Woo-hoo! Someone called me the campaign today and told me I had been selected for a winter internship in the New Hampshire office. I am so excited...I applied for an internship over the summer and did not get it, so I am really excited to have been selected this time. I leave for New Hampshire December 21, right after we visit my grandparents.
He said that I will be either working in the Manchester office assisting a more senior staff member, or I will work in a field office and have a little more responsibility but less contact with senior staff and the main operations. I told him either is good...I mentioned that I could help with Jewish outreach, although I am not sure how useful that is in New Hampshire, and that I have my own graphic design business and can do that kind of stuff. I am most likely going to be working in the Salem office, which is right near the Massachusetts border - aka Kerry Country. That must be an especially exciting place to work, because if we beat Kerry in Southern New Hampshire, which gets its media feed straight from Boston, then Kerry has no business staying in the race. It kind of sucks that Kerry is the one we have to knock out first, because after Dean I like him the best of all the candidates. But they are too ideologically and geographically similar - they are competing for the same base, and there just isn't room for both of them after New Hampshire.
Anyways, he said that they still need more people, so if you have not applied yet but want to, go here.
This CNN poll is really screwy. They have a lot of responses to the question of who stands the best chance of beating Bush, but it is unbelievably skewed. Wesley Clark has 92%, Dean has 8%, and all the other candidates have 0%. Seems slanted, and considering Clark is a former CNN analyst, it is a little fishy, but go vote in it and help get Dean a more sizeable percentage.
Check out this poll. Dean is leading nationwide with 15%, with Clark in second at 12%. More importantly, Dean and Clark fare better against Bush than anyone else in this poll. This may be the first time that Dean did not trail Bush a few points more than his rivals. Dean and Clark are only 6 points behind in a poll with a four point margin of error, trailing Bush 49-43%. This is the closest margin Dean has ever gotten in a matchup poll, and it means that he and most of the Democrats running are almost there...just have to convince a few thousand more people or register a few thousand new voters and we are there.
I am having a lot of trouble with my absentee ballot. It has these confusing referrendum questions that I think are saying that more of our tax revenue will be dedicated to specific environmental projects, without specifying what programs will get less of our tax money as a result. Check these out:
PUBLIC QUESTION NO. 1
INCREASE IN BONDING AUTHORITY FOR STATE'S OPEN SPACE, FARMLAND, AND HISTORIC
Shall the amendment to Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 7 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, agreed to by the Legislature, increasing, from an amount not to exceed $1,000,000,000 to an amount not to exceed $1,150,000,000, to aggregate principal amount of bonds, notes, or other obligations which may be issued by the Garden State Preservation Trust for open space, farmland, and historic preservation purposes and which are payable from the constitutional dedication through State fiscal year 2029 of up to $ 98 million annually in State revenue from the State tax imposed under the "Sales and Use Tax Act," be approved?
Approval of this constitutional amendment would increase the cap on the total amount of bonds that may be issued by the Garden State Preservation Trust to raise revenue for open space, farmland, and historic preservation efforts in the State. The cap currently is $1 billion, and this measure, if approved, would increase it by $150 million, so that the new cap would be $1.15 billion. The Constitution dedicates for State fiscal years 2000 through 2009 the sum of $98 million annually, and for State fiscal years 2010 through 2029 the sum of up to $98 million annually, in State sales and use tax revenue to finance open space, farmland, and historic preservation, including the payment of any debt that may be incurred from the issuance of bonds for those purposes. This measure would make available $150 million more in bond funding for open space, farmland, and historic preservation but would not increase the amount of the constitutional dedication of up to $98 million annually in State sales and use tax revenue to be used for such purposes.
PUBLIC QUESTION NO. 2
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO EXPAND USES OF DEDICATED TAX REVENUE TO FUND
HAZARDOUS DISCHARGE CLEANUPS
Shall the amendment to Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, expanding the authorized uses of the constitutionally dedicated Corporation Business Tax revenue, to include funding the costs of the remediation of hazardous discharges, and funding the costs of a State underground storage tank inspection program, be approved?
