Showing posts from February, 2004

Howard Dean's Statement

Via the O-blog, the 5-time elected former Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, responds to the seemingly engineered Howie Kurtz article from the Washington Post . Rather than go through the various points in the article I think it's important that those interested read this one closely. It's a good lesson in the media-source relationship and how one hand washes the other. In this case I hope they all had a lot of soap. Howard Dean has respectfully answered some of his supporters questions: A Message from Howard Dean The quotes attributed to me by others in Howard Kurtz's gossipy rendition of the divisions in the Dean for America campaign are entirely false, as is the description of my reaction after losing the Iowa caucuses, before the famous speech. The danger of using unattributed sources as Kurtz and so many others do, is that the veracity of the informants can not be evaluated. In this case Kurtz included a significant amount of material which was not true, and

Dean on the Slab

CSI: Campaign Scene Investigation. Via Kos and Kurtz, there's a little something here to make any Deaniac wanna rip out their fingernails.

The Delegate Campaign

John Pettitt, one of the CFA core group , sharpens Joe Trippi's earlier argument about the supposed futility of the Dean Delegate campaign. Unlike Trippi who explicitly said he isn't discouraging the delegate campaign, Pettitt argues it's an absurd waste of time : Trying to get more Dean delegates is a waste of effort. Partly because of the 15% issue (he'll be lucky to get 15% in any district) and more importantly because even if he does get more delegates it won't change anything . The convention doesn't decide anything important any more (apart from the nomination) and having additional delegates for a candidate who has dropped out of the race won't make a real difference. where I disagree with John (and, it seems, with the general concensus over at CFA) is in the bold part above. Delegates for Dean WILL change politics, because delegates are the only currency of influence we have. John Kerry is the presumptive nominee. Edwards is running at a

Dean Grassroots unity

The following message is courtesy of Randy Foote in LA: I believe that our primary task should be to hold together the Dean supporters during the time that Giv Dean feels it necessary to remain out of the fray (for very good political and personal reasons). It is not a time to create new groups with new agendas, such as CFA. This is why people from across the country have come together to sign onto the Unity Statement, agreeing to hold together on what Gov Dean outlined on his withdrawal. (1) We are UNITED in working to send as many delegates pledged to Dean as possible to the Democratic Convention. (2) We are UNITED in the need to create a movement to advocate for the principles articulated by Howard Dean. (3) We are UNITED to work together in coalition with a broad range of groups to oust George Bush in 2004. Dean Unity is one first step toward holding together the hundreds of thousand of people who joined in support of Gov. Dean. It is not a structured organizatio

the fruits of a lack of communication

This Boston Globe story is just the first leak in the dam. The media is looking for narrative. The interpretation that this Globe story puts on the relationship between CFA and DFA - ie, a competitive one - is not surprising given that CFA has still not given any specifics about its agenda. I've exhanged email with Joe Drymala, and urged him to explain at least some of the ideas being floated within CFA to the broader base - precisely because I feared this kind of thing starting. If the media takes up the narrative that Trippi and Dean are competing for control, it will de-legitimize our movement and everything that both CFA and DFA want to work for. Unfortunately, CFA continues to rely on vague rhetoric instead of concrete detail. No mention of the New Haven speech last night, either. Stories like the link above are the result. UPDATE: Dean Nation's open letter to CFA was quoted in this similar story in the LA Times . I was interviewed by email for that story, but

Bird's Eye View from New Haven

About a dozen Massachusetts folks (that I know of, could have been more) made the rush hour treck down to CT last night to hear Howard Dean speak about what lies ahead. We didn't get home until 1am last night. TGIF... There were about 500 peeps in a medium sized hotel ballroom at the Omni. Dean debuted his speech on what he plans to create out of DFA. A formal announcement of the plans will be made on March 18, possibly via MoveOn or some other forum (unclear). One of the CT for Dean steering committee folks intro'd Howard's brother Jim who lives in CT and has been very involved with CT for Dean. Jim spoke briefly and then intro'd Howard. Tons of applause. Howard looked great, very relaxed, upbeat, and it didn't look forced one bit. Short speech, maybe 15-20 mins, but very good. Cliff Notes Version of Speech -- many thanks to all the volunteers for putting him where he is (ie national figure, etc), acknowledgement of how hard this past year has been on man


How can we expect Howard Dean to help us take our country back, when we can't even help him pay off the cost of campaigning for us? How can we expect DFA v2.0 to be an effective force in American politics if it is still saddled with the debt incurred by facing down the media onslaught and the dirty tricks of its competitors?

ideals vs process I

As many of you know, the subtitle of my other blog is " principled pragmatism ." It's my personal philosophy towards politics, that seeks to find a balance between having good ideas and actually putting them into practice. One important corollary to this is that "perfection is the enemy of the good" - and taken together, these axioms are the foundation of the change that needs to take place in this nation's poliitical sphere. Ideas matter. Our American political system has a long tradition of ideas stemming back from Locke through Jefferson to Mill, and from this central axis of thought on the nature and purpose of government, we have many healthy branches of other ideologies that have served to enrich the debate. Howard Dean was an appealing candidate to me because he not only expressed the liberal ideal, but he tied it back to our foundational thinkers (evoking the Reolutionary documents like Paine's Common Sense and the Declaration itself). But wha

open thread: FAQ for CFA

According to an off-the-record source at CFA, they are working on a FAQ to try and address the grassroots concerns. In the wake of the DFA v2.0 revelation, let's help CFA out by suggesting questions for the FAQ to answer.

