"We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that's what this election is about." -- Barack Obama, DNC keynote address, July 2004

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Saturday, January 31, 2004


Trippi Still Working After NH Concession Speech

posted by Heath at Saturday, January 31, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

What a warrior.


It's a Ground War

posted by Editor at Saturday, January 31, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The bat is still swinging, but the campaign doesn't have the money for an air war in the next seven states. To pick up delegates, we need a ground war from the grassroots. The grassroots built this campaign, and they can do it again, this weekend - help show that you still support Howard Dean. Pick a pre-designed sign or easily create your own:



posted by Dana at Saturday, January 31, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
What makes Roy Neel so confident Howard Dean can come back?

First, there is us. We may not be able to win a primary by ourselves, but we can certainly keep Dr. Dean from meeting Howard's End. With $1.4 million on the bat, with thousands of activists in every February 3 state, we may not win any but we won't be shut out of delegates.

Second, there is the math facing General Clark, and Senator Edwards. They're from the South, they have to do well there. If the Massachusetts Senator smokes them in places like Oklahoma, Arizona and South Carolina, their funds are going to dry up faster than water on a hot griddle. At that point, he expects, the networks will point at Sharpton, Lieberman and Kucinich, then point to the door. (If Clark or Edwards pulls a surprise Tuesday, by the way, good for our side, because it slows Kerry's mometum.)

Third, of course, Neel is aiming for the small table. That's where the late debates are often held, around a small table. Even if there's no table, the rules are adjusted, so candidates can no longer rely on their stump speeches and have to think on their feet.

This is where Howard Dean will shine through. Consider how well he did on Hardball after the Thursday debate? Fifteen minutes of fast back-and-forth on Iraq, he talked as rapidly as the hosts, and he finished with his very best point -- the enemy of my enemy may not be my friend, he's my enemy. Devastating.

Kerry can't survive in that kind of hothouse. Dean will tear him apart. Neel is depending on that, and I think he's right.

Friday, January 30, 2004


Roy's Mis-speak

posted by Dana at Friday, January 30, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I get what Roy Neel is saying.

We don't have to win Tuesday. We don't even have to win the following Saturday.

If we just hang around, picking up delegates where we can, and saving all that money coming in off the bat, we can get Kerry all alone, starting around Wisconsin, and most delegates will still be unchosen.

In other words, we're to become the "anti-Kerry."

Fine. Good. Wonderful. But does he have to put it this way:

we have elected to not buy television advertisements in February 3 states, but instead direct our resources toward the February 7 and 8 contests in Michigan, Washington and Maine. We may not win any February 3 state, but even third place finishes will allow us to move forward, continue to amass delegates in Virginia and Tennessee on February 10, and then strongly challenge Kerry in Wisconsin.

When he could just as easily have put it this way:

We have decided to fully empower our grassroots supporters through February 17. We believe you will keep us competitive while other candidates falter.

This has always been your campaign and, for the next true weeks, that will literally be the case. We believe you can shock the world, that with your hard work we can turn this race around, and that we can dominate the delegate selection process from Wisconsin onward.

You have the tools, you have the enthusiasm, you have the will to take this party back and take this country back.

Let's go get 'em!

The first is the language of a Washington insider, writing for the punditocracy. The second is the language of a general directing his troops toward the next big battle and forward toward ultimate victory. The first could have gone off in an e-mail to the Washington press corps. We need something more.

With all the pundits now writing us off, what we need from our general most right now is a pep talk. It doesn't have to sound like Joe Trippi. We know Joe Trippi. We love Joe Trippi. Roy Neel is no Joe Trippi.

Sigh. I guess I just miss ol' Joe.


The Misunderstanding of Judy Dean

posted by Christopher at Friday, January 30, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
For those who haven't seen this, Gersh Kuntzman over at Newsweek/MSNBC writes a very complimentary article on Judith Steinberg Dean. It's just one more reason I have so much respect for both Howard and Judith Steinberg Dean. When I read this, I thought "finally, somebody gets it." This isn't some sort of slick media play to attract points. Howard and Judy are real people. Vermonters know this and understand who they are - I think many of the people who have become involved in this campaign appreciate a "real person" running for president. Howard and Judy Dean are certainly real people - good and bad together. Capable of doing great things, and capable of making mistakes and moving on.

I'm tired of demanding "the right look" for president. I want a President and First Lady with substance and self-awareness. I thought this article just reflected so well on Judy - and it says something positive about Howard's character that he picked such a woman to be his partner.

"In what is supposedly an enlightened age for women, we in the media should be celebrating Dean's independence, not questioning it. Shouldn't it be refreshing to meet a woman who'd prefer to be a doctor than gazing longingly from the edge of the stage as her husband delivers the seventh identical stump speech of the day? (And how come all of my supposedly gifted media colleagues missed the irony of an independent, modern woman, who nonetheless has one foot in that bygone age of doctors who make house calls? That alone should have won her points.)"

In The Interview, Mrs. Dean again showed us her humility, her professionalism, her dedication, her...what's that word?...her integrity (I almost forgot the word because it's such a rare sight on television). Every time Dean opened her mouth, I found myself hoping that my daughter grows up to be Judith Steinberg Dean.

Yet the more she spoke, the more "sins" she rang up.

"I don't watch TV that much," she said. Diane was visibly upset.

"I am kind of private...and I have a medical practice which I love," she said later. "And I think it's really important for me, and Howard knows it's important to me. But, I also love Howard, and I think he would make a terrific president...And, I think if I can help him, I will. And that doesn't mean he's going to disrupt my life, disrupt my patients, my son, but if he calls on a Saturday, and I'm not on call that weekend, I'll be out there Sunday." Imagine that, a husband and wife who support each other's careers. Diane was skeptical."

The interview goes on like this. At any rate, thought I'd share it with all of you... and three cheers for Judy!


The Biggest Bush Fraud Of All

posted by Dana at Friday, January 30, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Time out for an issue vital to the 2004 Electoral Finals, namely the economy.

The Bush Administration claims everything is lovely. They base this on two quarters’ GDP growth, which itself is based heavily on rising stock prices.

Prices are up from a year ago, as much as 20%. But the fact that is being hidden is that the value of the dollar is also down, by an equal (sometimes greater) amount.

This does not just mean a European vacation is out of the question. It also means that foreign investments in our economy are, despite the rising stock market, actually falling in value. Japanese, Chinese, Arab, and European investors are all losing money on their dollar investments.

Now consider that both our trade and budget deficits are largely funded by foreigners. China’s purchases of dollars are the biggest “seller financing” deal of all time. (We get stuff, they get dollars, they don’t change those dollars into Chinese currency.) It won’t continue if the value of those dollars keeps declining.

Consider too that for generations the dollar has been a “reserve currency.” Oil is priced in dollars, and our government pays for the national debt in dollars. This is an advantage enjoyed by no one else. Every economic collapse in the developing world, whether in Asia, Africa or Argentina, is tied to their currency’s fall in value against the dollar. Their loans were in dollars, their currency fell against the dollar, so no matter how much they paid back, they owed more and more. No other nation, other than ours, can actually finance its debts by just printing more money.

That is about to change. Oil exporters won’t take dollars forever if those dollars turn to water in their hands. Bankers won’t lend us dollars forever if those dollars turn to water, either.

At some point, maybe this year, Russia or Saudi Arabia could start demanding oil payments in something more stable, say, Euros. As the Euro becomes a “reserve currency” our economic power wanes permanently. So does our economic independence. Our best companies, even our land, can all be had on the cheap.

A falling dollar fuels higher interest rates, higher prices, and falling real incomes, even if things seem OK in the short term. George W. Bush did this deliberately. A falling dollar makes our exports cheaper, and imports more expensive. It’s short-term gain for long-term pain. He hopes to keep the scam going through, say, November.

There is only one Democrat who has called Bush and Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan on this fraud. That Democrat is Howard Dean.

The question for America today is this? Are you going to let Bush get away with this fraud as well?

No? So what are you doing TODAY to make sure he doesn’t?


Diane Sawyer Gets Religion

posted by Amanda at Friday, January 30, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
A quick post -- courtesy of John and Tom on the Zonkboard -- about Diane Sawyer's recent (yesterday) review of the media's treatment of the "I Have a Scream" speech.

In short, Diane gets many network bigwigs to admit that they blew it way out of proportion and didn't put the speech in context -- i.e. Dean had to shout to be heard over the roar of 3000+ supporters. A fact that many of us who were there, including many reporters, knew all along.

A rare case indeed to have the mainstream media admit they made a big blunder. Perhaps we should write this date on our calendars...

Read the story here; watch the segment here.


February 3 Is Up To Us

posted by Dana at Friday, January 30, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I wish Roy Neel had said this more explicitly. But the message seems clear to me nonetheless, and it should be clear to you.

The Dean campaign is going to put its ad money into the February 7 states with the most delegates. February 3 belongs to the grassroots.

I know we "failed" in Iowa, and in New Hampshire. But I have a theory on that.

We were too thick on the ground. We tried too hard. We put too many chips on "red" and, when we didn't win outright, we looked like losers.

Not just Dean. But Dean Nation.

Well this weekend is our chance for redemption. If you live in Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Delaware, or North Dakota, we are all depending on you this weekend.

The Web site has the tools. Voting has begun in most of those states. You can be bringing people to the polls NOW. You can be distributing literature, you can be launching phone trees, you can be e-mailing links to things like Common Sense

You can even, if you choose, add your own negative talking points. It's not being done by Dean for America. It's up to you.

If the grassroots can turn out a better-than-expected showing, if they can win only one or two of these states with no help from Burlington, then the story of February 3 will be about our power, and how Kerry failed.

