5/30/2003

FROM THE ROAD: WINOOSKI, VERMONT

Well, we are back in Vermont for the night. We just returned from a three day road trip to New Hampshire and a quick stop in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We started the day with a breakfast meet and greet at The Inn at Jaffrey Center in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Like the other meet and greets we did in NH over the last three days, it was well attended - close to 100 people. From Jaffrey we went on to Keene for a lunch sponsored by the mayor of the city. So many people showed up to hear the Gov. that they could not get into the restaurant because of fire codes. The Gov. ended up giving two speeches: one to the crowd inside the restaurant, and a second on the lawn in front of the restaurant to the overflow crowd. We then drove - of course in a mini van - to Claremont for our final NH house party of the day. After the house party we drove to Lebanon, NH and hopped on a plane to Atlantic City, New Jersey where the Gov. spoke to New Jersey State Democratic Convention. We were greeted outside of the hotel by the familar crowd of sign waving Dean fans. They yelled out a chant that we had not heard before: "D-E-A-N U-S-A!" It was a great dinner, and the Gov. had the crowd on its feet especially at the end when he told the crowd, "You have the power to take this party back! You have the power to take this country back! Together we'll take the White House back!"

After the dinner we went to a nearby hotel for a fundraiser. In a stroke of luck, the hotel was the site of the Miss America pageant! We were lucky enough to get to see some of the evening gowns and crowns on display in the lobby, as well as to watch a continuous video of the winners being crowd. I got some good tips on being a gracious winner - not to mention how to keep a crown on your head, blow kisses to the crowd and hold a bunch of flowers all at the same time!

There are some great Dean supporters in NJ who made both the dinner and fundraiser a success. Thank you NJ!

Well, it's time to go to sleep. I've got to pick the Gov. up in 7 hours so we can go to Lake Placid, New York.

HOWARD DEAN PROFILE IN NY TIMES MAGAZINE

Matt Bai's extensive profile of Governor Dean will be out Sunday in the New York Times Magazine. But it's available online now. An excerpt:

For months, while his rivals in Washington looked on with a mixture of growing contempt and sheer incredulity, Howard Dean went off on the Democratic Party. Energized by the reception to his antiwar stance, Vermont's former governor ran around Iowa and New Hampshire, pounding his Democratic presidential rivals for their total lack of backbone -- not just on the war but on tax cuts and education, too. They would say whatever they had to say to get elected, Dean said, and for that reason he dubbed them, collectively, ''Bush Lite.''

His signature line, borrowed from the late Paul Wellstone, an icon of the left, drew thunderous applause from liberal activists. ''I'm Howard Dean,'' he shouted, ''and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party!'' It was like a coded message that beaten-down liberals could understand viscerally: it was time for Democrats to stop being afraid to act like Democrats. Dean, a doctor who barely registered in polls last fall, closed in on John Kerry in New Hampshire, and in Iowa, he was clearly the king of every beige ballroom he entered.

AROUND THE BLOGS: OLIVER WILLIS

Oliver Willis, in "The Case for Howard Dean," writes:

People want their candidates to mean something. His ideas may be foolish, his methods sleazy, but even the most partisan must admit that George Bush stands for something. Especially if you're a wealthy white male, he stands for a lot. It is the duty of the progressive candidate, the Democrat, to counterbalance him. Right now, the one winning the Stand-Up Primary is Dean, and that may end up being the best swift kick in the pants the Democrats need.

AROUND THE BLOGS: UNTELEVISED

Untelevised blogger Matthew Langer writes:

... The one glimmer of light in my morning was seeing this news on PoliticalWire that Howard Dean has "called for a repeal of the $350 billion tax cut that President Bush signed into law Wednesday, describing it as 'part of a radical agenda to dismantle Social Security, Medicare and our public schools through financial starvation.'"

Someone gets it.

If it hasn't been obvious to you before this, I've come around on Howard Dean. And if it hadn't been obvious to myself, this announcement of his confirms it. Howard Dean really is our only hope.

Because he's angry, just like we are. Angry that our country, our wellbeing, and all of the disparate people and parts of this nation that make us proud to be Americans have been hijacked by agents of the oil industry and defense contractors; that the Bill of Rights are being rewritten before our eyes; that we're fighting endless wars for, as Michael Moore said, fictitious reasons.

