democrats have always held dear.

Sorta off topic, I know that everyone reading this blog doesn't have cable, so I went through TDS's online video archives. If you get the chance, check out TDS's coverage of the race so far. They have a great sense of humor, and I think they've been fairly kind to our candidate. Perhaps it's time to renew the call and try and get him on the show? If you want to, here's their contact form.


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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.