Get to work, people. You have four days to turn America around.


Daily Review

posted by barb at Friday, January 30, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Transcript: Democratic Candidates Debate in South Carolina

Kerry not unstoppable, analysts say

The Dead Center

Gwen Ifill speaks with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean

Howard Dean is visiting Michigan

Democrats vow to roll back Bush tax cuts


Face Facts

posted by Trammell at Friday, January 30, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Let us face some facts.

1). This race is not over.

2). Even if Dean loses the nod, our movement is not over.

3). If indeed Dean loses the nod, we, WE, must keep this movement alive.

4). If Kerry gets the nod, his first test of leadership is to bring us in. I predict he might fail -- but if that happens (and I think we still could win -- and will, I pray) I hope he is successful. However, I doubt his leadership. Despite his Vietnam record, this man is a whiny coward (in my view) and that concerns me -- greatly. Much.

5). If, somehow, we do not get the nod (and we may not) I beg of thee -- we must, at all costs, keep this movement alive. We ARE the...

Fiscally Responsible Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party

And yes, Kerry-Heinz, I'll consider leaving ya'll behind -- yes, an unswaying stalwart Dem like me....will do nothing more than vote for you -- you want us Dean folks to lift a finger for you? Overture, overture, again......make it good.

Overture, and sing, sing, sing. A promise or two would help.

Finally, speaking of "electability" -- Dems are having some suicidal thoughts, I guess. Dean, the Leftish Reagan Wild Card, is the ONLY one who could win (except maybe Edwards).

We must fight ever and harder and more relentlessly than ever.

Do you wanna volunteer for Kerry?

Exactly. The time is now, do what you can -- this could, be, perhaps, the only moment in our lives to Take Back America!

What can, what will, you do?

As I've stated in other posts on different topics:


We can win this, if you, YOU! -- will do all YOU can do.

Thursday, January 29, 2004


Trippi Interview

posted by Editor at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Joe Trippi will be interviewed by Deborah Norville tonight at 9 pm EST on MSNBC.

UPDATE (Matt): Trippi will also be on Hardball tomorrow night. It should be noted in the Governor's post on the O-Blog that he hoped Trippi will later decide to return to the campaign as a strategic advisor.

UPDATE (Matt): Elegant, classy, honest, all around wonderful. Trippi says, "I love the grassroots," he still called the movement "we," he was clearly emotional about leaving but not at all bitter. He still says he firmly believes Dean will win and that this campaign is the nation's "last chance" to get things right. I remember the nights in the early campaign when I would get personal e-mails from Joe. I was amazed how someone in his position would actually respond to my individual thoughts. He impressed me so much then; he continues to impress me now.


Open Thread: SC Debate

posted by Editor at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Go nuts...

Here's hoping for a turnaround...


Grassroots Reacts to Changes @ DFA

posted by Amanda at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Just in case folks missed it, DN's own Anna Brosovic, along with Colorado Deaner Tony Thompson, appeared on WBUR Radio's "Here & Now" earlier today. WBUR is the flagship NPR news station in Boston.

Here's the link. (Click on the LISTEN button -- segment begins about 4:30 minutes in).

Way to get media in Kerryland, guys -- and excellent job!


media visibility crusade - on the cheap

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here is how Dean can immediately get exposure in the Feb 3rd states without expensive ad buys:

  1. get on local talk radio. His Hannity appearance was excellent, and I heard he appeared on Hannity's TV show with Colmes last night to follow up. Deliberately target conservative media - that makes Dean look unafraid to challenge the right wing and also gets him broader access. Plus what other candidate is sticking it to the wingnuts? Certainly not Mr. Front Runner.

  2. Target national daytime television. Someone suggested Oprah (with both Howard and Judy!), other good avenues are Rosie O'Donnell and the Wayne Brady show. Lots of undecided voters are captive audiences at home during the day, and an informal apearance can give him a chance to make an appeal based on his record of accomplishment. It's those ordinary people watching TV at home that disproportionately are feeling the pain of the Bush economy and are wondering what these Democrats are doing for them.

  3. Stump in South Carolina with Jesse Jackson Jr and with Al Gore. Spend a whole day there talking to local church communities. Attend a service in Sunday and give out a yell for God.

  4. Target Hispanic media like Unavision - there must be daytime talk shows on the Hispanic networks where Dean can appear. Is Dean fluent in Spanish? If so, hold the entire interview in that language. If not, ask someone from Latinos for Dean to appear with him on the show.

  5. Get on late-night television. Dean should do at two of the following shows: Saturday Night Live, Late Show with Conan O'Brien, Letterman, Leno. Avoid cable talk shows since it's a more limited market (though do take up Chris Matthews on his open invitation to Dean for HardBall)

  6. Run grassroots-created ads on basic cable channels - USA Network and TNT for example are cheaper to buy ads on than primetime television, and they reach as many viewers. Launch a new bat dedicated to funding this effort. Use the best ideas from Project Deanlight and Switch2Dean in their entirety without any edits or changes - just dump them on those markets.

This should keep his visibility high in the Feb 3 round and sustain momentum into Feb 7th. After Feb 3rd, though, he needs to spend all his time in the Feb 7th states to be on the ground making his case in all the local media (including making a direct pitch to the various newspaper editorial boards asking for their endorsement).

On Feb 4th, Dean needs to attend a meetup in Ann Arbor. Make it the biggest meetup ever - let's shatter the old New York record. Hey Michigan for dean, are you listening? Bombard Burlington with invites now, you guys! Send two people to drive to campaign HQ and camp out waiting for Dean to invite him in person!

After Feb 7th, he needs to maintain his visibility:

  1. Appear on The West Wing on NBC by having Martin Sheen throw his weight around.

  2. Blog interviews. Dean needs to conduct a telephone interview with Daily Kos, Liberal Oasis, Atrios, and Blogging of the President. Dean also needs to take the time to personally answer the Dean Nation Interview Questions.

  3. Work together with to utilize the best ideas of some of the ad winners from their recent Bush in 30 Seconds contest. Gore can help make a case for this and Rob Reiner can edit the films, along with recruiting the actual producers of the home-grown submitted films themselves. Put Heath Eiden and Karl Frisch in charge!

  4. More late-night television - finish off the ones he didn't get to before Feb 3rd.

what else? Remember he has to be on the ground between Feb 3rd and 7th in Michigan and Wisconsin. IMHO it's a waste of his time to go stumping on foot before Feb 3rd, anywhere, because voter memory is short and voter fatigue will be high. If he maintains the media visibility campaign as suggested above then he can swoop in to the Feb 7th states and capitalize on the momentum. And that leaves the time before Feb 3rd to do the other things suggested above that are more unorthodox.

And note how the laundry list above relies heavily on contacts and endorsers and netroots supporters. That is by design. More suggestions along those lines are needed.

UPDATE: added some more bullet items. Keep the ideas flowing in comments!


get Jesse Jackson and Al Gore to South Carolina with Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
We need to be visible in South Carolina - and Gore and Jackson need to pull their weight. We don't need to win SC, but we MUST show up. Dean is the oinly candidate with a credible claim to appeal to the black vote, but repudiating SC will send the wrong symbolic message. Discuss.

UPDATE: and of course, get Bill Bradley out there in Michigan! Where are the endorsers?!


General McClellan

posted by Dana at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

A reporter called me to ask about Trippi. It’s part of the “picking of the bones” process.

While we were talking an analogy occurred to me, from the first Civil War. (I credit Vietnam as the second.) It came in historian Shelby Foote’s praise of George McClellan, the Union General fired in 1862. “He really built that Army,” Foote said, and much of what that Army did afterward was a tribute to McClellan.

No analogy is perfect. Trippi combined much of McClellan’s organizational brilliance with the imperfections of generals who succeeded him, like Ambrose Burnside and Joe Hooker. Trippi fought, hard, but the costs exceeded results in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Dean lacks the luxury of the years Lincoln spent in finding Grant. He also needs someone with Lee’s tactical brilliance – Grant really won by grinding the opponent down through superior forces.

And what of Roy Neel? I know him best from my work on the technology beat, where he ran the US Telephone Association during the boom. Yes, he’s an insider, but we need one now. He’ll be the first to tell you he ain’t Robert E. Lee.

But this is not a time for fighting. This is a time to make a case. And the case is there to be made. John Kerry was Michael Dukakis’ Lieutenant Governor, he is Teddy Kennedy’s junior Senator, he has never run anything bigger than a Senate office, he’s a defensive politician at a time that calls for offense. He is yesterday’s man. The last really courageous thing he did was throw away his medals at a VVAW rally. The definition of insanity is to repeatedly do the same thing and expect a different result. Kerry is the same thing.

Right now Democrats need to play offense, not defense. They need an executive, not a legislator. They need someone new, not someone old, borrowed or blue. When it comes to true electability and the personal qualities the nation needs there is just no comparison. Dean was making this case last week in New Hampshire. Neel can press it.

Most of us, meanwhile, are clear on who and what we’re working for. We’re working on making Howard Dean our President, for to take this country back from the idiots now in charge of it. It’s the Union, not the General, who matters to us foot soldiers.

Your orders, General Neel?


Where we stand

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Go read this (lengthy email) from a Dean supporter, to a Dean supporter, that bluntly and frankly discusses where we stand. It makes a rational and principled case for why we need to continue and persevere, without any rose-colored Kool Aid drinking whatsoever. Read it in full.


NYT on Trippi departure

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is the definitive article so far on the Trippi departure, including some hints that the shakeup wasn't as smooth as it appeared beneath the surface. I'm really just posting it for completeness, but I've decided to focus forward from here.

