Howard Dean
March 11, 2003 5:20 AM   Subscribe

Howard Dean is anti-war, pro-health care, and one of his biggest support sites is a blogspot-hosted web log. We know that bloggers helped dethrone Trent Lott. Can we elect a president? Discussed before but still important.
posted by elvissinatra (26 comments total)
Or perhaps we could get Matt to run for the Senate. If Cappozzola can do it, why not Matt?

Weblog politicians, in touch with the wired. (or should that be weird?)
posted by nofundy at 5:30 AM on March 11, 2003

I saw Dean this weekend on Meet the Press with Tim Russert. I immediately liked him. He didn't pander, he admitted that he has said many things that weren't politically prudent, he admits to changing his mind over the years on some things (the horror!), he was sharp and well informed but ready to demur on a question he didn't feel prepared for. I'll be watching him closely for sure, I think he's got potential.
posted by vito90 at 5:52 AM on March 11, 2003

we now return you to our regularly scheduled navel-gazing.
posted by quonsar at 5:59 AM on March 11, 2003

He's lacking a southern accent. America ain't gonna vote in no Pepperidge Farm Democrat.
posted by machaus at 6:05 AM on March 11, 2003

Dean is the Governor of Vermont and the governors are the ones to watch. Since Jimmy Carter, all US presidents have been governors or former vice presidents - and so have their major party opponents.
posted by Jos Bleau at 6:10 AM on March 11, 2003

Maybe "we" could have some effect... but I doubt "we" all agree on who "we" want in office.

Did I miss a memo or did having a blog or reading MeFi bring with it some groupthink political viewpoint?

I know reading /. has a religious viewpoint associated with it... but I was hoping MeFi was more varied :)
posted by soulhuntre at 6:21 AM on March 11, 2003

I like Dean immensely but his campaign has that "he's too good to possibly get the nomination" Babbit '88 - Tanner '88 distinctive flavor

about weblogs: Haughey for President
posted by matteo at 6:27 AM on March 11, 2003

Thanks for the link elvis.
It's good to see that the blogspot site has become a de facto clearinghouse for Dean info. This is a volunteer effort that lacks any cohesive organization, and while Dean's support has been large, it's extremely fragmented.

I am very happy that Dean has gotten such good press as of late, and prominent speaking opportunities on Meet the Press and other venues, but this was fairly accidental due to his labeling as the anti-war candidate. Not many activists know, for example, that Dean does not require a pro-choice "litmus test" for judicial appointees, that he favors the balanced budget amendment and opt-in privitazation of Social Security funds. He is much closer to Clinton than Nader. But overwhelming attention to the issue du jour is bound to give the wrong impression to both his supporters and detractors. His staff needs to work overtime to counteract the inevitable backlash and work toward adopting leftists and centrists in an all-encompassing campaign. If he is smart, he will turn himself into the McCain of the Democrats.

FWIW, I e-mailed several months ago requesting information on volunteer opportunities in the Boston area, and received nothing in response... I hope that the organization machine comes together, because this could be really, really special.
posted by PrinceValium at 6:30 AM on March 11, 2003

The reason you haven't heard much is probably because he doesn't have a huge reserve of cash to set up a nationwide campaign right away (hint, hint). Also see meetup -- semi-unofficial grassroots organizing. Great turnout last time in minneapolis.
posted by jnthnjng at 6:44 AM on March 11, 2003

Is this really so nice, it deserves to be posted thrice? If bloggers could get anyone elected, then why didn't Tara Sue Grubb win?
posted by mkelley at 6:51 AM on March 11, 2003

While gubernatorial experience seems to be a key factor in presidential elections, there's no denying that there's a wide gap between being the governor of Vermont and president of the US... especially when the man isn't really a career politician, he's a doctor and was elected to the Governor's mansion in Vermont as an outsider in the first place.
posted by clevershark at 6:58 AM on March 11, 2003

Hell, better that he's "closer to Clinton than Nader" than "closer to Clinton than Dubya." Not that I don't love our all-seeing, all-dancing Commander in Chief or anything.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:59 AM on March 11, 2003

Did I miss a memo or did having a blog or reading MeFi bring with it some groupthink political viewpoint?

Yes, you missed the memo.