Approval of this constitutional amendment would expand the authorized uses of the constitutionally dedicated portion of the Corporation Business Tax revenues to allow funding, including the provision of loans or grants, for the costs of remediation of discharges of hazardous substances. Since 1996, 4% of the annual revenue from the Corporation Business Tax has been constitutionally dedicated, with a minimum of one-half allocated for hazardous discharge cleanup performed by the State, a minimum of one sixth or a minimum of $5 million allocated for water quality projects and, until December 31, 2008, a minimum of one third allocated for funding loans or grants for underground storage tank upgrades, replacements, closures and remediations. This constitutional amendment would, without increasing taxes, expand the authorized uses of the one third dedicated to underground storage tank projects, to allow that portion to be used also for funding loans or grants to remediate hazardous substance discharges, and for the use of up to $2 million per year for an underground storage tank inspection program, and, by removing the December 31, 2008 expiration date, would continue its allocation for those purposes.
PUBLIC QUESTION NO. 3
DAM, LAKE, STREAM, FLOOD CONTROL, WATER RESOURCES, AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT
Shall the "Dam, Lake, Stream, Flood Control, Water Resources, and Wastewater Treatment Project Bond Act of 2003," which authorizes the State to issue bonds in the amount of $200,000,000 for the purposes of providing financing for the restoration and repair of dams, the dredging and restoration of lakes, the cleaning and desnagging of streams to diminish flooding and property damage therefrom, and providing financing for flood control projects, water resources projects and wastewater treatment system projects, and providing the ways and means to pay the interest on the debt and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof, be approved?
Approval of this act would authorize the sale of $200,000,000 in State general obligation bonds to be used for the purposes of providing $15,000,000 to restore and repair State-owned dams, $95,000,000 in low-interest loans to owners of dams for dam restoration and repair projects, and $15,000,000 in low-interest loans to owners of lakes and streams and private lake associations, with local governments as co-applicants, for lake dredging and restoration, or stream cleaning and desnagging projects, necessary to diminish severe flooding in the State; $25,000,000 to finance State flood control projects, and $50,000,000 for water resources projects and wastewater treatment system projects.
These projects sound good but I am leaning toward voting against them because I do not believe in referrendums that specify a project without off-setting the cost, and the way it is worded, for all I know the money could come at the expense of projects that are more important to me. I am a member of the League of Women Voters and a political activist, so if I cannot understand the questions on my ballot, that does not bode well for the rest of the population!
I have a lot to catch up on, but I will start with the latest New Hampshire poll, which shows Dean with an astounding 23 point lead over Kerry in New Hampshire. You know I don't trust Zogby, but this is still great news.
Anyways, enough about New Hampshire. Last night we participated in a conference call with Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager. I was really excited because I got to ask a question live and have it answered. I asked how seriously the campaign is taking the DC primary, and I was kind of disappointed with his answer. He said that since it is non-binding (although all the delegates have pledged to obey the primary) they can't put a lot of resources in it and have to focus on Iowa and New Hampshire. The thing is, everything I have read in the news contradicts that answer. I have read in multiple places that Dean has the largest organization here and appears to be the most committed of all the candidates to taking this primary seriously. He would be really smart to do so, since winning here would show that he can appeal to black voters. I do not believe there has been any polling of DC residents...if I get a chance maybe I will try to do some myself, since I would really like to have some idea how this primary will play out. It is important for Dean to win here, and it is important for DC to have one of the major candidates win, because if a fringe candidate wins it will get less attention and make it seem like it was a fluke or DC residents are outside the mainstream, which is the opposite of what we want to show when fighting for voting rights for DC citizens.
Woo-hoo! Dean has overtaken Lieberman for the lead in New York
You have got to check this out.
Dean has taken the lead in Arizona, according to a new poll released today.
Here are the results:
Kucinich under 1%
A new Zogby poll shows Dean leading by 2 points nationwide. MSNBC has an article entitled "Can Dean Remold the Democratic Party?"
The Jacksonville News reports that Dean's supporters are quietly mobilizing for the Florida straw poll, despite calls from the national party to boycott. The Salt Lake Tribune has a feature on Dean for America blogger Matt Gross.
Capitol Hill Blue has a great article about how a year after his death, Paul Wellstone's influence is still being felt on the Hill.
If you thought Kerry's challenge to Dean over the American League Championship was funny, check this out.
