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Saturday, August 09, 2003

DEAN IS IN

From the covers of Newsweek and Time, to the CNN news analysis shows Howard Dean has captured this week's spotlight. What is as important as the amount of attention Dean is receiving is the nature of the response by major news outlets. The "too extreme to win" appraisal prevailing through March has given way to a more balanced consensus.

A Wednesday August 6 Wall Street Journal front page ran "They Can Run, but Can They Blog?". The opinion piece breezed through the curiously increasing role of blogs in politics. Written in a biased tone--how else can you characterize the reference to John Kerry as "the French-looking Massachussetts Democrat"?--the author still stooped to "...give Mr. Daschle, Dr. Dean and Mr. Hart credit for having the guts to try something new." On Thursday an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, after discussing the chances of "outsiders" in political elections, instructed us to "watch for the day that Al From jumps on the [Dean] campaign bus." We are waiting with anticipation. On Saturday the USA Today had an article on Dean with a quote from Brooking's Stephen Hess: Dean "happens to be the most interesting candidate in a bunch of people who are excessively gray".

The signal is clear: for the first time many in established political circles are taking the possibility of "President Dean" seriously.


I AM VERY SCARED:

From Atrios: Klingons for Dean. Hey, I know they mock us by referring to Meetups as the Star Wars bar scene, but let's not take that allegation too seriously.

AL HUNT, THE DLC AND HOWARD DEAN:

Finally, a must read by Al Hunt of the WSJ on the DLC's recent temper tantrums. This has nothing to do with electability or positions, it has to do with ego. Al From, who has never been elected to a position in his life and has made his fame by being successfully co-opted by Bill Clinton in 1992 (later, Mr. From was critical of President Clinton after election), sees his power base--- a base built upon the foundation of op-ed pieces and articles written by Beltway insiders--- eroded by actual Democratic primary voters.

Money quote: "But when Al From, the longtime chief of the centrist Democratic Leadership Conference, blasts the front-running insurgent, it's less about ideology than power. After Bill Clinton and Al Gore, Mr. From fancies himself a kingmaker, and Dr. Dean hasn't supped sufficiently at his table."

Let me be blunt: Al From has no constituency. He's never been elected to public office and it is unlikely he will ever be elected. He's like the Wizard of Oz: behind the Georgetown parties where his name is mentioned and the op-ed pieces he writes, there's no there there.

He's an irrelevance. Let us treat him as such and not be intimidated.


MISSOURI STATE FAIR:

Some of us (I don't know how many quite yet) will be in Sedalia at the Mo. State Fair within the Democratic Party tent. If you are interested, e-mail me at deaninkc@msn.com and we will coordinate.

Thank you again to Rep. Vicki Walker for providing us this opportunity.

BEST MEETUP EVER:

We had record crowds at each of the Meetups (KC, Springfield, St. Louis and Columbia). In addition, we had our first media coverage of a Meetup in Columbia. In addition to that, I would like to welcome Bob at Cape Giradeau, who had his first meetup there.

PS: Both Bob (in the Cape) and Dyan Ortbal (in St. Louis) got some publicity on Dean's Daily Dose on Friday. Click here for details.

Congrats to all.

Friday, August 08, 2003

DEAN CAMPAIGN QUIETLY READIES TO CAPTURE MINORITY VOTES

According to the Associated Press, the former campaign manager for Carol Moseley Braun is joining Howard Dean's campaign after Braun reduced the number of campaign staffers. Andrea Pringle has previously worked for the National Rainbow Coalition, NAACP's National Voter Fund and Jessie Jackson's presidential campaigns. She will become Dean's deputy campaign manager charged with constituent outreach.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

I WAS GOING TO STOP POSTING TONIGHT....

But this is just too damn funny. It is a list of historical comparisons that journalists have reached for when trying to capture the Dean phenomenon.

How about this for a modest proposal: Howard Dean is Howard Dean. He is not John McCain, as he's not a Republican. He's not Jimmy Carter, as it is not 1976. He's not George McGovern or Michael Dukakis, as he's a more charismatic figure. He's not Josiah Bartlett, as he wasn't created by Aaron Sorkin. Some of the comparisons, though, are hilarious. Barry Goldwater? Ronald Reagan? William Jennings Bryan!?!?!?! Let's really be pretentious and compare him to Pitt the Elder or Robert Lafolette, just to confuse everyone.

Um, can the press stop being lazy and using historical precedents for everything?

This might be something completely without precedence.



HOUSEKEEPING:

If anyone has suggestions regarding improving Meetups, this blog or, well, anything involved in Missouri stuff, please post a comment in the comments section. I, for one, would like to hear any feedback, whether negative or positive.

NEWS:

The Dean Daily Dose, a kind of daily talking points from the campaign, is available here.

Since he's not running for President in 04' (I hope not, for his own sake), I would like to thank Al Gore for his intelligent statement today on the Administration (click here to read). It is unforunate that a man as decent as the Vice President was treated so shabbily by the media, his opponents and, yes, Ralph Nader. It is fortunate for us that he will remain in the public arena.

At the risk of being obsessed with polls, here's another one showing a sharp decline in the President's popularity and a sharp increase in Mr. Dean's. One issue, however, remains: 27% of white Democratic voters in this poll say there's a "good chance" they would vote for Dean, while only 14% of African-American voters say the same thing. In the comments, please feel free to share your views regarding the best way to achieve minority outreach.

Similarly, USA Today's new poll has Dean moving to a tie for second place among registered Democrats nationally, tied with Gephardt and ahead of Kerry.