UPDATE: well, I guess I should state my opinion on the matter. I agree with the assessment that Trippi is a brilliant tactician - but a terrible strategist. (definitions here and here). Trppi recognized the potential of the netroots, and his contribution was to let it breathe freely and grow on its own. But he never really tapped into it for ideas. The O-blog contributes nothing to strategy, unlike here at Dean Nation where all we talk about is strategy. But the only idea that they ever ran with was embracing Meetup after we promoted it. And even that embrace ultimately fizzled down to just crowing about the number registered; ask yourself - why wasn't Dean at the Iowa or NH meetup before the primaries?

If the campaign was an internet startup, then Trippi was the brilliant CEO who founded the company. But the campaign has grown far beyond that stage, and we need someone with experience on the grown-up, experienced side of the fence. I'm very pleased at the choice of Neel and I think the timing was overdue.


Dean's Money Advantage Dwindles

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The money situation is indeed tight. Still no confirmation of the $5m rumor, but it is clear that the campaign overspent in Iowa and New Hampshire. Given that we are entering a media-centered phase of the campaign, this is a bad thing. This WaPo article sheds a lot of information on how the fiscal issue affects the primary strategy for Feb 3rd and 7th:

Rivals including front-runner John F. Kerry are buying TV ads in South Carolina and other states holding primaries or caucuses Tuesday, but the former Vermont governor has chosen to forgo further advertising in this round, focusing instead on the Feb. 7 caucuses in Michigan and Washington state, campaign officials said. The decision marks a notable shift in fortunes for an innovative candidate who revolutionized fundraising via the Internet and led all Democrats in 2003 by collecting nearly $41 million.

"Clearly his decision to spend heavily in New Hampshire was at the expense of not spending in Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina," said Evan Tracey of TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks media expenditures. "You are essentially leaving the paid media field to your opponents."
Dean, according to campaign aides, has calculated that he can remain credible by picking up enough votes to win some delegates in the Feb. 3 states, even without renewed advertising or a first-place finish.

Dean expects to run strongly in Michigan and Washington, a Dean aide said. What's more, in contrast to primary contests that require heavy spending on TV ads, caucuses involve more ground-level work, such as identifying supporters and getting them to caucus sites. Much of this work can be performed by volunteers, enabling a candidate to preserve cash.

Dean must win some contests in the next two weeks "or he'll have trouble raising money in the future," said Steve Weissman, associate director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan group based in Washington.
Kerry, the winner in Iowa and New Hampshire, has bought TV time in all seven Feb. 3 states. He also is enjoying the wave of free news coverage that accompanies front-runner status.

"I don't think everybody has the capacity to fight in every state," said Dean campaign chair Steve Grossman. "We are going to use our resources wisely." Dean, he said, "must win a state somewhere" by Feb. 7.


media navel-gazing

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The media discovers it has the power to affect people's opinions. In other news, Diane Sawyer followed up on her "Dean aren't you really a raging lunatic? Judy, Isn't Dean a manic psycho?" interview by conducting an investigation into the Dean Rebel Yell coverage. She concludes that the coverage was unfair. I'm sure the New Hampshire voters are paying attention.

These attacks made Dean stronger. I don't hold a grudge in that sense - and I want Kerry to undergo the same trial by fire so he too becomes stronger. I only object to the media's sudden interest in meta-analysis. Drop the pretense, guys, and go for your narratives of the hour. We'll cope... and win.


voters are rational actors

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
As I posted yesterday, it's tempting to take shots at Kerry. But drawing all the contrasts in the world between Kerry's legislative record and Dean's executive one wont change the simple fact that Kerry won Iowa and NH fair and square. Telling Democrats who have chosen Kerry that they are fools, or dittoheads is not going to help our cause.

Worse, it might damage it. The last thing we need is to re-entrench the perception of Dean as attracting idoelogical crazies and cultists who sneer down their noses at the average Joe. I'm strictly a "People are rational actors" guy.

Lets focus on telling the campaign what they should do right to draw people, not telling people what they are doing wrong to get them to switch. There are a lot of other oters out there who are uncommitted who are more fertile ground for Dean's ideas than the soft support that switched to Kerry.

Forget Kerry. Forget Trippi. Focus on Dean, and how to get this campaign back on message so it's the same one that all of reading this blog were drawn to last year.


open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, January 29, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


TMS Continues Ad Effort

posted by Editor at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
MSNBC: "The ad team of McMahon and Mark Squier will remain on the campaign, but they have been told to build a broader ad team that includes creative input from Hollywood and New York specialists to produce better spots, a senior official said on condition of anonymity."

I'm not sure this is a good idea. Thoughts?


ABC News: Dean Machine Shake-Up

posted by Editor at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
ABC News has an interesting story on the Trippi removal. Selections:
In an emotional meeting with members of the Burlington, Vt.-based staff this afternoon, Trippi thanked them for their hard work and vowed to continue to fight for Dean's candidacy.

Dean was in the room and acknowledged Trippi but the two did not shake hands, according to a staff member who was present.


Trippi ruled the campaign's organization with an iron fist, hiring political and field staffers — many of them quite young — who were loyal to him. In the process, he clashed with members of the Vermont guard loyal to Dean, like Kate O'Connor, Dean's longtime aide, and Bob Rogan, the campaign's deputy chief of staff.


Dean was said by several sources who are close to him to have been very upset by what happened in Iowa, and blamed Trippi's staff, in part, for being disorganized and for running poor-quality television advertisements.

Dean and Trippi also had disagreements over spending. Dean is very tight with his budgets and would often veto ideas Trippi proposed.

The relationship between Dean and Trippi has been somewhat strained in the intervening week, according to sources loyal to both Trippi and Dean.

Dean limited Trippi's role in New Hampshire, told him to return to Burlington, stay off television, and the candidate essentially transferred the campaign's executive authority to his New Hampshire state director, Karen Hicks.


posted by Editor at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
From Dean for America...
January 28, 2004

Statements by Governor Howard Dean and Joe Trippi

BURLINGTON--Dean for America released the following statements tonight:

Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., issued the following statement:

"I am deeply grateful to Joe Trippi, who has decided to leave the campaign. Joe has made enormous contributions not just to our campaign but to American politics -- revolutionizing the way in which people are brought into the democratic process and helping hundreds of thousands of people to believe in political change again.

"I am pleased to announce that Roy Neel will be relocating to Burlington to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer of the campaign effective immediately. Roy brings enormous experience both in management and national politics. He will be an invaluable resource to our campaign.

"Last night the people of New Hampshire reaffirmed that their strong support for change and for a campaign based on standing up for what is right and delivering results not rhetoric.

"This campaign is a marathon not a sprint. I am committed to carrying our campaign through the coming weeks to primaries and caucuses all across the country. We will continue to offer the Democratic Party a candidacy based on courage and conviction and a campaign based on hope, not fear.

"This campaign is about all of us. I am grateful for what we have done together so far but our work is far from done. Now we must redouble our efforts, not simply to win the nomination but to change America."

* * *

Dean for America Campaign Manager Joe Trippi released the following statement:

"Dear Friends,

"The Governor has asked Roy Neel to come in as CEO of the campaign, and I have resigned as campaign manager.

"I've always believed that the most important thing was to change our country and our politics.

"I'm proud of all of you and the work we have done together. I may be out of the campaign but I’m not out of the fight.

"Don't give up -- stay with Howard Dean's cause to change America.

"Thank you.

"Joe Trippi"

-- 30 --



posted by Editor at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

MSNBC is reporting that campaign manager Joe Trippi has been reassigned. Gore's Roy Neel to take over campaign.

Developing story... Click link above for initial story. Thanks to Mike on the zonk board for the link.

UPDATE (Aziz): another link just posted with a lot more information. Here's info on Neel:

Neel, Gore's former senatorial chief of staff, served as chief executive of the U.S. Telecom Association in Washington before working on Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. Neel was named to head Gore's transition team in anticipation of the former vice president winning the White House.

sources say that Dean asked Trippi to stay on the payroll, but Trippi decided to leave. "I may be out of the campaign, but I'm not out of the fight," Trippi was quoted as saying.

UPDATE (MATT B): Here is the O-Blog posting on Neel from 1/7/2004.


audio: Dean on Sean Hannity show (1/28/04)

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I have to say, that Dean's apearance on Hannity last night (after Kucinich, who also went on TV later that evening) was fantastic. Hannity endorsed Dean, claiming he'd be defeated against Bush, and Dean used the Reagan analogy, which was a brilliant counterstroke. Dean managed to meet Hannity on almost every point with a better answer straight from his stump speeches.

The man was made for talk radio. He needs to get out there NOW. We need him on the Chris Baker show here in Houston. weneed him on YOUR local talk radio, also - chime in and list your local conservative radio hosts wo fantasize that the are the next Hannity or Limbaugh. Let's get Dean on the shows!

 Dean on the Sean Hannity show


Should Dean compete for Feb 3?

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This ABC article details the difference of opinion in the campaign today about strategy. Dean wants to carry on to the Feb 3 states, and his staff is against the idea, preferring to lie low (as Chris Suellentrop speculates in Slate). What do you think? open thread ...



posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
via Campaign Desk:

Most of the questions asked in the official exit poll for the New Hampshire primary today are routine: Are you liberal or conservative, black or white, male or female, and, by the way, how did you vote?

But then out of nowhere comes this sucker punch: "Regardless of how you voted today, do you think Howard Dean has the temperament to serve effectively as president?" No other questions about specific candidates were asked.
Reading from an official statement, a harried spokesperson for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox and the AP that administered the poll, told Campaign Desk: "Dean's temperament has been much discussed throughout the campaign. He fell from a significant lead in New Hampshire. Did questions about his temperament after the Iowa speech contribute to that? The exit poll would be remiss if it didn't try to find out."