Check out this poem I found at blogamy:
'Twas the night to beat Yankees
and all through the 'Nation'
not a single soul was thinking
of 85 years of damnation
Cuz this is the year.
to end our bad luck
and even if it weren't
the Yankees still "suck"
On Damon, on Nixon, Manny and Nomah
On V-tek, on Walker, Ortiz and Millah
Carry this team and end this damned curse
Don't blow the game, or you'll leave town in a hearse
To the true fans of Boston
Get a beer and a cup and say it together
I am still bummed about the Red Sox. They came SO close, and now I really hope that Nathaniel's theory about the political implications does not hold.
SF Smith has an interesting post about how libertarians should judge Dean. Easter Lemming has an article about how 60% of Democratic voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina want the Democratic nominee to be someone who opposed the war. And Amanda has an interesting postabout how Dean and Kucinich are democratizing political fundraising.
This is a little old, but a former Graham supporter posted on the Dean blog last week about why he considers Dean the obvious choice now that Senator Graham has dropped out.
Linda in Iowa has a site entitled "6 Reasons Why Howard Dean Will Win the General Election". Check it out...these are good talking points for people who say they like Dean but worry about his electability.
Also, the Boston Channel has a poll about the Democratic candidates...Dean is winning but Clark is edging up. If you have not already, go vote!
This is also a few days old, but check out this hysterical post about why Republicans should change their mascot to the condom.
The New London Day has an article about how the high-tech nature of the campaign is making Howard Dean attractive to tech-savvy college students. It profiles a student who has a Dean icon on his AOL Instant Messanger (as do I, and sound clips of Dean speaking when people sign on and off and when I get a message), and it says that measures like this "could be the key to unlocking a potential new political force: Generation Y."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covers Dean's appearance in Pittsburgh yesterday, a fundraiser which brought in $76,000. Nice!
The New Haven Register says that Yale's former chaplain, who spends time seeking "potential converts for his cause of peace and justice," likes Dean the best of all the candidates running.
The San Francisco Chronicle says Dean received "several ovations" at the Arab American forum yesterday. The article says this may be a sign that Arab Americans, who voted heavily for Bush in 2000, are coming over to our side. This would not surprise me, since Bush has attacked Iraq and Ashcroft is steadily working to erode their civil liberties. The Boston Globe reports that Dean repeated his proposal at the forum to send Bill Clinton to the Middle East as an envoy to help the two sides negotiate.
The Times-Union has an article about what shoes the candidates might wear. It says that soccer moms have given way to "birkenstock liberals," most of whom are purported to be in our campaign. For crying out loud, Dean does not even own a pair of birkenstocks, and most of the "birkenstock liberal" types have abandoned us for Kucinich, at least for now.
Quick news roundup:
The Iowa State Daily and the Stanford Daily both have articles about Dean's appeal to students. According to the San Francisco Examiner, only 1% of Dean's donors have maxed out so far, and he has almost as many contributors as the president.
Meanwhile, I have 2 minutes to decide whether to skip out of class early and go to the Dean rally in Georgetown. I can't decide what to do...but I am leaning towards going. I suffered through my econ midterm at 9:15 am and I need a break!
So I really need to get back to studying for econ, but I just want to say a quick word about the Red Sox game.
I watched the first six innings, and I was getting really discouraged after the early lead the Red Sox had got swallowed and the Yankees pulled ahead. When they scored that sixth run, I thought to myself "that's game." Then, just as I was getting ready to leave for an econ review session, the Sox scored a home run and then got a guy on third. Of course, I had to stay and watch until he scored, so when I left, it was 6-6. When I came back I was almost afraid to check the score, but when I did, I saw that the Sox were leading 9-6 and about to win. I was thrilled...I really thought the series was over. What a game! I just wish I had been able to see the whole thing.
So tomorrow night is the big night. I hesitate to even make the political comparison now, because if the Sox lose I don't want it to be a bad omen. But I can't help think about the parallels and the symbolism. The Yankees to me symbolize everything that is wrong with professional sports - the team with the most money can buy the best players and thus the same team keeps winning. The Red Sox are the underdogs who keep losing and losing, but somehow their fans never lose hope. I was watching them play in Boston last night, and some of the signs the fans held saying "I still believe" reminded me of the "you've gotta believe" signs that popped up during the sleepless summer tour. It's their turn to see their team win, and it is our turn to see our candidates win!