We know about Iowa and New Hampshire. But... the first primary in the nation takes place in the Dist. of Columbia. No, I'm not asking you to write more letters. But Gov. Dean may be a dark horse to finish very well in that primary, as well, as he is lining up support at a very good pace. Again, good news for our guy.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR'S RACE:

I know that this has nothing to do with Howard Dean, but if I read one more story with a clever headline announcing Arnold's run that says "Total Recall" or "Running Man" or something similar, I might lose it.

Here's my suggested headline: "Unqualified Celebrity Seeks New Venue for Narcissism In State House."

FIRST PRESS ATTENTION FOR MISSOURI MEETUPS:

Kudos to Bob Berlin and others for getting the first news article devoted to a Missouri Meetup, as far as I know. Here's the link to read the article. Congratulations to Mid-Missouri and the Columbia Meetup group for getting media attention.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

My favorite news cover to date! You got a problem with that?

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

WELCOME:

OK, if you are just learning about us from the Meetup, here's the blog. Post in the comments. Post in the chat rooms in the upper left of the screen. Don't be vulgar and try not to be insulting, except to me.

Further, you'll see a link on the upper left hand of the screen called "Show Me Dean Fundraiser". Here are directions and the location . The fundraiser will be held on August 15th at 7pm. Click on the link and give, even if you don't plan to attend (the money will go to Dean and will be "earmarked" from Missouri for Dean. The Governor will be available for a teleconference call to answer any questions. Eventually, there will be a thermometer on the site, which will allow you to earmark your funds as coming from Missouri, which will make everyone, including the campaign, understand precisely from where the money was contributed.

If you want to pass out flyers at the Mo. State Fair, please contact me at deaninkc@msn.com.

Finally, click on the underlined text here and locate and contact your Democratic representative. Send them an e-mail or give them a call urging them to endorse Howard Dean.



AROUND THE NEWS:

To provide more optimism for Dems everywhere, Bush slips to a 52-47% approval in Michigan, a crucial battleground state, a drop of six points from June. His brother Jeb is also dropping in the polls, an eight point drop since June.

For the latest in tortured Administration logic, click here. So... the recession was made worse by people worried about a war with Iraq, which was... um... I guess not caused by the Administration, but the media. (via Atrios)...

Oh, and one last thing: the President is about to insult environmentalists by replacing the relatively moderate EPA Administrator Whitman with this guy. Seriously, this comes under the very definition of "brazen sop to the business community" or "the hell with trees". Maybe if I close my eyes until next November, it will all go away.

AFL-CIO CANDIDATES FORUM:

Well, I'll admit it. I watched it tonight on C-SPAN (next proposed Meetup topic: how to supply me with a "life"). Here's what I learned from the candidates:

Edwards and Gephardt's parents were apparently so poor that they were confused for extras in the Grapes of Wrath. Kerry think he's qualified to beat George Bush because he served in a war. Sharpton showed up late (!), so he needs a watch. Leiberman was booed. Kucinich makes everyone on the stage look moderate (and decaffinated) by comparison. Mosley-Braun seems nice, but has no chance. Bob Graham was apparently also on the stage, but I can't remember.

Oh, and Howard Dean will be the next President. Seriously, he was absolutely terrific.

Monday, August 04, 2003

GREAT NEWS, PART TWO:

All of Time and Newsweek's articles, so you won't have to buy them (but you should, because buying the magazine and increasing their circulation will ensure he will have another cover story):

In Time's first article, it contains a great line by a Meetup person in California: "You're never too old to be a Young Democrat."

Here's Time's bio piece on Dean. Yes, they make a big deal about the word "zounds."

Newsweek's Alter piece is uninteresting, frankly.

Here's Newsweek's interview with Dean.

Here's Eleanor Clift's piece on Dean's wife.

But here's the quote of the week of magazines, from Roger Simon (read his blog, too) of US News in his piece:

"In Howard Dean's sprawling campaign headquarters, where the staff appears to come in two ages–young and younger–it is a 4-year-old who really stands out. Kasey, a West Highland white terrier and the official campaign dog, lives to do her official campaign trick. "Kasey?" Joe Trippi, Kasey's owner and Dean's campaign manager, asks. "Would you rather work for George Bush or be dead?" Kasey immediately flops onto her side and extends her front and hind legs in a reasonable imitation of rigor mortis."

Try it with your pet and impress your friends at the next Meetup.



Sunday, August 03, 2003

We're Going Strong and Growing

The number of Missourians registered to Meetup for Howard Dean in the first week of August increased 51% since the same time last month. St. Louis and Kansas City increased by a solid 48% and 47%, respectively. The largest increases were in smaller cities with previously low numbers of registrants. Joplin, Rolla and Kirksville more than doubled their numbers of registered supporters.

EXCITING NEWS, PART ONE:

Howard Dean leads in Iowa, according to today's Des Moines Register (hat tip to Kate Gould, Springfield Meetup Coordinator):

The Iowa Poll shows Dean, who has emerged nationally as a major contender for the Democratic nomination, is the first choice of 23 percent of those who say they definitely or probably will attend the January precinct caucuses, which kick off the nominating season for the nation.
.....
Gephardt, a Missouri congressman who won the Iowa caucuses in 1988 but went on to lose the Democratic nomination to Michael Dukakis, is favored by 21 percent in the poll. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was third with 14 percent.
..............
* Among Iowans polled who say they definitely will attend the Democratic caucuses, which is a firmer commitment than those saying they probably will attend, Dean's lead grows to 10 points over Gephardt.
.................
* In competing with Gephardt and others for the support of the labor vote, a key Democratic constituency, Dean is the first choice of 29 percent of likely caucus participants from households with a union member. Gephardt, who received pivotal support from labor groups in 1988, is supported by 24 percent from union households. Kerry's share is 11 percent.

Well, that's part one. Part two is the cover of Time and Newsweek, which I'll post about later.

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