DFA v2.0

Hey Brian, maybe this answers your questions: NEW HAVEN--The following is excerpted from Governor Howard Dean's remarks here tonight as prepared for delivery: On March 18, I will announce our plans to build a new organization, using our nationwide grassroots network, to continue our work to transform the Democratic Party and to change America. We are determined to keep this organization as vibrant as it was throughout our campaign. There are a lot of ways to make change. We are leaving one track, but we are going on another track that will take back America for ordinary people again. Democracy, Freedom, and Action will be the watchwords of this new effort. Our new effort will change America by working for the following principles: * We will promote grassroots democracy and bring new people into politics. * We will support candidates and office-holders who tell the truth; stand up for what they believe; and oppose the radical agenda of the far right. * We wil

What Next?

Many people talk about how they became politically active only because of Howard Dean, but plan to stay involved and work for issues of concern to them even now that he has stopped actively seeking the Presidency. I think the Internet is a big part of this, as it allows for an unprecedented level of networking and makes it easy to work on something without leaving your home. With this in mind, I have two questions. What sorts of political activities are you planning? (I'm likely to volunteer for Russ Feingold's re-election campaign this fall, assuming I'm still in the country then.) And what are some things we can do here at Dean Nation to help you out?

open letter to ChangeForAmerica

Dear ChangeForAmerica, You can't know how neccessary it was for batterred Dean supporters to see Joe Trippi posting again at ! Rest assured that despite the words of a vocal dysphoric minority, the tangible proof that the movement would continue in some form was a boon to we in the netroots who have blogged and organized for almost two years on Dean's behalf. Since your debut almost a month ago, we have been anxious to know what you are planning, so that we can respond. We still don't know what the purpose of CFA is, what its role should be, or what its relationship to the Dean campaign v2.0 is. Mark Sundeen had this tantalizing report from the retreat at the Trippi farm last weekend: We spent yesterday afternoon discussing how we can best use the tools and community that you have built over the last thirteen months. We broke into three groups and each drafted a mission statement and a set of goals and objectives for the fut

Election results from yesterday

I'm a strong believer in not posting results until all the votes are counted. Luckily, Hawaii gave me a reason to procrastinate. *smile* The cnn scorecard is actually pretty handy. Here's the results from yesterday: Hawaii (delegates in parentheses) Kerry (17) 50% Kucinich (6) 26% Edwards (1) 14% Dean 8 Sharpton 0 Idaho Kerry (16) 54 Edwards (6) 22 Dean 11% Kucinich 6% Sharpton 0% Utah Kerry (7) 55% Edwards (3) 30% Kucinich 7% Dean 4% Uncommitted 1% Not bad for a suspended campaign, eh? Congrats to the Dean supporters in those states for pulling that off. I'd also like to congratulate the winners, and especially Dennis Kucinich for pulling off second place in Hawaii.

Don't Let Bush Put Discrimination in the Constitution

Over at Progressive Nation , I've set up a donor page to give to the Human Rights Campaign in light of Bush's call to discriminate against LGBT Americans in the U.S. Constitution. It's a rather modest goal, only $1,000, but I would encourage you all to send a message to President Bush that his narrow, reactionary agenda does not sit well with us. Since you're not all giving $20 a week to DFA anymore, everybody should be able to make a small donation! :-)

Open thread: Backbone Awards

I know we'd all like to think that somehow we bought the Democratic party a backbone. After all, they're talking the talk right now. But are they really walking the walk? In some ways, yes. Some ways, not really. I can think of quite a few Democrats who've actually acted like Democrats lately, and I feel that we need to give them some backup. I feel that even a few Republicans have sounded like true conservatives, and am open to the possibility of honoring them as well. One thing I believe we should do is continue to hold their feet to the fire. We must keep them honest, so to speak. That means staying involved and doing those little things at the grassroots level that remind them that we're here and as long as they stay true to their principals, we'll be there for them. And if they don't, we'll do what we can to elect someone else. A big part of the Dean campaign's message was that we the people are ultimately responsible for our government.