That anger and that conviction and the promise of drastic positive change is the only hope we have of unseating these crooks and returning America to the people.

Howard Dean wants his country back, and I do too. I'm on board, Dr. Dean. With a little hard work we can get the rest of America behind you, too.

FROM THE ROAD: HENNIKER, NEW HAMPSHIRE

It's 6:00am and I'm up and ready to go for our third day in New Hampshire. All I am missing is the Governor. We are staying with a family in Henniker, and I got up a little early to get in line for the shower! Our departure time in 6:30am, so he still has some time before we leave him behind.

Yesterday was another busy day, and it seemed a little more crazy because we had three camera crews following us - CNN, FOX, and an independent crew. We started the day off with breakfast with senior citizens in Manchester. After breakfast we paid a visit to a Dunkin' Donuts. Our entourage filled up the entire shop. We then hopped in the mini van (our new home away from home) and drove to Concord where Gov. Dean hosted a town hall meeting on health care. We then went to three meet and greet events which were all very well attended. (I have to put a plug in for the Main Street BookEnds bookstore in Warner, NH site of the second meet and greet. They sell great books and were very patient as they were being overrun with over 100 Dean people and camera crews).

Well, the Governor is up and ready to go - so I guess we're off for NH day three!

5/29/2003

DEAN TIES FOR LEAD WITH KERRY, LIEBERMAN IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA POLL

San Francisco ABC station KGO-TV reports on the results of a Hertz Research poll conducted among 1,153 Bay Area residents from May 20 - 25th, 2003. The results:

40% say... they are not sure or have no preference in this race. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, Massachusetts Senator John Kerrey and Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman are the early leaders, each with 13%.

They were followed by Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt (8%), former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley Braun and North Carolina Senator John Edwards (4%), Florida Senator Bob Graham and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (2%) and the Reverend Al Sharpton (1%).

STATEMENT OF HOWARD DEAN ON BUSH TAX CUTS

Howard Dean issued the following statement today on the Bush tax cuts and their toll on lower-income working families:

“Yesterday President Bush signed into law tax cuts that plunge the country further into fiscal crisis. They mortgage the education, health care and social security of the many to shield from taxes the dividends and capital gains of the few.

Today, we learn that Republicans drafting the bill decided to cut benefits for lower-income working families.

That Republicans should make such a choice should come as no surprise to the parents of the 12 million American children who now won't benefit from yesterday's tax cuts. Many of them are parents who don't have health insurance and whose children's schools are overcrowded, underachieving and falling apart - because the President has other priorities.

The Republican party should be ashamed of the choices that it makes and the record it seeks to sell to hard working American families. The time has come to cut off George Bush's credit card, repeal the President's reckless tax cuts, and put the priorities of this country back in order.”

DEAN MEETUP MEMBERS SURPASS 27,000

As of this afternoon, over 27,000 people have signed up to Meetup for Dean.

Every week, this grassroots campaign is breaking new records and building momentum. Every week, people who have never been involved politically are joining the Dean movement. To get a sense of the movement, you can see hundreds of pictures from last month's Meetup, showing Dean supporters in places ranging from Omaha to Washington, D.C. to St. Louis, Houston, and Tampa.

There are only six more days until the June Dean Meetup--sign up here to join other Dean supporters in your area. At this June Meetup, grassroots organizing around the country will be focusing on our effort to double our base of Dean supporters. We started a "Double Dean" effort a week ago, in an effort to grow our list from slightly over 50,000 to 100,000. Since then, over 15,000 new Dean supporters have signed up. If you are one of those new members, think about joining up now to go to your local Meetup.

VOTE FOR DEAN IN THE MOVE ON POLL!



MoveOn.org has built a massive online grassroots community. In a letter to their members today, founder Wes Boyd wrote to the 1.4 million members of MoveOn: "With our agenda in hand, we can play an unprecedented role in the presidential campaign. But first we need to develop a common agenda. Today's straw poll is the first step."

If you are a MoveOn member, or if you know someone who is, please check your email from MoveOn and follow the link to vote for Howard Dean. (You must already be a member of MoveOn to vote.)

We are building the largest grassroots campaign in history, a campaign to take back the Democratic Party and to take back the White House in 2004. In order to achieve this, we must all come together for Howard Dean. It is important that supporters show their commitment to Dean by voting in the MoveOn poll. Only by reaching out to the communities that already exist-- communities like MoveOn-- will we demonstrate to the world that Howard Dean, as the Democratic nominee, will defeat George W. Bush in the general election.