The spokeswoman stressed that because this was an exit poll, it wouldn't affect New Hampshire's results. She's wrong; the very existence of the question, first reported this afternoon by Howard Kurtz at, could well sway late voters.

More important, what about South Carolinians, Missourians, Arizonans, and all the rest who have yet to vote? Even if few startled New Hampshire voters answer "no" to that loaded question, it seems certain to make news -- and to supply ammunition to Dean opponents.


Trippi in trouble?

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
An article from Seven Days VT has some pretty astonishing gossip from inside sources in Dean's campaign:

Seven Days has learned that the disaster in Hawkeye Country last week caused a major realignment of Dean for America’s campaign hierarchy. Sources tell Seven Days that Campaign Manager Joe Trippi, the colorful Internet whiz who led the longshot Vermonter’s meteoric rise, has had his own wings plucked.

Dr. Dean, sources say, has taken control of the campaign checkbook from the Trippster and handed it to Deputy Campaign Manager Bob Rogan.

Rogan once served on Dean’s gubernatorial staff, before leaving for a management job at Vermont’s largest electric utility. He came back last year for the presidential bid. Now he and longtime Dean aide Kate O’Connor are steering the Dean campaign warship. There are clear indications that if Dean limps on after New Hampshire, Joltin’ Joe Trippi will be gone.

So, too, will Trippi’s Washington, D.C., consulting firm Trippi, McMahon & Squier. Steve McMahon has been producing Howard Dean for Governor TV commercials for a decade. The spots he did for Ho-Ho in Iowa are cited by grumbling Dean supporters as a factor in Dean’s poor showing there.

Frankly, the few ads I have seen were terrible. And I have been long incomfortable with the seeming conflict of interest in having TMS do the ads when the T was also the campaign manager. How could an objective decision get made in that scenario about the quality of the ads? This is all the more critical since we have entered the media-centric phase of the campaign.

But should Joe take the blame for the Iowa and NH losses? I don't know. Joe deserves credit for the Internet aspect of things but we all know that the campaign needs to grow beyond that - while keeping its character intact. In Iowa, the campaign did grow out into the real world, but it became something unrecognizable in the process.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is the burn rate. Yes, Dean has raised more money than anyone else - but how has it been spent? On orange hats? Trippi's strategy was always to concentrate on Iowa and NH for the win and coast to victory. And I did get the feeling that fundraising was indeed being taken almost for granted (and this is the real reason why the mailing list memberships have hit a plateau.)

Campaign staff shakeups are common to all the other campaigns - most notably front-runner Kerry. I don't know enough to have an opinion on whether Joe deserves the axe for Iowa and NH. If anything, I'm biased against it out of sheer personality admiration. But winning is more important. What do you think?


forget Kerry - it's domestic policy, stupid

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
There's all sorts of juicy things you could sink your teeth into about Kerry - like this telling anecdote from Chris Suellentrop in Slate:

In Manchester, Kerry gave a touching speech about the importance of veterans and of "keeping faith with those who wore the uniform." As soon as it was over, a woman stood up and said, I'm not a veteran. What are you going to do for the average person? At a firehouse in Hampton yesterday, a man told Kerry that he thinks it's unfair that people say a New Englander can't connect with people from varying backgrounds. And to prove that you can do it, he says, explain the importance of the icon on my hat. Kerry is mystified. "The Latin? The Ten?" he asks. Malcolm X, the man explains.

But the simple fact is that the race between Dean and Kerry is about Dean. We need to draw people to Dean first. Most of Kerry's support is relatively new, and part of the reason Dean lost support in Iowa was because he went negative. Let Clark (and Lehane) focus their fire on Kerry - but and emphasise that Dean not only knows what the X means, but he's got Jesse Jackson Jr. to vouch for it.

All those endorsements are garbage unless they are leveraged. We need simple commercials - Jesse Jackson Jr. Talking frankly about Dean and race, Gore talking frankly about Dean and Iraq - and Dean himself talking about what he has to offer, his success with Dr. Dynasaur and Success by Six. It's the domestic polcy, stupid.

Forget about Bush Lied and 16 words. Focus instead on the plight of our veterans who have to buy their own plane tickets home on leave and how their benefits are being drastically cut.

Forget about the federal deficit and talk about the raised property taxes which negate the "middle class tax cut" (say it with the sneer quotes). Mention payroll tax cuts.

Dean often talks about how Americans feel left out of the political process. He needs to start showing those people how their concerns are being addressed. It's not about Iraq or deficits or any other long-range national issues. It's about the here and now. It's about consistent job loss. It;s about corporate tax breaks as a reward for moving workers overseas. It's not about the big picture, it's about the facts on the ground.

And the voters will make the distinction between Dean and Kerry on their own, inexorably, inevitably.

Is the campaign listening anymore? I don't know. Joe Trippi hasn't left a comment on Dean Nation in many long months. The official blog remains an echo chamber of motivational speeches and dry logistical coordinating info. I don't know if they even remember we are here. But we are here, and we need to make noise, and fight to get our campaign back on track.


tv ads open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
let this one be just for your TV ideas...


Winning On Electability

posted by Dana at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Here is what killed us last night.

New Hampshire Democrats bought the idea that the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party is, by definition, its more liberal wing, thus its least-electable wing.

Kerry beat us among moderates, and he pounded us on electability.

Over the next week we're going to get a lot of help in taking him down. The media is going to provide much of it. Kerry was Michael Dukakis' Lieutenant Governor. His voting record is more liberal than Teddy Kennedy's. He has never held executive office. Etc. etc. etc.

Wesley Clark and John Edwards are going to help us in this. They are going to direct all their fire on Kerry. This is a good thing.

Governor Dean's ads, meanwhile, are going to start sounding more like the speeches he gave last week in New Hampshire. Overtly or not, they will make the points I made here last night. We are going to run to Kerry's right, on Dean's record, and take back the moderates.

It then becomes crucial that the anti-Kerry vote not go to Clark or Edwards, and that we take the "electability" issue back as well.

That will be even easier.

Start with extravagant praise. John Edwards is a great lawyer, what we wouldn't give to see him as Attorney General instead of John Ashcroft. Wesley Clark is a great military thinker, what we wouldn't give to see him as Defense Secretary instead of Donald Rumsfeld. And Joe Lieberman, wouldn't he make a great Chief Justice when William Rehnquist retires?

But none of these men, as worthy as they are, has any more chance of being elected President in November than Al Sharpton or Dennis Kucinich.

At some point this spring, they will all run through the $45 million they are allowed to spend under the campaign laws. At that point, they will go under virtual house arrest. They will not be able to buy ads, they will not be able to travel, they won't even be able to pay their Internet bills.

That is the law. Bill Clinton used it to hammer Bob Dole in 1996. George W. Bush used it to hammer Al Gore in 2000.

Today Bush has 200 million dollars ready to shock and awe us with the largest ad campaign in political history. He will spend that money turning Edwards into a Breck Girl, Clark into Beetle Bailey, or Lieberman into the devil himself.

The only way Democrats can compete this summer is for 2 million people, or more, to match Bush's $200 million with $200 million of their own. Our campaign can do that. Theirs can't. We would be proud to serve with any one of these worthy gentlemen, but the law as written, the law we will follow through this November, gives them no hope of victory, none.

Run to the right, become the only hope, and the nomination is ours.

Then comes the hard part.


radio ads open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Let's brainstorm! what would make the perfect radio ad? tailored to which state?


The Anti-Kerry

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
When I started this blog on August 30th 2002, John Kerry was the front-runner and Howard Dean was this niche candidate who attracted me by his ideas. When Dean was crowned the front-runner by the media at the close of 2003, it was by definition a peak. But the peak gets the most exposure, and the withering media barrage that Dean has faced - and survived - has strengthened the campaign. It is now Kerry's turn to face the same barrage - which he avoided all during 2002 even though he had front-runner status, and all during 2003 when he was given up on for dead. And that means we get some breathing room. We'd rather have victory, but it's never bad to be given time to re-assess.

Yesterday, a governor of a small rural state lost in New Hampshire to a Massachusetts Senator. The parallels to Clinton in 1992 are strong, but they end today. From here on out, it is Dean making his own history. Clinton lost the first ten contests and regrouped in the South. Dean can't afford to lose ten contests and his natural base is the West. We need to focus on how Dean can win, and today we must stop looking at 1992.

Dean is on familiar ground again - while seasoned analysts like Kos have written him off, I think they are unconsciously) guilty of drinking the media self-importance Kool Aid. Even if Kos is right that the media has an interest to "end this thing as quickly as possible" (I disagree - the media thrives on frontrunner-underdog narratives), it's the height of cynicism to suggest that the voters truly are irrelevant. The primary is ours, not theirs.

I see a very simple scenario ahead. Dean is the anti-Kerry. Only these two candidates have the resources to compete against Bush. Edwards and Clark have celebrity status but the media oxygen has been sucked away - they rate editorials and analysis, but very little actual coverage. Watch for E and C to start sharpening attacks on one of the front-runners and leaving the other alone - my guess is K/E and D/C form "gentlemen's alliances" which may translate to actual Veep roles after the nomination - but don't bet that any of these four will drop out until the final bell (barring some disaster such as Edwards losing badly in SC).