P.S. I know there are some Yankee fans in our campaign (Matt, are you reading this?), and I have nothing against you. I am not even that interested in baseball usually. I just like the symbolism in this...the only reason I got into watching this series was because of Nathaniel's theory about the 2004 conventions, and now I am finding myself really enjoying watching. Watching sports can be more fun than watching elections because you can get a progress update as the game goes on!
So the game was looking good for a while! :(
Anyways, supposedly the Clark campaign, in an effort to pull some Dean supporters, has bought the Google adword "Dean." Hence, whenever you search for Dean, you see a google ad for the Clark website. Here is my advice to Dean supporters on how to deal with this: the goodle adwords are priced on a pay per click basis. Hence, everytime we click on the Clark ads, we cost their campaign a few cents. So let's make it more costly for them to try to "steal" Dean supporters.
I would highly recommend clicking every time you see a Bush ad on Google or Political Wire or a site like that as well...that is even more satisfying.
Woo-hoo again! Red Sox just scored 3 runs in 2 minutes! I think that when I watch it is good luck...they were losing from what I say online, then they were tied when I put it on, and now they are winning 4-1. And yesterday the Yanks got their 3 runs when I was not paying attention.
Woo-hoo! Just finished making the Generation Dean AU site ! And Mike mentioned it on the GenDean Blog!
Sorry I have not updated in so long. A lot has been going on the past few days, plus I have midterms coming up, so I have not had much time and may not for the next few days. But I will try to keep this updated as much as possible.
Anyways, let's take a quick stock of the polls:
Dean now leads Kerry by 13 points in New Hampshire, according to a new Granite State poll. Meanwhile, according to Kos, he has dropped to 2nd, behind Clark, in California, but leads in a new national poll.
Speaking of polls, if you have not voted in the Daily Kos primary yet, please do so here.
The other day in College Writing, we had to write an essay that began with the word "power." I finally got around to typing mine up, so here goes:
Power to change the path our country is headed down usually feels like it belongs solely to a small, elite group of people inside the Beltway. I may live in Washington, DC now, and yet the government still feels very distant when I think about how difficult it is to even enter the Capitol building as a tourist, let alone to affect anything that goes on inside it.
Last fall, I started a voter registration effort before the midterm elections. Some people I tried to register resisted, telling me that there was no point in voting because it would not make a difference, that only special interests with a lot of money could influence elections. After the 2002 election, I felt pretty hopeless, and as I watched the new Republican congress get busy mortgaging our country’s future and writing blank checks for the president to trample on the Constitution, unilaterally start a war with a third-world country that could not possibly have posed an imminent threat, and undo parts of the New Deal and the Great Society, I began to think that maybe these people were onto something. I saw that no matter how many letters I wrote to Congress, no matter how many protests I marched in, I would not be able to change anything.
But I do not feel so powerless now, and I have not since the spring, when I started to really get involved with the Dean campaign. I had been a Dean supporter for three months when I stood on Church Street in Burlington, Vermont that early summer day in June. It was 90 degrees, and there were 5,000 of us standing there, screaming and cheering as Governor Howard Dean formally declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, bellowing “You have the power to take back the Democratic Party. You have the power to take our country back. And we have the power to take the White House back in 2004.”
It was that day that I realized how much I wanted him to become our nominee and eventually our president, not only because of his stances on the issues, but because of the grassroots nature of his campaign. Dean for America has demonstrated the power of ordinary people to take on a powerful party establishment and surpass their handpicked candidates, despite their desperate attempts to stop our momentum. We the people have propelled Dr. Dean from an unknown with no money to the frontrunner, and being a part of this effort has proven to me that ordinary people can make a difference. Whether Dean wins or loses, when I go out to register voters or recruit volunteers for campaigns in the future, I will be able to use my own experiences with this campaign as living proof that everyday citizens can make an impact.
Also, when you get the chance, check out this really funny post on the official blog. And Anarchy in the AM has a great list of Republican hypocrites that you might also want to check out.
I would like to say happy birthday to Hershey, my 6-year old dog whom I miss like crazy:
In honor of Hershey's birthday, I have decided to sponsor a dog, an adorable little beagle named Bojangles. Isn't he cute?