Now's your chance. If you're a MoveOn member, vote for Howard Dean in the MoveOn online poll today!

5/28/2003

FROM THE ROAD: NEW HAMPSHIRE

We are spending three days in New Hampshire. We drove to Manchester, NH this morning after spending yesterday in Burlington, VT. Gov. Dean had a busy day. He taped a 30 minute television show called "Conversation with the Candidate" on WMUR TV Channel 9 in New Hampshire. It is supposed to air on Sunday evening, so all of you who live in the WMUR viewing area should check your local listings and watch the show. Before leaving WMUR the Gov. did a last minute press conference to respond to the President signing the tax cut bill.

The Gov. made his first official visit to his Manchester headquarters. It's very cool space, located directly across the parking lot from one of our opponents. The NH staff was excited to see us, but they seemed even more excited about their 5th place showing (they actually won a tie breaker to come in 5th instead of 6th) in a karaoke contest between all the campaigns sponsored by the NH Democratic Party. Their song: Carly Simon's "You're So Vain."

We capped the day off by going to three very well attended (the last one in Londonderry had over 100 people) house parties in Manchester, Derry and Londonderry.

This is the end of day one, but I have a feeling this may be a very long trip! We are riding around family style in a mini van. Sometimes we get a little confused about which road we should take, and the Gov. has been priding himself on the fact that he always seems to be the one to get us back on course when we get lost. We have all made it our goal to stump "the master of directions"! The one bright spot in our mini van adventure was the Stonyfield Farm yogurt and smoothies - very healthy and soothing. I'd highly recommend both products to anyone riding around in a mini van with someone running for President!

DEAN: WE MUST PUT OUR FISCAL HOUSE IN ORDER

Howard Dean issued the following statement today on President Bush’s signing of the Tax Cut Bill:

With the President’s proposed budget and the $350 billion tax cut package he is signing today, it has become clear what this President is attempting to do, and why we must repeal the entire package of cuts – both those signed today and those passed in 2001.

It is time to level with the American people. The economic plans put forth by President Bush and the Republican party are a fundamental assault on the basic American ideals that we all share -- an assault on our schools, our health care, our environment and our social security.

I will not go along with it.

The sooner we recognize that this isn't a fight over tax cuts, but a battle for our country's heart, soul and future - the sooner the American people will join our cause.

Let me be clear. The President’s tax cuts are part of a radical agenda to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and our public schools through financial starvation.

In Oregon last week, the state had to close schools three weeks early because there was no money. In New Hampshire this week, the sheriffs made it clear that, because there was no money, they couldn’t provide the basic law enforcement protection communities expect in this time of heightened alerts about terrorism. All across the country, hospitals and health care systems are cutting back – and cities are cutting services because there is no money.

What America needs now is a Democratic Party with the backbone to stand up for fiscal responsibility and against this President's recklessness with the facts, and our future.

No Republican president has balanced the budget in 34 years – and if this president succeeds, no future American president from either party will be able to do so without massive tax increases that will break the backs of the American people – or without destroying Medicare, social security, our schools and even our nation’s security.

My central commitment upon taking office will be to repeal these tax cuts to put our fiscal house in order, and save the very fabric that holds our American community together.

We will not be able to meet our fundamental obligations to teach our children, care for our parents, and defend our nation if we bankrupt our country.

If we fail to defeat this President and end his radical agenda, we will have lost the central ideal proclaimed from one American generation to the next throughout our history: “We are one nation, and we are all in this together.”

CREATIVE LOAFING

Atlanta's alternative weekly Creative Loafing ponders Howard Dean's message in the south, and in the process Kevin Griffis paints a complete picture of Howard Dean's insurgent campaign:

Howard Dean's campaign for president depends on obstinacy.

Damn the polls, and damn conventional wisdom.

Here's a guy waging a straight-talkin' populist campaign when the theme of "the People vs. the Powerful" has supposedly gone the way of parachute pants. He promises balanced budgets at the same time he opposed war in Iraq. He cites a record that protects gun rights and gay rights.

So far, this unlikely mix has made Dean the buzz-worthy candidate among the nine Democratic hopefuls looking to dethrone George Bush.