From here, it's a media war. Not candidates doing barbecues and high school speeches (though those will of course continue), but a classic ad blitz on radio and television. In this war, the Dean grassroots (organized through the Dean Commons) will act in parallel to the Dean Unions (especially in Wisconsin and Michigan). The opponent is the well-oiled, and highly experienced, establishment machine that Kerry inherits. Either of these are a force to be reckoned with, and we will see K and D pick up states delivered to each by reasonable, neither tight nor massive, margins. The battle will last all the way to the convention and victory is directly related to effort on the ground, precinct by precinct, state by state, delegate by delegate.

That means it is up to us. Why hasn't that bat broken $700K yet? Dean busted his arse for two years in New Hampshire. Amanda and Jason and Anna froze theirs going from house to house, street to street, door to door. What have we done? NOT ENOUGH.


Daily Review

posted by barb at Wednesday, January 28, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
How long will Dean fight on

New Hampshire Focusing on Iraq, Health Care and Economy

Howard Dean the man for the job

Dean Sees Silver Lining in Second Place

Dean 'very pleased' with New Hampshire finish

Kerry wins again

Florida could play big role in nomination

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


How We Will Beat Kerry

posted by Dana at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This candidate is amazing. Howard Dean is better than us, better even than his campaign managers. He is a brilliant politician.

All week Dean has been telling us how to beat John Kerry. We haven’t been listening. Kerry won Iowa by out-organizing us, and won New Hampshire by stealing our message.

He will not win again.

Howard Dean has shown us the way, in the debates, and in his town hall meetings. We can easily run to Kerry's right, on all the key issues, not just using rhetoric, but with hard facts. It comes down to these three key points:

1. Get this, South Carolina. Dean was FOR Gulf War I. Kerry voted AGAINST. Saddam Hussein was in Kuwait, Bush I had the approval of the UN, he had the entire world on our side and John F. Kerry voted NO. Then, when Bush II had no case, Kerry voted aye, and now tries to pretend he didn't. He’s a fraud on national security.

2. Listen up, Missouri. Dean can BALANCE A BUDGET, Kerry never has. John Kerry voted FOR this record deficit, both for tax cuts and spending increases. Want to visit Canada, Australia, Europe or Japan? YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT. That’s just the first step in a rapid process of economic destruction that can only be reversed by moving to balanced budgets, as in the 1990s. Howard Dean has balanced budgets. He will balance this one. He's a grown-up.

3. Are you hearing this in Arizona? Dean can PASS his health care program. Kerry can’t. Dean’s plan is simple. Buy insurance for the neediest, sell it to the nearly-needy. No big bureaucracy, no change in your present coverage. He did it in Vermont, which is no wealthier than the average state. Kerry wants a BIG GOVERNMENT PROGRAM for health care, another HillaryCare plan that won’t pass and thus won’t solve anything.

The good news, troops, is we will have a lot of help all next week. Edwards will be in South Carolina, hammering home these same points. Clark will be in Oklahoma. Even Joe Lieberman will be saying this in Delaware.

Yes, we need some new ads, and some new literature, but these are the facts. These are just the points Dean hammered home on the stump this last week. The problem is it didn’t sink in. No candidate from Massachusetts has ever lost the New Hampshire primary, and that streak continues.

So John Kerry tonight takes his place alongside President Henry Cabot Lodge, President Edward M. Kennedy, President Michael Dukakis and President Paul Tsongas. Fine.

We have him right where we want him.

Now let’s go out, prove the case, win the marathon, then go after George W. Bush.


Do You Want to Stand Up, or Sit Down?

posted by Christopher at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Based on the early results, I'd say finishing a strong second in New Hampshire is just what the doctor ordered for Dean. The pundits predicted his collapse after Iowa, and New Hampshire voters have repudiated their predictions. While this isn't a huge victory for Dean, it puts him squarely in position with Kerry as the two major candidates in this race.

Some interesting exit polling from CNN:

29% of New Hampshire voters said that "standing up for beliefs" was their top quality in a candidate. Dean led all candidates on that score (47% to Kerry's 20%). That was the top quality voters were looking for in their candidate. Another interesting take was on the candidate "most likely to shake things up" - again Dean overwhelmingly (44% to Clark's 14% with Edwards at 13% and Kerry at 12%).

What this polling tells me is that voters are afraid. They're afraid of George Bush, and they're voting for Kerry because 60% of them think he's "most electable." For my money, a leader who "stands up for his beliefs" and "shakes things up" is exactly the candidate who is "electable."

Let's all work together for first on February 3rd!


How We Will Beat Kerry

posted by Dana at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions


"A Crushing Defeat"

posted by Editor at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Chris Matthews just said that Kerry will win by double digits and it will be "a crushing defeat" for Howard Dean. Sen. Kerry addresses his supporters in a few minutes. Howard Fineman of Newsweek says that now Dean's only option is to start hitting Kerry on his record, as and insider, etc. Further, he says that what "they want on the blog" (he didn't specify Dean Nation or the O-Blog). Is it? Is there any other option?


Dean Matching Funds Challenge

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Take the Dean Nation Matching Funds Challenge - pledge to contribute one dollar per % point that Dean draws in NH!


real-time precinct results coming in

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
as of 6:55 PM CST, Dean is in 2nd by 12 points, but ahead of Clark and Edwards by teh same margin. Only 8% of precincts reporting.. click and obsessively refresh!


Dean on Hannity tonight

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Listen in - this should be great! Dean is scheduled to be on the show in the last hour. I think that's the 8-9pm hour CST, but correct me if I am wrong...

shamelessly stolen from the o-blog.. BTW Kucinich is on with Hannity right now and doing really a great job!


Open Thread: New Hampshire Primary

posted by Editor at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The polls are still open, but not for long. MSNBC is covering the primary, Lou Dobbs is surprisingly talking about securing our borders (see my rant here). But let's get the open thread started and discuss the Dean campaigns showing tonight.

Update: Polls are closed. MSNBC and CNN are both saying it's a close race according to exit polls.
Update: Fox News says exit polling is Kerry by seven points. Also reports Trippi would be greatly pleased with those numbers.
Update: CNN has projected that Sen. John Kerry has won New Hampshire.
Update: MSNBC has projected that Sen. John Kerry has won New Hampshire.
Update: Fox News has projected that Sen. John Kerry has won New Hampshire.


Report from Manchester, NH

posted by Amanda at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Hey everybody!

I'm here in the Manchester office where there are about 30 of us (mostly from Massachusetts for Dean) making phone calls to strong Dean-leaners, trying to get every last potential Dean voter to the polls. This place is absolutely throbbing with voices, phones ringing, and people dashing around.

About an hour ago, Tom Hughes (NH Field Director) announced that they're cautiously optimistic but we need to pull out all the stops this afternoon. He was really pumped and led the whole HQ in several rousing rounds of clapping and foot stomping. The building was shaking!!!

If you're in NH, do whatever you can in the next few hours. If you're not in NH and you can make it here, start driving now! And if you can't make it, send happy thoughts and good karma to all of us in NH! We're gonna be hoarse by tonight, I swear. Oh and pray for the snow to wait 'til 8pm when the polls close!

Remains to be seen if we'll get home to Boston tonight, what with the storm and all. We'll all be gathering at the Univ of Southern NH to watch the returns and listen to Gov. Dean once the resolts are announced, so we may be here late and by then there may be much white stuff to drive through. But we brought our pillows and blankets in case we need to crash here for the night. ;-)

GO DEAN!!!!!


Half-Time Score

posted by Dana at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
DailyKos, who admittedly has a bias in our favor, printed some early exit polls from New Hampshire this afternoon.

Fingers crossed folks. He notes in his item (linked at the headline) that these are like half-time scores at the Super Bowl, and may mean absolutely nothing. But there are good signs from Karen Hicks' visibility operation, and the game isn't over until the final whistle.

LA Times:
Dean 34
Kerry 33

ABC News:
Kerry 37
Dean 31

If these scores hold up, we'll have enough to call it a comeback. If we eke out even a one-vote victory, we're the lead story.

One more note. Kos says MSNBC will broadcast exit poll numbers at 4 PM.

Don't. Give. Up.


fashion observations done right

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
There have been numerous, painful examples of fashion-critique aimed at presidential candidates. We all remember the earth-tone thing with Gore and more recently the sweater thing with Clark - it's nothing but lazy journalism and worse, it actually dilutes the importance of the political process by dragging it down to the very definition of superficiality.

Today, though, Garance Franke-Ruta does fashion analysis right. Not by inferring from the Doctors Deans' clothes what they are trying to spin, but a simple observation of who they are:

If you've ever spent time in the medical arena you know that being a physician is something very different from being an attorney, which is what John Edwards, John Kerry, and Joe Lieberman are. Your stance to the world is simply different if you're a physician, because -- outside of a few specialties, like plastic surgery -- your power doesn't come from how you look or how you appear or even how you sound. It comes from your knowledge and the capacity to do things no one else is authorized to do in their daily lives -- to touch bodies, to demand of individuals, to prescribe courses of action -- and from the human power of interaction. You can't convince people to be healed, no matter how eloquently you speak about disease and suffering or what you wear. You have to actually do something to make a person better. You also have to do the right thing. And if you don't, the consequences can be dire and literally deadly.

The Deans today have doubtless been shaped by their profession as much as their state of residence: Judy Dean wears exam-room shoes, a pair of comfortable slip-ons with rubber wedge heels that seemed a close relative of nurse's shoes, and Howard wears penny-loafers. He's got a pair of coke-bottle-thick gold-wire-rimmed aviator style glasses he wears sometimes when he thinks the press isn't looking. He still wears a square-faced, gold-tone watch that would look perfect poking out of a white, lab-coated sleeve. She doesn't wear make-up -- not even powder -- and looks like a person who has spent years in a job where how she looked was entirely secondary to what she could do. They are doctors, not Vermont hippies, and they helps explain their anti-aesthetic aesthetic as much as anything else.