Here is the description the shelter gives of him:
Poor little Bojangles was left at the shelter with most of his fur missing. He was so gross no one wanted to touch him. Once we found out that he wasn't contagious, though, we played with him and he is the absolute SWEETEST little guy. He's about four months old and will be ready for a new home within another month, or even sooner for a home wanting to continue with his treatments. He will be gorgeous once he gets his skin healed up and his fur back in! This little puppy loves to kiss you on the face and cuddle in your lap. He is the sweetest little pup you'll ever meet.
A few random things:
Teekay has an interesting libertarian perspective on gay marriage that puts the issue in economic terms, saying the demand is up for some sort of civil alternative to marriage for those who do not fit into the traditional definition.
Since Bush's blog does not allow comments, oakland has been kind enough to set up a comments page. Meanwhile, I found a petition to recall Bush, although unfortunately (or fortunately; I am torn) the recall procedure is not available on a national level. We will have to wait for November 2004 to do that.
Morning Debate Roundup:
The Washington Post has some excerpts as well as a pretty good analysis. The Arizona Republic claims that Dean was ambushed by Kerry's accusation that he tried to throw Vermont seniors off Medicare, which is completely untrue. I read articles about how he threatened to cut Medicaid in order to bully the GOP legislature into passing a cigarette tax...when I find one of them I will post it. CNN has the full transcript here.
Some debate coverage:
Byte Back has a post with some good excerpts. Political Pulpit has a link to an AP article, and Dean Nation offers a rebuttal to Kerry's attack regarding Dean's medicare stance. Kos says that Dean benefitted because the other candidates gave him a break and took aim at Clark.
Meanwhile, you must check out this: George W. Bushopoly.
This is a little old, but I just noticed that Matt Zemek's Wellstone Cornerstone mentioned me in a post a few weeks ago. His is a great site with some interesting perspective from a Wellstone Democrat who is supporting Dean.
Quick post because I have to go:
Check out the Democratic Debate Drinking Game, designed by June Thomas at Slate. One category that requires a drink is anytime Gephardt mentions Dean and Gingrich in the same sentence.
Poliblog has some information about trouble in the Kerry campaign, and Burnt Orange Report has more on the Texas gerrymandering.
I'll post more later, I promise. Don't forget to watch the debate!
The good news:
1) Dean has maintained a 10-point lead over Kerry in New Hampshire, according to a new American Research Group poll. Dean has 29% and Kerry has 19%, and Clark is up from 2% to 5%, which means he is not gaining much traction in New Hampshire, at least not yet. In the last poll, Dean had 31% and Kerry had 21%.
2) The Red Sox beat the Yankees 5-2! Woo-hoo! Apparently even the New York Times is rooting for the Red Sox.
The bad news:
It looks like the Texas Republicans have reached an agreement on a redistricting map. What Nathaniel wrote on his door Tuesday night is true: Florida, Colorado, Texas, California: Fascism wins again. For more updates on redistricting, which is expected to pass the Texas legislature tomorrow, check out Burnt Orange Report, a blog dedicated to Texas politics.
So it looks like the Red Sox will get to play the Yankees after all. This is potentially great news...if they win, it will be a good omen for 2004, since the Democrats are having their convention in Boston and the Republicans are having theirs in New York City (the week of the 3rd anniversary of 9/11...can anyone say "exploitation"?).
According to Cosmo, Kerry has challenged Dean to a bet on the Red Sox v. Yankees series. I agree with Cosmo - this is pretty lame, since Dean has been supporting the Red Sox for years. But his accusation is a serious charge - my grandfather, who lives in New York but hates the Yankees, threatened to switch candidates when I told him Dean grew up supporting the Yankees, until I reassured him that the good doctor is a Red Sox fan now.
One thing I forgot to tell you about my visit to my high school yesterday. I saw my friend Nathan, who is a senior this year. He is further to the left than I am on most issues, but he is also pragmatic, and last year, he decided to support Kerry because he thought Dean did not have a chance. But yesterday, he said that he had decided Kerry was a sellout and that he plans to vote for Dean in the primaries. Of course, Pennsylvania's primary is in April, so his vote won't matter much, but it is a good sign, because there are so many people who like Dean but think Kerry is more electable (though I really do not understand why), and I hope some of them come around now that Dean has shown himself to be a serious contender.
I have a lot to say, but right now I am sitting with Nathaniel, my friend from California, and he's pretty bummed. I am too. I said that I don't care that much who the governor of California is, and I really don't, but I do care about our democracy, and I am really concerned about this GOP power grab. Florida, Texas, Colorado, California. Recount, Redistrict, Recall. Undo Democracy.
