Archive for February, 2004

26
Feb
04

Stay Tune…

Just wanted to jot down to all my readers a quick note. As many of you can tell I am a big Howard Dean supporter. Just catch the last Mike Malloy show and damn! I am going to miss these guys. A lot of good men have given all they could to the cause, the just fight and now is the time for the Kerry�s and Edwards to pick-up the ball and run with it. Run like hell and don�t stop until you cross that finish line. Stay tune, more to come�

19
Feb
04

AlterNet: The Assassination of Howard Dean

AlterNet: The Assassination of Howard Dean: “The Assassination of Howard Dean
By Naeem Mohaiemen, AlterNet
February 18, 2004
Two months ago, Howard Dean was the man to beat for the Democratic nomination. Then his campaign fell over a cliff, limping in as a distant second, third and even fourth, in the primaries. On Wednesday Dean officially ended his bid for the White House, telling supporters, ‘I am no longer actively purusing the presidency.’
What happened? How could Dean’s insurgent candidacy, which had energized and excited voters in every state, come to such a screeching halt? The pundits claim Dean’s “rage” undid him, that voters took a “second look,” etc. etc. Nonsense really. The answer is much simpler. Howard Dean was assassinated in broad daylight. Unlike Kennedy’s “grassy knoll,” Dean’s killers are not hiding � it was the Democratic Party itself, and more specifically the DLC, that successfully went after, and sabotaged his candidacy.

Remember the 1980s, when the Democratic Party found itself facing unassailable Ronald Reagan, “It’s morning in America” slogans and an era of go-go optimism? In three successive elections, the Democrats were felled by the memory of Jimmy Carter. Dems were seen as soft on the Soviets, mullahs, crime and welfare mothers. Although Carter’s gentle ways secured the historic Camp David Egypt-Israel accord, most Americans remembered the Iranian hostages, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the infamous “malaise” speech.

In 1988, Dukakis went down to Bush I because Republicans successfully painted him with the “L” word � “too liberal”. Faced with a 12-year losing streak, a new generation of party activists took control of the party. Led by Bill Clinton and others, they formed the DLC � a powerful group with the explicit intention of moving the Democrats away from the left to the centre, from where they would beat the Republicans. Bill Clinton was the DLC’s first candidate, and his eight-year run solidified its hold on the party. Clinton’s Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was another DLC heavyweight, and until he was killed in a plane crash, instrumental in moving the party away from “liberal” positions.

Nothing succeeds like success. Buoyed by Clinton’s popularity, a balanced budget and an era of prosperity, the DLC became the standard-bearer for the Democrats’ political identity. That is until 2000, when the DLC’s next king-apparent, Al Gore, took a stumble in the Florida panhandle and was then hog-tied by the Supreme Court. When the dust had settled and King George was safely inside the palace, a recount revealed that Gore had actually won, but the damage was done. The DLC’s critics now came out of hiding � attacking the party for being too centrist, too cautious and too much like “Republican-lite.” If you try to ape the right-wing of the nation, voters may decide to go for the “real thing”!

Howard Dean emerged within this specific context. From day one, he positioned himself as a reformer of the Democratic party � the man who would bring the party back to its liberal roots. Dean hit headlines by being the anti-war candidate. But even within that position, most of his criticism was of his Democratic cohorts, for cravenly accepting the Iraq war. Dean took pleasure in flaying candidates like Kerry for voting in support of the war resolution. The party took notice when Dean got up on stage and announced, “I’m Howard Dean, and I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party!”

Another part of the Dean story, and threat to the party establishment, was his style and appeal. Howard Dean has often been labeled the “prophet of rage.” It’s certainly true that he was an angry man � angry at Bush, the war, the budget deficit, the mushrooming unemployment cloud, at all things that had gone badly wrong in three short years. This anger hit a chord with the popular imagination � dissatisfaction with Bush was high and Dean was the perfect protest candidate.