Henry Cabot Lodge

posted by Dana at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Before you look at the last polls (which show Kerry pulling away), and before we see any real results (which may be quite different) a little historical perspective for y'all.

Back in 1964 the Republican Party faced a choice between fighting or accomodating. Democrats had been in power most of the previous 32 years. The only exception, Dwight Eisenhower, had come from the accomodationist or "Dewey" wing of the party, and his vice president, Richard Nixon, failed election in 1960.

But there was a new voice in the world, a Republican telling his fellow party members that they needed to stand up for themselves, unafraid, that they must have Republican principles. He even had a book, "The Conscience of a Conservative."

The man, of course, was Barry Goldwater.

Now I know I'm going to be roundly criticized for this post, because, in the end, Goldwater lost the election. But Goldwater also changed history. Goldwater took over the Republican Party for conservatism, which was the first step toward taking over the country. He was a very important figure.

Anyway, you may be interested in knowing how Goldwater did in New Hampshire.

He got stomped.

Goldwater finished in a near-tie for second with Nelson Rockefeller, at about 20% of the vote, and the winner was a "favorite son," Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. Lodge, who had been Nixon's running mate in 1960, was an accomodationist, which we'd now call a "liberal" Republican. He was cagey, had made a career of working at the feet of rampant Democracy, and he represented the fear that a full-throated roar on behalf of principle would not work.

In the end, remember, Lodge was wrong. In the end, Goldwater won the nomination. Yes, he failed at the election, but he turned his party, and he turned history.

I said this six months ago. If that's the worst you can say of Howard Dean, and I think it is, then he is a major, vital, important figure in our time, and his cause is worth fighting for.


Daily Review

posted by barb at Tuesday, January 27, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Hardball interview: Howard and Judy Dean

The Misunderstanding of Judy Dean

Democrats fire shots in final New Hampshire push

Six signs to watch in New Hampshire vote

Congressman visits Blacksburg to gain support for Dean

Monday, January 26, 2004


Open Thread: The Daily Show

posted by Editor at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Gov. Dean sat down with the Daily Show's John Stewart. Not the funniest sketch that TDS has ever done, but I think it did show Dean as somebody who is willing to joke around and have fun. Couple this with his earlier interview with Dr. Judy Dean on Hardball, and I think he's had a good media day. If Zogby is right and NH is watching... who knows?


The Only Thing We Have To Fear

posted by Dana at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
For over a week the Dean campaign has done everything right.

The rallies have been huge. The candidate has been wonderful. He won the debate by going consistently to the opponent's right, in a state that lets independents and Republicans vote in the primary. The press has begun ganging up on the other guy for a change. The polls have been moving. The field organization is first-rate. We have all the late momentum.

But I am also prepared for the possibility we may lose tomorrow, to John Kerry.

Two sets of numbers concern me. First, over half those surveyed think John Kerry can beat Bush. Second, a Newsweek poll actually shows Kerry beating Bush.

Many Democrats would sell their souls to beat Bush. And, in New Hampshire, many may be about to.

Because I have a better chance of beating George W. Bush than John Kerry has. We have seen this movie before. Kerry was Michael Dukakis' Lieutenant-Governor. As a Senator, Kerry has usually been in the minority.

Kerry has spent his entire public life on the defensive, and it shows. He's cagey. He voted for the war, not because he thought it was right, but because he figured he could spin it, as he has. He voted for No Child Left Behind. When Bush has bullied, Kerry has retreated, like a good lieutenant before a superior foe. Then he has told voters that, no, that wasn't a retreat, it was a "strategic withdrawal," a "reconnaissance in force."

Governor Dean, on the other hand, has been a political general. Yes, it was a small state. Yes, most were modest battles. But he won them, even the tough ones. And he made life better.

So Dean's not the trouble. The "I Have A Scream" speech isn't the trouble. The trouble is this whole concept of "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." (Polls show liberals are with us, moderates with the more-liberal Kerry.)

I believe in the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. We can't hope to win, as Democrats, until we're proud to stand as Democrats again. We can't win, as Democrats, until we act like Democrats again, until we stand fast again, until we refuse to retreat again, until we are ready to attack and win again.

John Kerry won't do that. His public career shows no examples of the personal courage he displayed in Vietnam, or in the anti-war movement.

But when you've been beat like a dog long enough, as Democrats have, your courage can fail you.

Franklin Roosevelt was right. What we really have to fear, tomorrow, from our fellow Democrats, is fear itself.


media navel-gazing

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I am here to defend the media. Why? Because this "article" by Howard Mortmann, at, does the media a disservice by claiming to be a part of it. In fact, Howard Mortman is a regular contributor to NRO, and stated on NPR that Enron didn't qualify as a political scandal. The article linked above is a collection of blogger quotes, without any reference to where the quotes came from or any links. I am going to give Howard Mortmann the benefit of the doubt and assume that every unnattributed quote is accurate, because I don't see any reason to think he is a liar. But a column saying that bloggers are biased from, well, Howard Mortman is at least deliciously ironic enough that it becomes a good story. It's a familiar modus operandi for Howard Mortmann, though. I wonder when he gets around to doing a similar expose on what the folks at Free Republic say?

But there is a real media bias, as opposed to political-opinion-writer-masquerading-as-real-journalist bias. And you can find no better rigorous documentation of that bias by consulting one of the finest new blogs on the web - the Campaign Desk from the Columbia School of Journalism. The blog is fantastic (and doesn't spare the Dean campaign or any other - keeping us a bit honest too). One of the recurring topics is "Spin Buster", which documents exactly how the media feeds on itself. Their systematic dissection of how Dean's Rebel Yell became the Angry Dean meme is essential reading in understanding how reporters end up writing pieces "devoted solely to the storyline that they have helped to create."

Keep the CJR blog on your reading list - and you'll learn what media bias really is.


Greetings from New Hampshire

posted by Amanda at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Hey everybody.

I've had no time to post for days now. Frankly, I'm still recovering from Iowa. But this is my third day in NH and I just wanted to chime in with my two cents.

First, allow me to say a big 'ol WORD to Anna's post below about why we lost in Iowa. Our precinct captins not being experienced and well-trained and ready to play hardball and way too young -- this was the weakest link. Period. Lots of other factors -- most notably the toolish media -- but the precinct captains would be at the top of my Top Ten List of Reasons Dean Lost Iowa. Live and learn, eh?

That said, Karen Hicks runs a much different and much tighter ship here. I have several friends who work in Manchester HQ and they rave about her. This gives me great hope.

I've been to several events up here over the past few days. Had the privelege of seeing Howard and Judy at the "Women for Dean" event the other day. If you haven't seen the video of the event, please do. It's available at C-SPAN, I believe. I'd post the link but I have only a few moments to post. :-)

Anyway, Dean was just fabulous at this forum on women's issues. Judy was great, too. They both came by the overflow room prior to the main event. I happened to be in the front row of the overflow crowd so I got to shake both their hands and get some good pics. As he was exiting, a group of African-American teens from Chicago sang their Dean rap song for the Drs. Dean. It was so great -- they had led the whole room singing it a few times as we were waiting. Here's how it went (my memory isn't perfect):

I'm a Deanocrat
Yeah Yeah
I'm a Deanocrat
Yeah Yeah
It's not about where we've been
It's about where we're goin'
Where are we goin'?
To DC, baby!
To DC, baby!

Needless to say, the Deans loved it. A great moment.

This morning, I was at a town hall event where Howard and Judy both spoke...preceded by Martin Sheen. This was a highlight -- our MA group just missed Martin in Iowa and we were quite bummed. He did not dissapoint. He compared Dean to Bobby Kennedy -- a comparison I wholeheartedly endorse. Dean did very well, altho it was a more subdued crowd so there was a tad less energy for him to feed off and he seemed tired. There were also several incredibly rude and loud LaRouche hecklers who, god willing, will not be the focus of much media coverage. They were yelling and screaming about how Dean is the only Dem candidate who's never criticised Dick Cheney (LOL) and that Dean is hence a lier, etc. Typical loony ravings. Dean was quite patient with them, saying he respected their freedom of speech and they should do the same and let the woman in the audience who was waiting to ask a question do so. When they wouldn't shut up, he asked his staff and the security folks to please remove the hecklers. The crowd was totally cheering him on.

Oh another tidbit. Some of us from MA have been trying to get the media to pay attention to the fact that (1) John Kerry does not have much popular support in his home state; he is not loved a la Ted Kennedy; his constituent service stinks and everyone knows it; his legislative record is mediocre at best; his vote on Gulf War 2 pissed off a ton of his constituents etc. and (2) Dean has enormous support in MA. We've been trying to get press coverage here in NH for several elected officials who've endorsed Dean. There was a good article in yesterday's NY Times on the subject -- check it out.

Anyway, at the Dean-Sheen-Dean event today (hee), who should sit down next to me and ask if I'm an undecided NH voter or a Dean supporter? Gloria Borger. So I bent her ear on the Kerry-not-popular-in-MA-but-Dean-very-popular-in-MA angle. She was polite but probably won't follow up. Ah well, will keep trying.

Lots to do, must get a move on. Onward!


Points South

posted by Trammell at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Well, Trammell has arrived in Los Angeles, California! The move is complete and I'm unpacked and settled in. How ya doing Dean Nation? Sorry I haven't been more communicative. Boy have a missed blogging a bunch with all the recent goings-on in Iowa and New Hampshire!!! So, just a quick note and you'll likely see a post or two from me in the next day or so.