Nader asked to be Dean's VP

I'm Mike Ford and I've been a manager and advisor to Jerry since he started in elective politics in 1970. For the last 6 months or so I was a senior advisor to Howard Dean. Bout three months ago Ralph Nader and his entourage walked into our Vermont headquarters off the street to "dialogue". He was quite impressive intellectually and the firmness of his vision was also impressive. At the time of the visit, Howard was still the front runner and the Nader entourage made a blatant pitch for a Nader Vice Presidential nomination. Kos points out that Ford is a respected source, and is currently working with Springer (in fact Ford is Trippi's close associate). So the source is solid, this actually happened. It's amazing to think of the hubris it takes on Nader's part, esp given his continued insistence that there isn't any difference between the GOP and the Dems.

The Cummings Creek Compact

Looks like the CFA crowd have finally formalized their plan of action, in a statement on the CFA blog. Here's the important excerpt: Change for America will be a national organization that unites progressive communities and sets an agenda of meaningful reform. The values that shaped our campaign are the same values that formed the moral foundation of our American democracy—and we carry those values today. We are committed far beyond a single election. Our immediate path is clear: we must defeat George W. Bush and elect a new president, we must infuse elections at every level with the same commitment that built this movement—and you must decide how to do it. Two weeks from now, our movement will come together in a series of summits across the country, convening in Boston, New York, Washington, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver. We want every group associated with the campaign to be represented. Together, we will all shape the platform

Delegates for Dean update

There are rumors that Dean "released" his NY delegates. That was false, it was actually a hoax letter sent using DeanLink by some trolls. There are other rumors that the DFA campaign debt means that Dean is fully withdrawn from the ballot on Super Tuesday and afterwards - this is also NOT TRUE. Dean has continued to express his desire that we send OUR delegates to the convention. The delegates we amass for the nomination will be the currency with which we, the Dean movement, apply pressure for change. Yesterday, Dean got 11% of the vote in Idaho , and 9% of the vote in Hawai'i , which is significantly more than some were predicting , given that there is no active campaign. There were no delegates added to Dean's total yesterday, but the real prize remains Super Tuesday. All you Super Tuesday staters! let's GET THE VOTE OUT! We can break the delegate threshold if we are committed enough. EVERY DELEGATE COUNTS for the future of the movement! Please sha

only $587 left to go!

via the oblog , an excerpt from Dean's letter to supporters: But before we can take the next step, we must ensure that Dean for America has the funds to shutdown its operation in a professional manner. As of today there is a $400,000 debt owed by the Dean for America campaign for expenses incurred in the last thirty days. Most of these expenses are to small-businessmen, printers who created brochures, yard signs and stationery, family restaurants who provided gallons of coffee and thousands of doughnuts for volunteers, and local merchants who provided buses, microphones and staging equipment. [...] Our movement will continue. Although I am not yet sure in what form, I promise that you will be the first to know. You have made this all possible and together we will continue the change we have already ignited not just in the Democratic Party, but in the American political process. You are someone I want on my side. I hope you will be there. Note that Dean is explicitly affirm

one last fund-raising hurrah

The campaign has sent out a notice that it is ceasing full operation, because it is $400k in debt. We can help retire that debt - by donating one last time. If Dean is to build a new movement out of the ashes of this grand ride, surely it would be better to begin life with a fresh slate. Looking at our Dean Nation Team fundraising totals, I am amazed and proud - we raised almost (but not quite) $40,000 for Howard Dean. That's the number-one fundraising Team of all time. No other team matched us. Reflect on what we have achieved!! For Howard Dean, let's break our bat one last time . Our goal is $40,000. Let's do this. For the future ..

what kind of change?

open thread - what kind of specific change do you want to see in our political system?

what is influence?

Bill Rehm in comments to my dysphoric post below raised this important and basic question: Define influence. Are you seriously arguing that the decision re: which blog software to use has any import at all? I don't see it. Were we shaping Dean's policy positions? I doubt it. Would I want to be? Sorry, that's not my line of work. I support the man and respect his positions, although I didn't agree with all of them. The definition of influence may vary between people, but here's mine: influencing the items on the agenda. Not the proposed policy solutions per se, but rather what the issues are that we want our politician to address. For example, in the context of beating Bush - we all wanted Dean to come out swinging on the Plame Affair. He didn't, and a vital opportunity was lost. Another issue we wanted Dean to go after was the mistreatment of the military under Bush, which Dean partially addressed but never really developed into a coherent "R

the netroots recede

The power of the netroots. How much is there, really? Consider the o-blog. It's a standard Moveable Type install, with linear non-threaded comments. Unlike the Clark campaign, or Daily Kos, there was never a Scoop install that would allow for threaded discussions and collective moderation of user posts and diaries to full-fledged front-page entries. I have inside information from the campaign that a Scoop upgrade was considered and strongly advocated by one camp, but was summarily overruled. The o-blog became little more than a web-based email list and an echo chamber, as a result. Now that the campaign has suspended, even the limited influence we might have had is gone. The o-blog is still vaue on what the next steps are and likely there won't be any official action for some time, since the DFA campaign is still closing shop. They have a lot of logistical issues to solve before they can deal with a bunch of bloggers. Joe Trippi's Change for America site and blog