Another core part of Dean’s appeal was his overwhelming support among young people. In 2000, one of the lowest voter turnouts was among young people. If you were under 24, you tuned out and stayed home in November. By contrast, the bulk of Howard Dean’s support was among the youth of America. Energized by a strategy focused on Internet campaigning, “Generation Dean” or “Dean 2.0” spread across college campuses and gave a youthful aura to the man from Vermont.

Of course, the DLC did not take kindly to this direct challenge. The crucial dynamic in America today is that big companies, political parties and media are powerful businesses � and they will do anything to crush new threats. The DLC reacted with fury to the Dean candidacy, going all out to torpedo his momentum. Although Democratic nominees soon piled on the “bash-Dean” bandwagon, earlier attacks were carried out by DLC operatives. There was even the smell of scandal when two top Democratic candidates were found sharing information about Dean in an attempt to slow him down.

This is where Dean lost a crucial ally � the mainstream media also joined in on the anti-Dean feeding frenzy. In his early days, he had flayed big media for caving in to George Bush on Iraq, and media giants never forgave him for this. In the same week, Time and Newsweek ran “Who is the Real Howard Dean?” stories. One cover showed a face covered in dark shadows, another showed an incomplete jigsaw puzzle! Semioticians take note � bad guys in westerns always have their faces obscured in shadows!

In the end, Dean threatened a troika of powerful institutions. He was a threat to the political parties (because he attacked Democrats’ centrist drift), to media (because he criticized their cowardly reporting) and to big business (because he would roll back chummy tax-benefits for corporations). All three institutions responded with venom and destroyed Dean’s candidacy. In 1968, a sniper’s bullet ended Robert Kennedy’s anti-establishment candidacy. In 2004, the methods used were more subtle, but just as effective.

America is riven by a strange schizophrenia. It is an entrepreneurial nation that prizes individuality and celebrates non-conformists. Especially in the area of business, mavericks like Ted Turner and George Soros have been able to define their own space. But in the area of politics, the establishment guards the doors zealously � outsiders have no chance. In 1976 an unknown peanut farmer from Georgia came out of nowhere to capture the White House. Jimmy Carter was the anti-Nixon, his mantra was, “Trust me, I will never lie to you!” But insurgency candidates like Carter don’t appear too often. People like Bernie Sanders have to run on Socialist tickets. Other voters are deserting the Democrats for the Green Party and Working Families Party, scoring small, incremental victories in local council elections across the nation.

Coming back to the 2004 elections, barring any surprises, John Kerry will get the nomination. If GIs keep dying in Iraq, if job losses continue, if popular anger over right-wing policies grow, Kerry has a shot. I’m part of the ABBA (Anyone But Bush Again) brigade. If Bush goes down to Kerry, I’ll be the first to celebrate. But the Democratic Party is still waiting for a candidate who will help rediscover its soul.

Naeem Mohaiemen is the editor of Shobak.org.

18
Feb
04

A Beginning not an End

Howard Dean for America: HomeToday my candidacy may come to an end�but our campaign for change is not over.

I want to thank each and every person who has supported this campaign. Over the last year, you have reached out to neighbors, friends, family and colleagues�building one American at a time the greatest grassroots campaign presidential politics has ever seen. I will never forget the work and the heart that you put into our campaign.

In the coming weeks, we will be launching a new initiative to continue the campaign you helped begin. Please continue to come to http://www.deanforamerica.com for updates and news as our new initiative develops. There is much work still to be done, and today is not an end�it is just the beginning.

This Party and this country needs change, and you have already begun that process. I want you to think about how far we have come. The truth is: change is tough. There is enormous institutional pressure in our country against change. There is enormous institutional pressure in Washington against change, in the Democratic Party against change. Yet, you have already started to change the Party and together we have transformed this race. Along the way, we�ve engaged hundreds of thousands of new Americans in the political process, as witnessed by this year�s record participation in the primaries and caucuses.