Cheers and say hi, - Trammell


Why The Polls Are Wrong

posted by Dana at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Math time, boys and girls!

Here's what the pollsters and the news media won't tell you. Here's why the polls are wrong.

Get out your statistics textbooks. Let's turn to the section on "total universe." The larger the market, the more accurately you can forecast its behavior, because the easier it is to get a representative sample.

In a national election, the total universe is over 100 million, so it's relatively easy to get a representative sample.

In a New Hampshire primary, the total universe may be 100-150,000. We don't know. Not only that, but because the total potential universe is small, it's very hard (nearly impossible) to draw a representative sample from it. All the "tricks" pollsters use to even out differences among samples, which work well with a big universe, skew the results further with a small universe.

In a national election, where 100 million vote, you need to change 1 million minds to get a 1% movement in the polls. In a New Hampshire primary, you need a change of 1,000 minds. You can get the same impact by changing the contents of the sample, by changing who actually turns out.

So there is no way for the polls to be right in New Hampshire, and frankly, they never are. They are nearly always wrong. Last time, in the Republican primary, polls taken the day before the election showed Bush up 4% on John McCain. He lost by 17%.

What does this mean? First, momentum is important, and right now it appears Dean has it. Second, Get Out The Vote (GOTV) activities mean everything. You've got to get out all the voters you can. Then you hope for the best.

Fingers crossed.


open thread

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This is it! BTW< rumor has it that Dean will be on the Daily Show tonight. can anyone confirm?


dead Iraqis and dirty tricks

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
the full quote from Dean in New Hampshire:

You can say that it's great that Saddam [Hussein] is gone, and I'm sure that a lot of Iraqis feel it is great that Saddam is gone, but a lot of them gave their lives, and their living standard is a whole lot worse now than it was before."

(emphasis mine). Kudos to Dean for actually talking about dead Iraqis (the one topic that left and right seem to gloss over in the debate about the cost of Iraqi freedom). However, watch for Holy Joe Lieberman, Senator War Hero Kerry, and possibly Edwards in print handouts to ground personnel to spin this as "Dean says Iraqis are worse off after Saddam!" without mentioning that he was explicitly talking about dead Iraqis. Infamous AP writer Nedra Pickler already "fails to mention" that fact in her dishonest headline.

It also seems that someone is calling New Hampshire families at 4am with recorded messages claiming to be from the Dean camp. The NH HQ for the Dean campaign quickly issued a statement:

Statement from State Director Karen Hicks
Posted by Timothy Jones
on Sun, 01/25/2004, 12:50 pm

Today, Karen Hicks, Dean For America's New Hampshire State Director, made the following statement:

"In recent days, our campaign has been hearing reports from New Hampshire voters that they are receiving:

* phone calls early in the morning and late at night;
* "robo calls" from soulless machines, not calls from considerate people;
* calls claiming to originate from the Dean campaign, but do not;
* and even harassing calls and bigoted messages.

Let me be very clear. The Dean campaign does not call New Hampshire homes before 8:30 am or after 8:30 pm. Our calls are made by respectful people, not droning machines. Our callers tell the truth.

We call on the other campaigns to make the same commitments.

We are grateful for the extraordinary engagement of New Hampshire's people in this race. But our campaign believes that everyone deserves some peace, some respect, and a truthful message."

What links these issues is the way in which a major target remains painted on Dean's back, despite all talk of Clark and Kerry needing to focus their guns on each other. Clark might well lose to Edwards for third place, and the other campaigns stil see Dean as a major threat - they fear the bat.

Now, it's too early to tell whether the other campaigns will run with the dead Iraqi quote, since not even Newsmax or Drudge have gotten around to it yet. Maybe the campaigns will remain above the fray. And I personally doubt that any of the campaigns are directly involved in the phone scamming, though whoever is responsible is probably someone senior enough to have access to the resources necessary for the stunt. Only Kerry has really gone explicitly negative. I think we are seeing a ground war fought by extremists within the Kerry camp and also by RNC strategists in sync (but not in collusion) out of Deanfear.

Still, we know that these smear campaigns do work. So, follow the directive of President Bartlett - today is Howard Dean Day in the Granite State. Show your suport by feeding the Comeback Bat and let's root for our team freezing their butts off in NH! Show Jason and all the other volunteers that you're with them in spirit - feed the bat!


Yes, We Have A Chance

posted by Dana at Monday, January 26, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Given up for dead in New Hampshire just a few days ago, the Dean campaign has roared back into a statistical dead heat with that of John Kerry, according to the latest MSNBC/Zogby tracking poll.

That poll had Kerry ahead 28-25, but that is within the poll's margin of error. Dean has gained 7 points in the Zogby poll in two days.

We've done this by staying positive, allowing Kerry to go negative, on both Clark and on us. This is precisely the mistake we made in Iowa, focusing only on Gephardt, going negative on Gephardt, while Kerry and Edwards stood above the fray.

The key to the next 24 hours is to keep the pressure on. Keep talking to people. Accept "no" if that's the answer. We can win if we get the votes of independents, so find them and make sure you can get ours to the polls.

It's all going to be about GOTV (get out the vote) tomorrow, with snow expected and temperatures under 10 degrees. Zogby has Dean leading in New Hampshire's Second Congressional District, but that's where the distances to the polling places are greatest. He also has us leading among voters under 30, which are also those least likely to vote.

There's an old football saying called "Finish The Drill." By that they mean work right through the tape to the finish line, because it's the team that finishes strong, with energy left in the last minutes of the fourth quarter, that wins the game.

Finish The Drill, Deaniacs. Or take it in another context, that of the great New England poet Robert Frost:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, January 25, 2004


Dean and Bin Laden

posted by Brian Ulrich at Sunday, January 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I see from this Kerry attack mailing that they are using Dean's comments on trying Osama Bin Laden. Not to put too fine a point on it, bit if the Israelis can try Adolf Eichmann, surely we can try Bin Laden. In some places, people clamor for trials of those who have wronged them. Perhaps Americans have grown so complacent in our prosperity that we've lost track of the things that make us truly great. Fortunately there's at least one candidate in the race who understands, and is level-headed enough to keep them foremost in his mind.

That is all.


Sunday in New Hampshire

posted by Jason at Sunday, January 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
First, computer time is a rare commodity here in the New Hampshire state Dean for America office. My apologies for the abrupt ending yesterday and in advance today.

Today was in almost every way an ideal day. All day, positivity and optimism surrounded me. Dr. Dean himself said that tracking polls were definitely going in the right direction and that we were the only campaign moving at all.

I started the day in a much better state, after having hung out with several other volunteers and slept in an actual bed. This morning, I was lucky enough to see a town hall meeting conducted by the Doctors Dean at SNHU, which you should watch if you can (it was taped by C-SPAN). The place was packed -- I arrived 15 minutes before it was scheduled to start, and the overflow room was overflowing. Before the Deans spoke, they actually came out to the overflow room first for a quick introduction (which was an extremely thoughtful gesture to the folks in that room). After a fine introduction by Judy in the main room, Howard proceeded by, simply, inspiring. He was presidential, but he was also real. You should watch the speech if you can; it was taped by C-SPAN. I can't do it justice here.

After the town hall meeting, I went back to the off-site volunteer office and canvassed with an interesting guy from D.C. named Micheal (sic). We went to probably 25 doors before it got dark, dropped off tapes of the Diane Sawyer interview, and talked to about 10 people -- several of whom were strong Dean supporters. Afterwards, I came back to the state office and did some voter ID calls, inviting people to events.

They need me to unload videos from a van... more later.


Time’s Arrow Points To You

posted by Dana at Sunday, January 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
I saw something yesterday, on the streets of my home town, that chilled me to my bones.

It was an old VW bug, painted pink, with a pig’s snout and ears welded to the hood. On the side was painted “Pink Floyd,” with the logo from their “Dark Side of the Moon” on it, the triangular crystal refracting a rainbow. No big deal, until I looked at the driver. His hair was white, and his white beard hung down to his chest. He wasn’t the owner’s father. He was the car’s builder.

Here in the middle of life, or a campaign, we can easily forget Time’s Arrow, or where it points for all of us. But figure the driver for 60. He was 30 when he made that car.

Then look around at this election. John Kerry defines himself as a Vietnam Veteran, Wesley Clark was a captain in that conflict. Even Governor Dean was seared by it, cheered to declared 1-Y for the draft after Kerry threw his medals away, and his good brother Charlie dead in Laos.

All that was all 30 years ago, and more. Kerry’s defining himself by Vietnam is like a Progressive in 1904 wearing his Civil War medal. Salute, but it’s irrelevant. “[Vietnam] is young people dying for the wrong reasons, because leaders don't do the things that they should to protect them. Yes I do [see a parallel with Iraq].”

He’s living in the past. Maybe we all are.

James MacGregor Burns writes in his book “Transforming Leadership” that two points mark a Transformative Leader, the kind of leader we all see in Governor Dean.

First, a movement arises around him that he did not create. (Check.)

Second, leaders emerge from within that movement.

Win or lose in New Hampshire, it is time for Phase Two to commence.

I think Anna Topia would make a great Congresswoman from Texas. I do. She’s old enough to run, by her own admission. Maybe, in 2004, she’d be swamped, perhaps even in the primary. But she would learn, and grow. She could try again, and win.

Aziz could be a Senator, and Jason a Mayor. Matt B. could be whatever he wants to be. Christopher, Amanda, name your position and go for it. Maybe you, dear reader, should be considering a run for City Council, or School Board. When Jimmy Carter ran for re-election in 1980, young Dr. Howard Dean licked envelopes.

