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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, January 20, 2004


The $200 Million Question

posted by Dana at Tuesday, January 20, 2004 permalink View blog reactions

There is one issue Democrats must face in New Hampshire this week.

How are you going to compete with the $200 million George W. Bush will have to tear you down on TV this summer?

General Clark, Senator Edwards, and Senator Lieberman have no plan. They took the matching funds and, when their $45 million is spent, they will go under virtual house arrest, as Bob Dole did in 1996 and as Al Gore in 2000. Remember, Bush didn’t take the matching funds last time either, Gore did, so Gore ran out of money long before his convention.

How much different the world would be today if he could have fought back. Howard Dean will fight back.

And before you say Senator Kerry, he stayed in the game by mortgaging his house, which is a trick you can only do once.

The world knows the Dean plan. Howard Dean did not build this campaign to win in Iowa in January. He built it to win nationwide in November. Howard Dean has a strategy, of getting 2 million people to contribute $100 each. Howard Dean has an infrastructure, he has the technology and the people to go toe-to-toe with George W. Bush all summer. Howard Dean has a platform, one that hearkens not to the divisions of the recent past but to our founding documents.

On the issues there really are few differences among the Democratic candidates in New Hampshire. On substantive issues there is general agreement. Even thematically, Governor Dean is easy to copy.

But if your campaign can’t answer the $200 million question, it can’t win. George W. Bush will win in a walk unless the Democratic nominee comes up with a $200 million answer.

Howard Dean has that answer. Has Wesley Clark? Has John Edwards? Has Joe Lieberman? Has John F. Kerry?

They haven’t. And that needs to be the issue we hammer home all this week. What Democrats want from a candidate, more than anything else, is victory. This is the only campaign with a strategy for giving it to them.


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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.