The fight that we began can and must continue. Although my candidacy for president may end today, the most important goal remains defeating George W. Bush in November, and I hope that you will join me in doing everything we can to support the Democrats this fall. From the earliest days of our campaign, I have said that the power to change Washington rests not in my hands, but in yours. Always remember, you have the power to take our country back.

Gov. Howard Dean M.D.

And so begins the long road to change America for the better. Godspeed to you Gov Dean as you continue the good fight.

-OJD

18
Feb
04

Dean to Announce Plans Today (washingtonpost.com)

Dean to Announce Plans Today (washingtonpost.com): “Dean to Announce Plans Today
Various Reports Speculate on Future of Campaign
By Fred Barbash and Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, February 18, 2004; 10:13 AM
Howard Dean, the one-time front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president, scheduled an announcement of some sort from Burlington, Vt., at 1 p.m. in the wake of his third place showing in Wisconsin’s primary election, which he had once described as a make or break state. Speculation and anonymously sourced stories today variously had Dean dropping out, dropping out but remaining on ballots, suspending his campaign, recasting his campaign and saying nothing conclusive so he can think things over.

Tuesday night, Dean talked with Edwards, the second place finisher in Wisconsin, prompting more speculation that Dean might endorse the North Carolinian.

Edwards said on morning news programs that the conversation was “typical” and did not include a discussion of Dean’s plans.

“The decision about what Governor Dean’s going to do is entirely for him to make,” Edwards said on the CBS “Early Show.” “I would never presume to be involved in that. And he’s made an enormous contribution to this campaign, bringing in lots of people who otherwise wouldn’t have been involved, particularly young people. I think he’s made a very impressive candidate.

“But if he chooses not to go forward, of course I’d want his support. I mean, I think this fighting for change, the things that — some of the things that he’s been fighting for are very similar to some of the things that I’ve been fighting for. Both of us believe Washington has to change.”

The former Vermont governor’s fall from the heights is likely to go down as one of the great lessons learned in the disparity between hope and hype.

Universally hailed as the leader of the pack before any votes were cast, Dean proceeded to lose every contest he entered. His best showing in primary elections was New Hampshire, where he secured 26 percent of the vote, good enough only for second place in a state where he had concentrated his efforts.

He has acknowledged that his animated speech after his loss in the Iowa caucuses–a much ridiculed moment–probably contributed to his loss in New Hampshire. If nothing else, it turned the would-be president of the United States into a late-night TV caricature.

After that, he was unable to attract more than 18 percent anywhere, with embarrassing lows of 5 percent (South Carolina), 7 percent (Virginia) and 10 percent (Delaware.)

During the past week, his campaign organization seemed particularly disorganized, with Dean publicly contradicting his campaign chairman about the candidate’s post-Wisconsin plans.

Edwards, meanwhile, worked to turn defeat into victory, which technically belonged to Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) once again.

While losing to Kerry by six percentage points in Wisconsin, he said the results nonetheless mean “I’m the best person to beat George Bush,” as he said on CBS, “because in order to win the general election in the fall, we have to be able to attract independent voters. You know, the electorate’s basically a third Democrats, a third independents and a third Republicans, and we have to be able to attract those people to be able to win. And Wisconsin was just another in a long series of examples that those folks vote for me, which is what we’ll have to have to win in the fall.”

Dean had a light-hearted flight home Tuesday night. Boarding a charter flight from Madison, Wis., he walked the aisles of the plane, signing T-shirts, and “cheese-head” souvenirs for members of the media traveling along with him, and joking that the campaign would be heading to Hawaii next week.

Dean was greeted on the tarmac at the Burlington airport by a few dozen supporters and volunteers when he landed at around 1:30 this morning.

“I can’t believe you guys are all the way out here,” he said, as they chanted his name. Asked if he was happy to be home, he said “It’s a delight. It’s a great delight” before driving off in a car with a top aide.

Reporters, who had been told that nothing was planned for Wednesday, were then informed in the terminal that an “event” had been scheduled for 1 p.m.

He helped unload baggage from the flight, including at least five cases of root beer acquired on a factory tour in Wisconsin.