excerpt: Dean statement on Nader's run

I will do everything I can to ensure that the 2004 Democratic nominee runs as a true progressive, as a champion of working Americans and their hopes for a better future. I urge my supporters, and all other Americans committed to progressive values and honest government, to stick with us, and stick with the Democratic Party, so our cause can prevail in 2004. Ralph Nader has made many great contributions to America over 40 years. But if George W. Bush is re-elected, the health, safety, consumer, environmental, and open government provisions Ralph Nader has fought for will be undermined. George Bush's right-wing appointees will still be serving as judges fifty years from now, and our Constitution will be shredded. It will be government by, of, and for, the corporations - exactly what Ralph Nader has struggled against. Those who truly want America's leaders to stand up to the corporate special interests and build a better country for working people should recognize that, in 2

The betrayal by AFSCME

Here's an interesting column by Mark Shields that casts AFSCME president Gerald W. McEntee in a very unflatterring light for his abandonment of Dean. Even other labor leaders who didn't back Dean were appalled: Do not think that McEntee's cut and run behavior is in any way typical of American labor. It is not. "Loyalty is everything," in the judgment of Leo Gerard, president of the Steelworkers Union, who refused to comment on McEntee's Britney Spears-like embrace of Dean. "Loyalty is the cornerstone and foundation of what this movement is about. Not to be loyal to a man like (Rep.) Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) who has been working families' most loyal champion is just unacceptable," says Gerard, whose union not only endorsed Gephardt, but when his campaign hit a rough patch in early January, it actually redoubled its efforts. [...] One Teamster official (not Hoffa) could barely contain his rage at McEntee's abandonment of Dean, whose crimin

Trippi on delegates for Dean

This weekend, a number of staffers from the Dean campaign visited Trippi's farm and discussed issues along with backbreaking labor (ATTN Joe Rospars: we want a photo of you hauling axe!). The fruit of that labor has yet to be revealed at Change For America blog, but Trippi did have a few words about the delegate campaign for Dean: To elect a delegate in any Democratic nominating contest Howard Dean must receive 15% of the vote. This is called "threshold" -- failure to make the 15% threshold means that not one delegate will be elected from that Congressional District or State. I have to say this -- My own guess is that without an active candidate, campaigning in a state -- Howard Dean will likely receive between 3% and 8% of the vote. So it is likely that those launching delegate campaigns for the Governor will have little or no chance of electing delegates. People who want to do this -- should do this -- but they need to understand the political reality and the odds

monday morning open thread

whats on your mind?

Dean Should Comment on Nader Run

Ralph Nader has announced that he will run as an Independent for President in 2004. After being urged by many to run as an Independent himself, Howard Dean declined noting that his overwhelming priority was to see George W. Bush defeated. Dean speaks to many independent and progressive voters, and a statement from Dean pointing out the obvious disadvantages of a Nader run would not only demonstrate that Dean continues to be relevant in this election cycle, but that everyone must work together to defeat Bush. As Vermonters can attest, Independent candidacies have destroyed progressive hopes of maintaining gains in our state - our current Governor and Lt. Governor are both Republicans elected by pluralities of 40% (or less) of the vote because third party candidates split the votes on the left. Democrat Doug Racine - himself a good old fashioned liberal Democrat lost his bid for the Governorship, and Peter Shumlin lost the Lt. Governorship both by narrow margins. If the Democrat and

liberate Anna! Meyer for Congress '04

I'm proud to run an ad for Morris Meyer's campaign in the 6th Congressional District of Texas. As Anna noted below , Meyer's opponent is Joe Barton, and the 6th is Anna's own district. So liberate Anna by sending some Dean Nation support his way! (and add .04 cents so Meyer knows from whence it came).

Election Bubble

Gee, Mr. Brooks. Did you notice there was a candidate running around earlier who didn't fit this caricature? Just a bit of snark to show I'm still here.

National Dean Visibility Day tomorrow!

Saturday, February 21 2:00 pm Eastern 1:00 pm Central 12:00 pm Mountain 11:00 am Pacific Choose a likely location for gathering and get the word out. Show people that we're still out here and still determined to stay in the fight together, Use the get local tools to set up yours! and don't forget - Dean Meetups still are on schedule next week!