In brighter news, I went back to my old high school to visit this afternoon. It was great to be back...all of my teachers were really excited to see me, and it was great to see them. One of my old teachers invited me to sit in on his class when they discussed current events, and I was so happy because last year, he had convinced himself that Saddam Hussein was this dangerous threat with all these dangerous weapons. This teacher has a PhD from Harvard, and usually he has a lot more sense than that, but I could not get him to see that he was being played for a fool. But today he told the class that he "felt like an old fool" because he thinks the president probably lied about the threat Saddam Hussein posed.
In other good news, I saw my AP government teacher from last year. We started talking politics, and she told me that because of me, she had done research on Dean over the summer, and she did not understand why the press was portraying him as a McGovern-type ultraliberal. I remember her telling our class that she had to hold her nose when she voted for McGovern because of his stance on Israel, and since the whole bru ha ha over Dean's Israel stance erupted I have thought about that and been scared that she and many other Jews would feel the same way about Dean that she felt about McGovern. So I said that to her, and she thought it was nuts. "Anti-Israel?" she said. "His wife is Jewish, and his kids are being raised Jewish." I was SO relieved to hear that, because if her reaction is any indication, and it may be because she is a leader in the Philadelphia area Jewish Federation, then maybe I overreacted a few weeks ago when people started making those ridiculous claims about Dean wanting to cut off aid to Israel. I think those rumors were limited to uninformed Jews my age and that Jews like my teacher who are more informed understand his position and trust him, and that is great news.
Some coverage of Dean's appearance in Seattle:
The headline in the Takoma News Tribune is "Dean urges Seattle Democrats to return to party's core values." Interestingly, this article puts the crowd at 500, while the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said that there were about 1,000 in the audience. This means the campaign is probably saying 1,500.
Meanwhile, the Palladium-Item covers the DeanCorps in Richmond, Indiana. Believe it or not, the Washington Times actually has a pretty decent article about Dean's fundraising. Nancy Peterson of St. Petersburg, FL wrote in a letter to the editor that "it's no shock to me why Howard Dean is resonating with Democrats. He is actually acting like one." The Detroit News has an article entitled "Dean pushes voter power" about what it is that makes him so appealing to ordinary people.
That's all for now, because I have to go pick up my friend at the train station. I'll post more later.
So a suicide bomber blew up Maxim's restaurant in Haifa this morning, killing 18 people, 5 of them children, and wounding about 50 people, 10 critically. I am a little worried, because 19 of my friends from high school are spending the sememster or the year in Israel, and I don't think any of them are in Haifa, but I don't really know where all of them are and I hope they are okay. Usually, they report if any Americans are killed, and the article did not mention any American casualties, so I have a pretty good idea that most of them are okay. But one of my friends is in the Israeli army, and I have no idea where he is stationed. He is Israeli, so if anything happened to him they would not report it as an American casualty, since he only lived here for 3 years and never became an American citizen. Governor Dean issued a statement today condemning the bombing.
In other, more pleasant news, the Norman Transcript covered the “Raise the Roots” tour. The tour started in DC yesterday, and I wanted to go SO badly, to that and to the rally outside the DNC Headquarters yesterday morning, but I had class, and since I have seen Dean speak 9 times already, I could not justify missing class. And it was a good thing I did not go, because we had a pop quiz in Individual Freedom v. Authority, and I would have gotten a zero had I not been present. Of course, I was so braindead when I did the reading Thursday (some people decided to make noise in our hall at 3 AM Wednesday night and woke us up, and I only got about 4.5 hours of sleep that night) that I probably failed the quiz anyway, but at least I was there for it.
Anyways, back to the Raise the Roots Tour. CNN.com has an article about how Dean is connecting with college students. Carleton College political science professor Steven Schier is quoted saying that “So far, Dean's outspoken style has appealed to many young people. The other candidates are just a group of Washington-types to college kids.” (NOTE: Carlton College is where Paul Wellstone used to teach, and he used to encourage his students to get involved in political and activist causes, although he says in his book that it took him a while to see the value of participation in the electoral system as a way to affect change.)