Finer reported from Burlington, Vt.

18
Feb
04

Blog for America

Blog for America

Comments: Special Meeting

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I so want a chance to vote for real change! Keep on fighting!

Posted by jim_from_ohio at February 18, 2004 09:33 AM

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Thank you, Howard, for all you’ve done for your country and your party. I’ll always be with you.

Posted by Gary in NY at February 18, 2004 09:33 AM

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History will not forget what’s been done here, what Dean has done.

Posted by worksanddays at February 18, 2004 09:34 AM

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I S T I L L B E L I E V E !!!!

Posted by NYC FIREMAN at February 18, 2004 09:34 AM

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Repost:

Hey people… calm down a little please.

The fight will continue. The pressure should be enormous over Gov. to stop his campaign. The DNC doesn’t care about Kucinich or Sharpton, but Dean is a pain in the *** for them.
If Dean stops campaigning the FIGHT is 100% in our hands.
100% GRASSROOTS!
May be we won’t win the nomination but for sure we can give a good battle.
This fight has to keep going after Boston, this is for the control of the Party, this is for a REAL DEMOCRACY. We have seen the real face of the system, the Party, the DNC, the DLC, the MEDIA… now we know the ENEMY.

THIS FIGHT IS JUST BEGINNING!!!

Posted by Latinotoo at February 18, 2004 09:34 AM

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😀

/got nothing.

Posted by Nathe at February 18, 2004 09:34 AM

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Thanks for everything Dr. Dean. You brought a great message to the democratic party. I hope that we don’t lose the message now that the media has turned everything we’ve worked for into a joke.

I encourage you to keep the message alive, but don’t give the media anymore fire to poke fun at all of us. We are very strong, and we will be back!

Posted by boneman at February 18, 2004 09:34 AM

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Let’s change the face of American politics. I can just see Howard Dean as the antithesis to Rush Limbaugh on natinonal radio. With Al Gore’s support and Howard Dean’s honesty, we can blow doors off the Republican hold on our country. Regardless, I’m still voting for Dean March 9 in Mississippi! Howard, you are my hero.

Posted by Mimi in Mississippi at February 18, 2004 09:34 AM

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KEEP OUR INFO OUT OF THE WRONG HANDS!

All this that I’m reading about aides to the Governor talking about giving our information to some other candidate or the DNC has me more than a little concerned.

As a result, I’ve put up a petition that makes the request that all of the personal information that we’ve given to the Dean for America campaign be kept private and not shared with any third parties.

Sign it now and spread it around!

http://www.petitiononline.com/DFAforUS/petition.html

or Click on my name to sign the petition.

Posted by Gerald D. Troiano at February 18, 2004 09:34 AM

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reposting from end of last thread —
LA Times: Dean to End Campaign, Stay in Race

BURLINGTON, Vt. (Reuters) – Howard Dean returned home to Burlington, Vermont, early on Wednesday carrying a decision to quit his presidential campaign but remain in the race for the nomination, the Los Angeles Times reported in Wednesday’s editions.

“Though Dean is not going to formally drop out of the race, he is going to stop campaigning,” a Dean aide told the newspaper.

“The move would allow his supporters to continue to vote for him in the upcoming primaries and have a say at the Democratic National Convention in July,” The Times reported.

The decision was to be announced here on Wednesday; however, Dean had begun talking in the past tense about his bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

The former Vermont governor suffered an apparent knockout on Tuesday in the Wisconsin primary — his 17th defeat without a victory in the Democratic nominating process. Still, he came out swinging, telling backers at a rally in Madison, “We are not done yet.”

While Dean’s presidential campaign may soon end, he said the movement he began with his Internet-based organization and anti-war, anti-Washington message would push on.

“We will change the Democratic Party; we will change America; we will change the White House,” Dean said in Wisconsin to applause from a flag-waving crowd of several hundred.

Democratic front-runner John Kerry won the Wisconsin contest, with Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina finishing a close second. Dean was a distant third.