Congressional Democrats need our help

Sorry I've been AWOL (hey look, i *do* have something in common with our CinC!) for the past week or so. I've been trying to figure out where I can best focus my energies and keep the spirit of the Dean campaign alive. There have been several great threads recently about how you plan to do that. Aside from staying involved with whatever entity DFA morphs into, and keeping up with ChangeForAmerica , I plan on pouring my energies into reinvigorating our local democratic party. I've already been approached by two congressional candidates who would like advise on tapping into the decentralised fundraising and support structure created by the the Dean movement. One of these candidates has always been very supportive of what we are trying to do here, while I've vilified the other for they way he treated Dean and the local grassroots base. So how is it that I'm able to put that aside and help him out? It's quite simple really. Here in Tarrant County (home to

Nader (yawn)

sure, whatever. Ralph Nader will announce Sunday whether he will make another run for the White House, but all signs indicate the consumer advocate plans to jump into the race as an independent. After weeks of postponing his decision, Nader will appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" to make the announcement, said Linda Schade, a spokeswoman for Nader's presidential exploratory committee. "He's going to be discussing his role in the presidential election," Schade said of the man whose run for president in 2000 is blamed by many Democrats for tilting a close election in favor of George W. Bush. "He's felt there is a role for an independent candidate to play." I'd vote for Kucinich before I voted for Nader.

Hawai'i: the forgotten caucus

Hawai'i is a liberal haven - that recently elected a Republican governor. As this article notes, the liberal swing of the state means that Dean and Kucinich are still factors at play here: No television commercials or satellite trucks. No mailboxes brimming with campaign literature. No candidates dropping by the coffee shop or the poi factory. In fact, there is little to alert islanders, except the most committed Democratic activists, that the party is about to vote its preference for who should carry its standard against President Bush. But even in this sleepy atmosphere, former Vermont governor Howard Dean managed to inject new energy into the process this year. His team launched its effort in Hawaii more than a year ago -- far earlier than the other candidates -- and impressed party regulars by working its way into position for a strong showing at Tuesday's caucuses. With Dean now giving up his White House quest, it is not clear how many of those backers will stick

timing is everything

I'm struck by the tone of the majority of the articles on Dean via Google News. It's a veritable love-fest, with editorials and laudatory odes to the campaign for its innovation, impact, success, blah blah blah. Now that we're done, they pour sugar on the wound? It reminds me of the curious timing of the mea culpa from Diana Sawyer and ABC about the overplayed Dean Scream. This behavior isn't a salve for anything save their consciences.

Progressive Nation

Dear Friends, This is just a quick note to inform you that I have created a new blog in light of Gov. Dean's decision to stop campaigning for president. Some Dean Nation current bloggers and blogger alumni are joining in the effort as well, and I hope more will join soon. I'd invite you all to check out Progressive Nation , to bookmark it, and to visit often. While it is still in its infancy stages, I am certain that the values we share and the ideas we promote will continue to be advanced there. If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to mail me at . I look forward on continuing to travel this trail together as we have for so many months. -Matt

Dean's Rough Ride

The title of this fantastic piece in the Nation is deliberately evocative of Teddy Roosevelt, I am sure. But the rest of the piece is just as insightful, in distilling down the basic reasons why Dean spoke so powerfully to the rest of us: I already feel nostalgia for his distinctive one-liners: "Too many of our leaders have made a devil's bargain with corporate and wealthy interests, saying 'I'll keep you in power if you keep me in power.'" "As long as half the world's population subsists on less than two dollars a day, the US will not be secure.... A world populated by 'hostile have-nots' is not one in which US leadership can be sustained without coercion." "Over the last thirty years, we have allowed multinational corporations and other special interests to use our nation's government to undermine our nation's promise." "There is something about human beings that corporations can't deal with and

Daily Review

The Miracle: A Tribute to Howard Dean Give Dean his due for rousing Democrats Dean's Rough Ride Dean's Oregon backers say he energized state party Dean Supporters In Texas The Dean Campaign:Joe Trippi


Since we are on the topic, let's not forget that; we are the consultants, we are the volunteers, we are the voice. We are also the losing team. We need to learn from past mistakes as we go on. For historical purposes, though, we should record the thoughts we have about what we think went wrong. For me, it all started about a month before Iowa...

post-mortems on the campaign abound

The link goes to a USA Today story that essentially blames Rogan for dysfunction within the campaign. Contrast that piece with this one in the Times that blames Trippi . Then there's also the WBUR radio show "The Connection" which featured a number of analysts , including Matthew Gross and TNR's Ryan Lizza, which takes a broader look at what worked, what didn't, and what the legacy of the campaign's innovation was. I think what most of the analyses are missing is an understanding of the point that Dean imself made in his final speech : Change is hard work. Change does not happen simply because you go to a rally and simply because you make phone calls -- and I know how hard everybody here has worked. But change is a process that you can never give up on because change is the state of America and change is the state of humankind. In a sense, most of the analysts above saw Dean's failure as one of process, namely problems with personalities or gafe

Gov. Dean's Message to bloggers.

Dean Nation Alum Carl with a K is back blogging. Check out the guest blogger on his site.

lobby CNN!

CNN has plastered the "out" label on Howard Dean in their official tally of the delegate count. Dean hasn't withdrawn, he has suspended his campaign - and so CNN"s move here might actually serve to influence the vote and deny Dean delegates from his supporters (and thus our collective influence upon the nomination). Write to CNN and demand (politely) that Dean, with more delegates than Edwards, should not be labeled as having quit the race in this manner.