The Charleston Post and Courier covers the rally in Charleston, SC, which attracted over 300 people. The Post and Courier also covered Dean's planned visit to a local church, and reports that Former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges, who has not endorsed anyone so far, had nice things to say about Dean:
"Howard was one of the most respected figures in the governors' association ... on health care issues," Hodges said. "He was a leader among the governors arguing for greater flexibility" surrounding federally mandated budget rules.
The Madison Capital Times reports that the UW-Madison College Republicans are planning to protest the Dean rally on campus tomorrow, just like they did in College Park, MD when he spoke there a few weeks ago. The Capital Times also published a great editorialcontrasting the president's appearance in Wisconsin yesterday with Dean's planned appearance tomorrow. “If it comes down to a Bush-Dean contest, all evidence is that voters will be offered an opportunity to make a genuine choice not just between two different candidates of two different parties.” the author writes. “The choice will be between two different visions of America's future: one of elites gathering behind closed doors to decide what they will do next to working families in places like Wisconsin, the other of citizens gathering out in the open to help those working families.”
Whoa. I go out for a few hours and several bombshells drop. First, conflicting reports indicate that Bob Graham either is dropping out or is considering dropping out of the presidential race. I think this is a good thing. I have nothing against Graham, but since he is up for re-election to the Senate in 2004 and he was not gaining traction anyway, I think that he and the party are better off if he stays in the Senate. No reports yet on whether he will run for re-election, but I think chances are he will; otherwise he may have stayed in the presidential race longer.
Second, ABC News is reporting that Schwartzenegger once said in an interview that he "admired Hitler...because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it."
That's going to be pretty hard to explain away. It is one thing to say that Hitler was a good public speaker...I will concede that he was. But the last 6 words are going to be hard to weedle out of...he not only admires Hitler for being a good speaker but he admires what Hitler used his charisma to do? That's a pretty tough pill to swallow. Poor Nathaniel...he may have to have this sexual abusing Hitler-admirer as his governor! Then again, he has the coolest senator in the US Senate, so I guess that balances it out. Okay, maybe not.
Anyways, I got about 4.5 hours of sleep last night, so I think I should probably go to sleep. I'll try to blog more tomorrow.
Here are some newspapers around the country covering meetup:
WAFF in Alabama calls meetup the new "buzzword." The Arizona Star Republic has a good article about how meetups are "changing the face of politics." The Newport Daily News in Rhode Island points out that one of the main purposes of meetups is to serve as information sessions for undecided voters, with the committed supporters providing information and trying to influence the undecideds who come to learn more.
Meanwhile, the Indy Star reports that candidates in the Indiana gubernatorial race are experimenting with meetup after seeing how successfully it has worked for Dean. It appears that candidates for governor of Indiana are not the only ones seeking to emulate Dean's successful use of the Internet. The Washington Post has a story today about how Kerry is playing catch-up with online campaigning.
The Saint Paul Pioneer Press discusses meetup's value in bringing in "political newbies." The Daily Hampshire Gazette profiles Massachusetts political activist Neil Sullivan, who was so discouraged by the 2000 election that he temporarily lost interest in politics, until September 11 became a wakeup call that led him to Dean. The Ventura County Star also has a good article today profiling some of the Dean supporters who attended the event at Union Station in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
The Hartfort Advocate covers the meetup in Hartford, CT and discusses the potential friction that could arise between the meetup volunteers, many of whom are new to politics, and the experienced politicians who have been recruited to be part of the campaign in the state.
The Daily Princetonian had a story on Tuesday about the new Generation Dean chapter at Princeton University, and notes that the group was scheduled to have its first on-campus meetup last night. The Daytona Beach News-Journal covers the meetup at New Chao Wang Buffet, and it mentions one supporter who got involved because the 2000 election debacle in Florida showed her that "we have to get more involved. We have to take more ownership of our democracy."
In the news this hour:
Someone wrote a great letter to the Oregonian about Dean's ability to inspire the grassroots. "What Democrats need," the writer says, "is someone who can inspire rank-and-file party members the way Bill Clinton did. The only candidate who has done that is Howard Dean. It's time we Democrats stopped apologizing for our beliefs and started fighting for them."
GOPUSA reports that Dean raised close to $15 million, and has figures for some of the other candidates as well.