For fuller explanation, see this. MeFi is clearly Howard Dean country. Actually, even from my E 4.38 S -3.90 point of view, he might be one of the better choices among the Dems.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:10 AM on March 11, 2003

Of the early candidates he seems the most promising to me from an idealist perspective. But. I also emailed his campaign about supporting him, on the recommendation of a staffer at Dean for America. That was in December. I have heard nothing. It can't be good to blow off enthusiastic supporters like that. Then again, the last time I encountered a campaign this disjointed was Clinton in 1992, and he won.
posted by neuroshred at 7:32 AM on March 11, 2003

"Pro-health care"? What exactly does that mean?
posted by Quinn at 7:49 AM on March 11, 2003

john kerry is the man to beat. remeber it was al gore the man who ran away from his own administrations record that was one ralph nader away from the presidency.
posted by specialk420 at 8:01 AM on March 11, 2003

There was also a great article about Dean in Salon not very long ago.
(just click the "free day pass" link at the bottom to read the whole article)
posted by anastasiav at 8:29 AM on March 11, 2003

"Pro-health care"? What exactly does that mean?

I know, I know. I was attempting brevity for the sake of a front-page post. I should have linked to his issue page on health care: "We ought not to be the last industrialized country in the world to guarantee health insurance to all our citizens."—Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.  Here's a link to his stance on other issues.
posted by elvissinatra at 8:35 AM on March 11, 2003

Health care issues aside, Howard Dean has put most of his campaign eggs in the anti-war basket, which may serve him well in the short run in his attempt to secure the nomination. It may, however, hurt him in the long run. Americans have historically rejected anti-war pacifists such as Dean (e.g. McGovern, McCarthy, Mondale, Dukaukis). Democrats would be better off nominating someone who at least appears a little more centrist on defense issues (e.g. Kennedy and Clinton).

This gamble could pay off for Dean if the war drags on long or is unsuccessful in removing Sadaam Hussein from power. If Sadaam is toppled (as is likely), and the dire predictions of post-war middle-east mayhem are overblown (also likely), Dean will be in serious trouble. It's nice to support someone on principle, but Democrats want to win the election, right?
posted by Durwood at 8:44 AM on March 11, 2003

Thanks, elvissinatra, for the additional links.
posted by Quinn at 8:48 AM on March 11, 2003

Good TNR article on Dean recently, short and sweet.
And good point about Governors as candidates. To find the last Senator elected President, one would have to look way back to JFK.
posted by momus at 9:03 AM on March 11, 2003

Dean is the Governor of Vermont

He actually was the Governor of Vermont, which also means he can make the run for president without completely abandoning his home state. The big statistic cited about Dean and health care is that 95% of children in Vermont now have some sort of health care. That's a completely insane statistic compared to any other state. On the other hand, Vermont has the population of Seattle. One of the other things people used to like about him as Governor was that he would be at all the dorky VT events: fairs, tractor pulls, town meetings, whatever, you'd just sort of see him around with his family. Additionally, he was an active co-parent [meetings would run long and he would head out saying "well, gotta go, it's my day to get the kids to soccer practice"] which endeared him to a lot of working families in the state. Even though he is an admitted "outsider" [from New York] many people on both sides of the political spectrum -- anti civil union folks nonwithstanding -- warmed up to him as a sane and non-huckster Governor.
posted by jessamyn at 9:09 AM on March 11, 2003

One of the other things people used to like about him as Governor was that he would be at all the dorky VT events

In Vermont the state is small enough that such personal government isn't just a necessity, it's unavoidable. He was at all the 'dorky' events because they were the only thing happening in the entire state at any given point. It's hard NOT to run into local figures in those situations.

Growing up in Vermont there was a time when Dean's predecessor Dick Snelling would call my house daily looking to talk to my brother and you couldn't help but run into the senator at the grocery store.
posted by KnitWit at 2:54 PM on March 11, 2003

I went to an organizational meeting for Howard Dean at a coffee shop downtown. The energy was incredible.

I believe that Dr. Dean was brought up in a previous MeFi article many months back. Good link though.
posted by EmoChild at 3:11 PM on March 11, 2003

I am such a doofus. Next time I'll check out the post before commenting.

Re: previously discussed.
posted by EmoChild at 3:16 PM on March 11, 2003

why didn't Tara Sue Grubb win?

Because she was running in a ridiculously gerrymandered district that had been drawn specifically to re-elect conservative Republican Howard Coble in backroom dealing between North Carolina's two major parties. Next question?
posted by mediareport at 8:15 PM on March 14, 2003

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