Kerry webmaster's note to Deaniacs

Dick Bell is the webmaster for Kerry's blog. He strikes a fairly conciliatory and respectful tone in his appeal to us Deaniacs: We've got many more primaries to go through before our party finally settles on a nominee. But what I hope you can do in the coming weeks is to take some time to look hard at John Kerry's record, and continue working towards the goal we have all shared during this primary campaign, getting George Bush out of the White House. I know that we have not always agreed. But we’re all Democrats, and there’s no question in my mind that John Kerry will bring dramatic change to Bush’s right-wing, ideologically driven administration. As long as Bush is President, all of our hopes for changing our country in ways that make life better for everyone will be stymied. With Bush out of the way, everyone, from the President to the new online progressive organizations are emerging, will have an easier path to building a more humane, more democratic country.

Dean's legacy on the Kerry-Edwards trade debate

link goes to my analysis of the positions espoused by Kerry and Edwards on the NAFTA issue. The bottom line is that Edwards is espousing a populist anti-NAFTA position which I think is ultimately harmful and bad policy. Dean's position on NAFTA always was that its good policy but it needs to be extended to provide incentive to raise labor standards among our trading partners. In other words, add emphasis on human rights to trade (just as President Carter added emphasis on human rights to foreign policy). This is sound policy as well as strong moral leadership. Kerry has actually sounded more like Dean than Edwards has, echoing the need to use NAFTA as a means to improve the lot of workers such that there is no anti-rights incentive for jobs to go overseas. Edwards sees NAFTA as exploitative, but Kerry and Dean share a vision of NAFTA as potentially transformative. I think Edwards is simply wrong on this issue and lacks the vision that Dean first promoted and that Kerry (thankfully)

open thread

How's this for a fun thread topic - what career should Dean pursue next? My vote goes to Liberal Talk Radio Host :)

Edwards Statement on Howard Dean

Senator John Edwards (D-NC) released the following statement today: "Howard Dean has brought so much to this race-not just his ideas and passion for change, but hundreds of thousands of Americans who had never participated in a campaign before. Howard has been a powerful voice for change, and I share his belief that special interests and Washington lobbyists have taken over our government. This is the year for Democrats to take it back-not for our Party, but for our country. "Howard Dean has energized and revolutionized this race, and excited a whole new generation of young Americans. He deserves our thanks and so much credit for what he has accomplished. I hope he continues to offer his ideas, and encourages millions more to participate in this democracy so we win back the White House in November."

don't think they haven't noticed

Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, who emerged as the Democrats' front-runner a month ago, said Dean "has done an extraordinary job of invigorating a whole group of people who were divorced from the political process," the Reuters news agency reported. Kerry added, "Whatever happens, it's impossible not to express general admiration and respect for the campaign he's put together and what he's achieved."

The Assassination of Howard Dean

From AlterNet comes this analysis of the coordinated establishment effort to take Dean down - hard. As apt a synopsis as any we're likely to see. I trust the editorial writers of America will now engage in a round of "Hail Dean" for his internet strategy, revitalizing democracy, luring the disenfranchised and the young back to the process, and establishing a small donor base. But, those laudatory columns will miss what Dean was really all about: fiscal conservatism (balanced budget and repeal of the Bush tax cuts to retire our deficit), a sane, multilateral foreign policy, health care for all Americans, and states rights - yes, Dean has actually been a proponent of small government - civil unions and gun rights are two good examples where Dean has said the federal government has no role - "let the states decide" he said. It's true that Dean's style and aggressive nature has rubbed off on the other candidates - however, one of the weaknesses I see

Dean reaching out to Trippi?

via today's Note: We've learned that Dean has even reached out to his former campaign manager, Joe Trippi, seeking his advice. Trippi is ready with a menu of ideas for Dean to move on, as it were — voter mobilization, fundraising, Internet blogging and networking, etc. Key members of Dean's Internet team plan to meet with Trippi this weekend at Trippi's farm in Maryland, several members of that team said last night. They'll plot strategy and figure out how to lay the groundwork for a movement that they hope Dean himself will lead, if not in body, at least in endorsement or acknowledgment.

video: Dean suspends campaign

Link above goes to the online feed. He'll be on in about ten minutes. Virtual kleenex, anyone? update : in the comments, re pointed out that the clip is now archived. i've updated the link to go to c-span's video archive. the speech will also be replayed on c-span tonight at 8pm eastern time. UPDATE (Aziz) - transcript now available on the o-blog. I've also added the direct link to the video on CSPAN.

open thread: Dean Nation

I've rec'd a number of emails asking about the future of Dean Nation, and I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you. First of all, this is OUR community, not mine. I am eternally grateful to have such talented and diverse co-bloggers here and I hope they continue to use this site as a platform for their own ideas opinions. I intend to continue to blog about Dean here as well, because frankly he's still our man and while winning is good, succeeding is more important. The thing that unifies all of us until the convention will be our continued resolve to VOTE DEAN. I intend to tell my children, when they ask about what it was like to live through the historical election of 2004, that I proudly cast a vote for Howard Dean. If anything I am more determined to buy a few more bumper stickers and do some more Dean visibility to remind people that front-runners and primary schedules aside, there is still room for idealism in this election cycle. I also have begun a blog

do not endorse!