Don’t look my way, though. I’m 49. I like naps, I’ve got high blood pressure, and I’ve always been more of a a Tom Paine-in-the-neck than a Jefferson. But I’ll be here on the sidelines, cheering you all on.

Let the last words here be Burns’.

"Can we, in coming decades, mobilize throughout the world a new, militant, but peaceful army -- tens of thousands of leaders who would in turn recruit fresh leaders at the grass roots, in villages and neighborhoods, from among the poor themselves, to fight and win a worldwide war against desperation?"

It’s your time now.


Kerry Goes Negative

posted by Christopher at Sunday, January 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
Apparently the Kerry camp is sensing what the rest of us are... Dean is making a comeback in New Hampshire. Today, Kerry accused Gov. Dean of "flip-flops" on taxes and foreign policy. Umm... Senator Kerry, are we doing a little projecting here?

Howard Dean stood up to George Bush's unilateral action in Iraq - Senator Kerry voted for it, but then voted against the $87 billion to fund it, and has spent the entire campaign trying to explain his positions on the issue...

On the economy, Howard Dean says we need a balanced budget and the only way to get back on track is to repeal the "Bush Tax" - Bush's ill-advised tax cuts for the wealthy in this country. Senator Kerry says we need tax cuts, and by the way, we're going to fund education, provide more health care, etc., etc.

I'm not saying those aren't good goals, but the reality is that Dean is the only candidate with the courage to say there's no free ride. We've all got to pitch in to get the economy and the budget back on track. Dean has been extremely consistent in his positions during the campaign - it's the others who have shifted to try to appeal to Dean's supporters. Nice try, Senator Kerry, but it won't wash.


German Trial Hears How Iranian Agent Warned US of Impending al-Qaida Attack,11209,1130338,00.html

posted by Conan at Sunday, January 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
This guy was a surprise witness at the trial of an al-Qaida operative. This is breaking news. Here are the money quotes:

The United States was warned of impending September 11 terrorist attacks by an Iranian spy, but ignored him, German secret service agents testified yesterday in the trial of an alleged al-Qaida terrorist.

The spy, identified as Hamid Reza Zakeri, tried to warn the CIA after leaving Iran in 2001, but was not believed, two German officers who interviewed him told the Hamburg court...

...The testimony at the Hamburg trial could heap more embarrassment on the US state department and secret services, which have denied allegations that they were forewarned of the attacks.

The White House and US intelligence agencies have been plagued by accusations of a catastrophic failure since the four planes were hijacked to such devastating effect in 2001.

Allow me to begin the embarrassment-heaping process. Dean has been castigated in the press for his December 1 statement on the Diane Rehm public radio show speculating that the Bush administration may have been forewarned about the 9/11 attacks. I remember thinking back then that sooner or later the truth would come out and Dean would look like a prophet. Well, somebody get the guy a laurel wreath, because he's a-prophesizing. Dean does not need to back off of the antiwar platform – he needs to wait calmly as the chickens come home to roost for Dubya. And not too many chickens can roost on a Shrub.

You can find the Diane Rehm interview here:

(Can't figure out how to make this a hyperlink).

Conan Dean Carey
PhD Candidate, Japanese Literature
Tabling Coordinator, Stanford Students for Howard Dean


Americans Love An Underdog

posted by Dana at Sunday, January 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions

Today, two days before the New Hampshire primary, every poll shows our campaign trailing that of Senator John Kerry.

The margin is anywhere from a few points to dozens. Some say we have momentum. Others say we've got nothing.

But know this.

Americans love the underdog. We don't root for Goliath, even when we're Goliath. We root for the scrappy little guy. We relish the comeback. It's in our nature.

Americans like to see the little guy come off the deck and hit the big guy in the chin. It's when everyone says you can't that Americans say you can.

It's always been that way. Especially in New Hampshire.

George W. Bush didn't win the New Hampshire primary. John McCain did. Bill Clinton didn't win it. Paul Tsongas did. Even crazy Pat Buchanan pulled a New Hampshire surprise.

So why the long faces? Our candidate is doing everything right, and has been since Thursday. Our people are working hard. Our support is committed. We have been running to the right of Kerry all week -- all we need to do is get his less-committed supporters to notice.

And even a strong second place puts us in decent shape heading South, where Kerry has less organization. Assuming, as some polls indicate, it's Wesley Clark who New Hampshire voters are about to throw under the bus, we have yet-another growth opportunity, because (as some of my friends have been pointing out), Clark's campaign has been doing some good things with software lately.

So repeat after me. There's no need to fear, Underdog is here.


RNC thugs in Iowa, and how Kerry handed us our a**...

posted by annatopia at Sunday, January 25, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
One final brain dump about Iowa and then I'm done. The reason I waited until today to write this up is I was hoping someone would post the video from the Drake University event last Saturday in Des Moines. Since the video is still forthcoming, I guess I'll have to spill and hope whomever has it releases it later.
What am I talking about? Go click on the article above and read all about it. The RNC sent thugs to Iowa to disrupt our events. At the Drake University event, the RNC thugs stormed the event holding large Bush/Cheney04 signs and chanting "4 more years". A shoving match ensued and eventually they were driven from the room when everyone sang "The Star Spangled Banner" in unison.
Why all the fuss over a candidate that poses "no threat" to Bush? Because they don't know how to beat us. There are several conventional ways to attack the two Johns, the General, and the other candidates. And can those candidates stir up the kind of grassroots passion that will drive our GOTV efforts this fall?
On Sunday I got to watch the ten minute video of what transpired at Drake University. I don't know who took the video or where it is now, but someone out there has the footage and hopefully it'll be floating around the 'net soon. Everyone needs to see the kind of tactics these thugs are employing. For the good of the entire party all Democratic supporters need to know how far they'll go to beat us.
Now on to Senator Kerry. I really need to give him props (as we all should) for building a super stealth field organisation that kicked our butts in Iowa. This article credits Michael Whouley, longtime Democratic activist. Props to Mr Whouley. I'm glad he's on the Democratic side. Anyway. Whouley built the network, and got Kerry people into the important positions of leading the many of the precinct caucuses. This is where we blew it. We sent inexperiences newbies up against trained field operatives. On top of that, we tried to play nice and they didn't. The Kerry and Edwards people ran the show. They sat undecideds between the Kerry & Edwards groups and relegated us to the other side of the room. They planted their own supporters among the undecideds and were able to sway them. The Edwards people even came with their own attack packets which included smears against Dean and the others, and they used these arguments to sway undecideds. Mr Positive, yea okay. Anyway, the point being that when it came to the caucuses, these two were better prepared and we weren't. Our volunteers weren't up to speed, and there was random talk of overselling the Iowans, and it simply failed us.
This is why I was so upset when I came back from Iowa. I felt we could have done a much better job of being prepared. We should have trained harder, screened our phone lists better, and we should have prepared for dirty tricks. And above all, we did not need to go negative for those last few weeks. Gephardt/Dean took each other down a few notches.
But we can do better.
Apparently the field organisation in New Hampshire is much better than they were in Iowa. Based on the new ads, it seems our ads folks have learned their lesson. It also seems that the New Hampshire volunteers are better prepared as well, and above all, this is a primary. One person, one vote. How do I think we'll fare in New Hampshire. Well honestly, I think we need to prepare ourselves for a second or third place finish. I don't think we have enough time to catch Kerry, but the polls seem to indicate a slight recovery for us. The media blitz bounce is finally showing up, and things don't look so bad right now. Just remember that we have the resources to fight another day. We need to be thinking about Feb 3.
I'm anticipating a decent showing on Tuesday. But I also want everyone here to anticipate a media Gore-ing of us if we don't place first. Please get your pens and emails ready, because we are going to have to push back no matter what happens. I was serious the other day when I said the media was not our friend, so please get ready to write some letters/emails on Wednesday.
Here's a list of addresses for all the major media outlets (culled from the comments section over on Counterspin):

Thanks for letting me ramble on. I still had all these things on my mind and getting them out seems to help. I still believe we can win the nomination, and I hope that you have not lost faith. Ignore the trolls that keep dumping on this board. They want to dance on our grave, but we're not dead yet.

Saturday, January 24, 2004


New Hampshire Part II

posted by Jason at Saturday, January 24, 2004 permalink 0 comments View blog reactions
The New Hampshire campaign is vibrant, hopeful, and chaotic--and may very well propel us to victory on Tuesday.

One travel day and one full volunteering day later, I am at the center of things in Manchester. Saturday started encouragingly, with excellent message and canvass training from David Bringer and other organizers in Manchester. David's open Q & A was very informative and encouraging. My last-minute arrival made it difficult for me to find a place to go (provisionally, California volunteers were assigned to Keene, NH); however, I spent much of the day performing odd tasks at the volunteer staging office in Manchester (accompanied by many extremely nice people from SEIU Local 1199 and others from Rochester, NY). After reporting back to the main field office in the evening, I felt much more productive, calling supporters and undecided voters to persuade them to vote for Dean on Tuesday and to invite them to see Governor Dean and Dr. Judy Dean's town meeting at the Southern New Hampshire University's Hospitality Center at 9:30 Sunday morning. [Everyone is invited!]

I managed to meet and talk to many very nice, very committed, very real people. Howard is truly people-powered, and I can't imagine that any of the other candidates has as amazing a base of supporters as Dean.

I'm heading off to a place called "Creative Classroom" to stay tonight--undoubtedly an improvement over the Manchester Y. I anticipate a highly productive day tomorrow.

Being in the thick of things, I'm completely insulated from whatever might have appeared in the media in the last 48 hours. Heading out now... more tomorrow.

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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.