Yale News covers a house party that was held Monday night at Dean's alma mater. The article does not say whether or not his daughter participated. She is a sophomore at Yale, and I had to feel for her, because if my dad were to go stand in the street making a speech while moving me into college, I'm not sure I'd be altogether that thrilled. Then again, if my dad were running for president I'd probably be pretty proud of him.
This is what my door looks like now:
Much better! And it gives me great pleasure to know that I have wasted one of their signs and thus cost the Bush/Cheney campaign about 50 cents, or whatever it costs to produce those signs.
I found some interesting comments about Dean's appeal on Steve Gillard's blog. Mike D. had what I thought was the most insightful comment:
Contrast Dean's rhetoric of empowerment with Bush's rhetoric of induced learned helplessness, essentially telling people that nothing can save you from the terrorists, etc, so you just have to acquiesce to my leadership...I think that is a big factor to the appeal of Dean's empowerment message, since it gives people the hope that Bush tries to take away with every speech he makes.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press had a great article about Dean's appeal to college students. Robert Glenn, a junior at Charleston College in South Carolina, expressed sentiments that were pretty similar to how I felt when I first started supporting Dean: "At the time [last January, when Glenn first saw Dean speak], I thought he had no chance. But after I heard him, I said 'I don't care, I'm still going to work for him."'
On the DNC's "Kicking Ass" blog, Jayson Carroll from Georgia issued some fighting words:
...The republican party came to my home state and branded Max Cleland, a man who lost three limbs during his service for our country, as unpatriotic. Saxby Chambliss, Bush's poodle, now represents my state in the Senate. Enough is enough!
Jim Moore has an interesting assessment of why the Clintons support Clark. I think the second scenario he poses is a lot more likely than the first. If Hilary is not running for president now because she promised New Yorkers that she would serve a full term, then why would she violate that promise by running for vice president? Becoming vice president would also prevent her from serving a full term, although I guess technically she would still be in the Senate, since the vice president is president of the Senate and gets to vote when there is a tie. But that's a loophole that is probably too out there even for a Clinton to use!
P.S. I have nothing against Senator Clinton; I like her a lot. I just don't think it would be right for her to jump into the race now and use her celebrity status to vault to the top, when all these other candidates have been out there for months shaking hands, giving 6-7 speeches a day, hopskotching around the country, and working hard to get where they are in the nominating process.
Argh! My Internet connection was down and it went down just as I was trying to post, so I lost my last post! Oh well. Basically, what I said was that I was kind of bummed that we fell just a little short of $15 million, but I have a feeling we will have that much when they finish opening all the mail in the Burlington headquarters.
Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager, posted an emotional post on the blog at 3 AM last night, after midnight on the west coast. I guess he figured a lot of us would be disappointed if we did not make the goal. But we came really close, and we made the original goal of $5 million in 10 days, so I think most people are feeling pretty proud. Even if we don't quite reach $15 million, we still outraised the other Democrats by a lot...they have not released their totals yet but unless they are majorly lowballing, we will probably beat all of them by $10 million or more. Of course, the president still outraised Dean by a bunch, but we expected him to, and it may not even matter. After all, Bush outraised and outspent Gore by $170 million in 2000 and Gore still got more votes!
Woo-hoo! I made my goal! I had $585 raised a few minutes before midnight, and I wanted to get the last $15 by midnight ET, and someone was trying to contribute through my site but was having trouble accessing the link from the chatroom. So the last $15 (plus $10 more) did not come in until a few minutes after midnight, but who's counting?
Meanwhile, Barbara_B in the Dean chatroom is the coolest person ever. Every time I come in there, she encourages me to promote my blog, and tonight, when I came into the chatroom and started encouraging people to help me reach my goal, she donated and then started bugging other chatters to give me the last $25 I needed. Barbara, if you are reading this, thank you so much for all of your help and support.
Anyways, I am leaving my bat up for a day or so to show it off. I may put it back at some point, since I want to go to a big event here in DC in November, but I'd have to contribute $1,000, which I obviously do not have, so I will find out if I can raise the money instead. For now, if you feel like donating to it, you are more than welcome to, especially if you live in the Mountain or Pacific timezones, in which case your contribution still counts for the third quarter.
I may post again later...this is really exciting. I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see if we make the $15,000,000 goal. It's going to be a nailbiter, that's for sure. At least I no longer feel tempted to give more than I have already, since my contributions would not make a difference for this quarter now anyway.
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