I am pleased at this report that Dean will cease campaigning, but remain in the race . I think Dean should at the very least take advantage of the impending Hawai'i primary to get some well-deserved sunshine :) but it remains essential that Dean supporters are not denied the occassion to vote for the man who has transformed politics and given us hope again that we, the people, have the power. This means however that Dean MUST NOT ENDORSE EDWARDS. Doing so means, vote for edwards, which we must not do. Edwards cannot win the nomination, as Kerry still maintains the momentum of the compressed primary schedule. Edwards, with less money, less delegates, and less overall finishes than Dean in the primaries so far, remains a weaker candidate whose entire identity is the "anti-Kerry". But that's not enough. I respect that Dean thinks Edwards is a better candidate, but he's wrong. Edwards is weaker against Bush and that's the sole remaining goal. We Deaniacs s

post-Deanism: a rising tide

These are the goals that Howard Dean set out to achieve: 1. bring Americans back into the political process, 2. force the Democratic party to stand up for its beliefs, and 3. transcend the divisive politics of Left-Right/Us-Them. In all these things, Dean has succeeded. For now. But these hard-won successes will be ephemeral without a response from the grassroots. However, I disagree with everyone who says that Dean's supporters need to somehow organize into a new entity - be it a party or a group or a 527. The answer is not Yet Another Political Entity (YAPE). The correct response is for each of us to disperse, and carry the seeds of these rejeuvenated ideas - participatory democracy, idealism, unity - into the existing political entities that have dominated and will dominate the political landscape of this incredible nation. Thus we will effect change from within - across the political spectrum The problem with the YAPE approach is that it fails on all three counts. YAPE d

LA Times: Dean to End Campaign, Stay in Race

Thanks for the memories... BURLINGTON, Vt. (Reuters) - Howard Dean returned home to Burlington, Vermont, early on Wednesday carrying a decision to quit his presidential campaign but remain in the race for the nomination, the Los Angeles Times reported in Wednesday's editions. "Though Dean is not going to formally drop out of the race, he is going to stop campaigning," a Dean aide told the newspaper. "The move would allow his supporters to continue to vote for him in the upcoming primaries and have a say at the Democratic National Convention in July," The Times reported. The decision was to be announced here on Wednesday; however, Dean had begun talking in the past tense about his bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. Of interest and note: Dean has said Edwards would be a stronger candidate against Republican President Bush than Kerry, whom he has denounced as beholden to special interests.

We're In Good Shape

Reading this blog last night you would think this was over. It's not. Far from it. The more Democrats see of John Kerry the less they like him. All the flaws of last summer are coming back -- the smirk, the dismissive attitude, the arrogance, the Teddy Kennedy introductions, the veteran honor guard that reeks of the past. Yes, Edwards has shot ahead of us. But he needs us. And we're picking up delegates everywhere. What we'll see in the next two weeks is a tighter focus on both Kerry and Edwards. We will see negative stories on both. We are nearly 20% of the Democratic primary votes outside the South, right now. If things keep going this way it makes Dean the margin between Kerry and Edwards. We can demand more than rhetorical support for our causes. We can demand a platform Deanists can live with. If present trends hold to Boston, both Kerry and Edwards will want Dean on their ticket. And Dean himself is going to get another look. If he emphasizes balanced

Daily Review

Howard Dean on Wisconsin Primary Results Dean not done yet Dean plans 'event' Wednesday With decisions to make, Dean heads to Vt. There's Nothing to Say

Dean's Remarks Post-Wisconsin Voting

Dean: "We are not done." Okay, when Kerry goes on stage just seconds after Edwards, I thought, "what a (explative deleted)."

What's Next?

I know many bloggers, contributors, and Dean supporters have been speculating about what Dean's next move is - and whether it should be a conventional next move. First, I think that it's up to Howard Dean what he chooses to do with his massive database of volunteers, first-time voters and volunteers, and contributors. Beyond that, I do believe that Dean has earned the right to continue his campaign - either by staying in as long as he likes (he's earned it - whether or not we all agree with his decision privately, or not); or by taking a pragmatic approach - say, by dropping out tomorrow, endorsing Edwards as the alternative to Kerry, and hoping for a South-North VP slot on the Edwards ticket (two populist outsiders from different regions of the country could be an attractive ticket); or retiring to Burlington to take his campaign to a different outcome altogether by channeling his support into a grassroots outreach organization, or something else altogether. One th

It's All Over

Howard Dean just lost Wisconsin (network exit polling says) in a distant third. I've held off on posting this thought for quite a long time now; however, I have been thinking about this quite a bit. It's clear to me that it is time for Howard Dean to suspend or end his presidential bid. I'm not a fan of John Kerry. I think he has flip flopped far too much. I'm afraid he will fall back into being a really sucky candidate who has no energy. I think Gov. Dean may view him this way as well. That's why I am starting to think that Dr. Dean should endorse Sen. John Edwards - he's a fellow outsider (more or less) and he is much better at the optimism thing than Dean ever was despite his hope not fear line. I feel like it's getting to the point where the party is over, but we're the guest who just doesn't get the hint to go home. Where's my jacket?


