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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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Thursday, July 31, 2003


Sharpton's Not-So-Psychic Network

posted by Trammell at Thursday, July 31, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
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 you about that, then. The criticism not only on the right, on the liberal side of the part it seems to me, Governor Dean, Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, seems to have all of the energy. He is surging and you're not. Why is that?

SHARPTON: Well, according to how you look. If you look at any of the polls, I've been just about tied with Dean. So how is he surging and I'm not, unless it is a misconstrued reading? And I didn't raise $7 million to get where I am in the polls.

BEGALA: Well, that's the question. He is surging. He's way ahead of you now.

SHARPTON: I don't know. I think that if you look at the fact that in most polls we're four or five. The people that are behind me, at least three or four people don't think we're not doing well. And I think when you look at the fact we're just starting to raise money. Imagine what we're going to do later. The question becomes not who is the flavor of the month. You know, a couple of months ago it was Edwards and now it's Dean.

The question is where we will be when the primaries start in January. And one of the things that I've learned from my experience in politics is that you must have a strategy and a plan. And one is them that you shouldn't do in August what you hope to be doing in December going into January. Peaking early does not lead to good...
...what? Begala cut him off. But regardless, here is the truth. We haven't peaked too early. In fact, we haven't peaked at all. This campaign is not even close to where we are hoping to be in December, or January for that matter. We have come many miles, and we have many, many more to go. As an example, Dean was virtually uknown in California this January. Now we are in the lead. Is 16% good enough? Of course not. To combine two appropo cliches: We've only just begun, and baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet!


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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.