Dean has said Edwards would be a stronger candidate against Republican President Bush than Kerry, whom he has denounced as beholden to special interests.

Dean appeared to acknowledge his White House race was over when he thanked the painters union on Tuesday for having “stuck with us right to the end.”

Dean helped reshape the 2004 White House race by tapping in early to voters’ concerns about the war in Iraq, health care and the soaring federal deficit — energizing Democrats and sharpening criticism of Bush.

With his Internet-based organization, Dean also smashed fund-raising records and connected with legions of new political activists.

But while he soared to the top in the polls last year, he never saw his following translate into victories from voters this year.

Posted by CSBRI at February 18, 2004 09:35 AM

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Is this it?

Posted by jjkral at February 18, 2004 09:35 AM

18
Feb
04

Political Capital

Time to spend our political capital wisely. Which candidate should the governor endorse, Edwards or Kerry. I vote Edwards, but I will vote for ABB (anybody but bush).

17
Feb
04

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: “By Thomas Ferraro
MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean headed toward an anticipated defeat in the Wisconsin primary today but trained his focus on next month’s big round of contests and said, ‘I’m optimistic’. A loss in Wisconsin, however, would be his 17th without a victory in the Democratic nominating process so far. And according to his former campaign chairman, Steve Grossman, another dismal showing would effectively end his race for the White House.

Dean had agreed with such assessments a week ago. But he has since vowed to push on, saying other backers convinced him he still had a shot and must remain as the party’s progressive voice.

“I think we are in reasonable shape,” the former Vermont governor told CBS’s “Early Show” as he made the rounds on television morning talk shows. “I’m optimistic.”

The anti-war, anti-Washington maverick, who lost his front-runner status a month ago to U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, said he had the money and staff to regroup.

“Our campaign is not in turmoil at all. We are moving forward and we are going to go to ‘Super Tuesday’ and on beyond that,” Dean told NBC’s “Today Show”.

On “Super Tuesday”, March 2, 10 states — including California, New York and Ohio — vote in the process to pick a Democrat to challenge U.S. President George W. Bush in November.

Despite Dean’s optimistic talk, a senior aide said it remained unclear how far he will go, and in what form he would proceed.

“A lot depends on today and what happens here,” the aide said.

Polls show Dean trailing Kerry by a 2-to-1 margin in Wisconsin, and running about even with U.S. Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

Some backers have said that if Dean loses Wisconsin, they expect to call him on Wednesday and suggest he end his bid.

“I’m sure you’ll get those calls,” said Roy Neel, Dean’s campaign manager. “But there are a substantial number of people saying, ‘this isn’t over,’ that this race is good for the party.”

Dean plans to spend Wednesday at home in Burlington, Vermont, reassessing strategy, and Neel said he had begun writing a schedule leading up to the March 2 contests.

Grossman departed as Dean’s campaign chairman this week, saying he would back Kerry if Dean fared poorly in Wisconsin and that such a loss would effectively end the race.

A number of aides said “everything will be on the table,” when Dean re-evaluates his campaign.

The former Vermont governor already has toned down his attacks on Kerry and promised to back the eventual nominee.

“My thought about this is we’re not going to do anything to tear down the Democratic nominee,” he told CBS. “And if Senator Kerry is the Democratic nominee, we need to support him.”

One option being considered is for Dean to continue to work with the movement he established for his White House bid on behalf of social and political change.

Dean’s campaign for presidency has been a wild roller coaster ride.

He helped reshape the 2004 Democratic campaign by tapping in early to voters’ concerns about the war in Iraq, health care and the soaring federal deficit — energising Democrats and sharpening criticism of Bush’s administration.

With his Internet-based organisation, Dean also smashed fund-raising records and connected with legions of new political activists.

But while he soared to the top in the polls last year, he never saw his following translate into victories, losing first in Iowa with a poor third-place showing and then in New Hampshire to Kerry, whose surprise win in Iowa fuelled what has been a steady drive to the nomination.”