Howard Dean's failure will be complete unless we can transform this movement into a meaningful third force in American politics. This is not to demean the Doctor. Dean has done an awful lot in a short time. He gave the Democratic Party back its backbone and themes. He gave a generation of detached, cynical voters a cause, and a way to connect. He has defined this race. But he has been unable to translate his fierce support into mass appeal. His attempt to move to the right of John Kerry - which is where he is - has gone nowhere. His core supporters didn't give-off centrist vibes. Some scared people. Democratic primary voters have chosen, on the whole, to trust their institutions, not their instincts. Despite Dean's opposition to the Iraq War and his defining speech about representing "the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party," Deanism is actually descended from a long line of centrist American political movements which have tried, unsuccessfully, to m

where we stand, by the numbers

Prior to Wisconsin, there have been 16 caucuses and primaries at which delegates have been awarded. Of these 16, Dean has beat Edwards in 9 states: New Hampshire, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, D.C., Maine, Michigan, N. Dakota, New Mexico. Dean lost to Edwards in 7 states: Iowa , Delaware, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri. Prior to Wisconsin, Dean has 192 delegates compared to Edwards with 166. Edwards has received significantly more votes overall, however, by a factor of approximately 2.5 (summed over all states so far). So out of three metrics of success - states, delegates, and votes, Dean is ahead by 2-1. These are not the statistics of a candidate who is "toast". These are the stats of a viable candidate, who by remaining in the race until Super Tuesday can keep this race for the nomination alive. And by doing that, we can keep the pressure on Bush.

Mad City!

Reporting from "Ping," an internet cafe in downtown Madison that's filled with kids skipping school to play some kind of Columbine game where they are all killing each other with guns and yelling out loud. It actually looks like a lot of fun but I'm of the Dungeons and Dragons era with dice and character profiles... I just thought I'd slip a little commentary in. It's quiet here in Madison. It has been for the past couple of days. It's nothing like Iowa or New Hampshire, of course. (DUDE! The kid next to me just got killed! DUDE!) There were a couple of people passing out info about Dean on State Street yesterday. I ran into John Edwards's wife at the laundromat yesterday (Edwards campaign headquarters). She was kind and upbeat, the same way the Dean staffers are: staying positive and hopeful. I decided to mix things up a bit and went to a Kerry rally at the Kohl Center where the Badgers play. (HAAAAAAAAAAAA! I Killed you! And you! And

WI primary results

bookmark this link - no precincts have reported as yet, though that didn't stop CBS from "reporting" that Dean lost and has dropped out of the race (past tense) as of 8:42am this morning (er, before polls opened. Psychic powers!). Others are busy writing Dean's obituary , since they can't be bothered with messy details like counting votes or anything.

Judge rules on Dean's gubernatorial records

A Vermont court has denied the right-wing group Judicial Watch a victory in the lawsuit over Dean's gubernatorial records. I wouldn't call it a victory for Dean, though, as he's been ordered to provide a detailed index of the records as well as an explanation of why each record should remain sealed. It seems to me the burden of proof has now been placed squarely on Dean. There are 145 sealed boxes that now must be catalogued, while 190 boxes have already been released to the public.

WI open thread

If you live in Wisconsin, VOTE! for Dean, for ourselves, for America.

Daily Review

More relaxed Dean devotes one more day to Wisconsin Candidates Focus on Wisconsin Issues Candidates, spouses, others go into a home-stretch kick Dean vows to press on despite odds Right at home... Down on the farm with Howard Dean The Wisconsin Debate

Tomorrow I Vote Dean

Tomorrow is the Wisconsin primary. My expectation is that Howard Dean will lose. The linked poll above certainly indicates that. From what I've seen, Dean is running as a left-wing insurgent rather than a maverick reformer. In order to win that way, he needs to dominate in Dane County and convince everyone else he isn't crazy. From where I sit in Madison (Dane County), he is not doing the former, and may not even have a plurality. You can feel good because the mood toward Dean feels better than it's been, but it's not enough. Given a few more months, maybe, but they're simply not there. Two problems people have talked about before also seem in evidence in this state. On the bus home tonight, someone carrying some cards got on, stood in the middle of the bus, and began lecturing us about the flaws of Kerry and Edwards. No one was much impressed, and I think the tactic overwhelmed the message. The main TV ad I keep seeing has the theme that the media says