Griffis questions whether non-voters can truly be brought back into the fold in numbers great enough to defeat Bush. He finds one answer:

Two weeks ago at Manuel's Tavern in Atlanta, 75 people showed up for a Dean Meetup confab, and many gave testimonials about how they "came" to Dean. (It wasn't quite Billy Graham, but it wasn't Amway either.) The crowd was peppered with self-described independents and young people like Clay Johnson. Johnson is why Dean could prove formidable at enlarging the electorate.

At 26 years old, the Atlanta born-and-bred software engineer has never voted. But his mother, who had paid about $200 per month in health insurance throughout her life, recently discovered she has breast cancer. Her insurance spiked to $3,000 per month, and Johnson's dad, who was 70 at the time, had to return to work to cover the insurance costs.

"To me ... that's not health insurance," Johnson says. "That's a joke."

So he started looking for a candidate, and liked what Dean had to say about health care.

"[My dad is] still working to this day -- even though all he wants to do is retire -- just so he can have health insurance for my mom," Johnson says. "That's why I'm supporting Howard Dean, because I hope to God my dad can retire. It's personal."


And rounding out the portrait, Griffis even touches on Dean's favorite book:

Somehow, it's not surprising that Dean cites Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion as his favorite novel.

For anyone who has ever read the book, four words probably come to mind: "Never give an inch." The patriarch in Kesey's 1964 epic scrawls this admonishment on a painting and hangs it near his newborn son's bed. It's a commandment of intransigence... to... convention and history.

Dean runs on this sort of gumption.

5/27/2003

FROM THE ROAD: SOUTH BURLINGTON, VERMONT

Well, this really isn't from the road! Today we're spending the day in the headquarters in South Burlington, Vermont. About three weeks ago we moved into a more spacious office. No more of the 4 people crammed into 12" by 12" offices. Joe Trippi and I share an office (although I have put a piece of masking tape down the middle of the office - and straight thru our beautiful orange couch - so Joe knows his limits!) Right now Joe is eating cherries, while outside in the hall we can hear the conversations and laughter of the volunteers that have gathered for the open house that Gov. Dean is hosting. Esquire magazine is here taking pictures for an article they are doing on the Gov. Earlier in the evening musicians - a violin player and an accordian player - roamed the halls providing music for the volunteer reception. It was surreal, but I definitely knew I was home!

DEAN TO FCC: CEASE AND DESIST

Howard Dean today wrote to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, urging the FCC to avoid further deregulation of the American media. The text of the letter:

Dear Chairman Powell,

Americans cherish the freedom of the press -- and the diversity of the press that ensures they can get access to the truth and to the information they need. The Bush Administration may not appreciate that freedom and diversity, but they should not tamper with it.

On June 2nd, the Federal Communications Commission should decide against allowing a single company to own multiple television stations, radio stations, and newspapers in a single town. The Bush Administration has urged the FCC to remove regulations that protect every Americans' right to a free press. This latest attempt by the Bush Administration to undermine the American ideals enshrined in our Constitution is wrong.

This deregulation, like so many actions pushed for by the Bush administration, would benefit a few at the expense of the rest of us. Modifying the ban in most cities on cross-ownership of television and radio stations and newspapers will have serious repercussions for every American. A similar deregulation of radio, through the 1996 Telecommunications Act, has resulted in a 30% decline of independently-owned radio stations in the United States. This decline has reduced Americans' access to local news via radio. According to a May 27 Bloomberg story, in at least one instance local authorities were delayed in broadcasting important emergency information to the local populace because the "local" radio station was broadcast from out-of-state. Accelerating the disappearance of independent local media by further deregulating television and newspaper ownership is the wrong direction for this country.

In my travels around the country, I have discovered that this proposed deregulation is one of the foremost issues on peoples' minds. I am asked about it everywhere--in small towns in New Hampshire, and in major cities across the nation. The American people are concerned about the future of their media, and the effect this decision will have on them. Thousands of Americans have written the FCC to oppose this rule, and members of Congress from both parties have voiced their protest and requested that you testify before them on the matter. Yet the FCC appears poised to ignore the interests of regular Americans by allowing a few massive conglomerates to gobble up our local news sources.

This proposed deregulation threatens the ideals of America--the ideals of openness, free speech, free expression and free discussion, which are the backbone of our Constitution and our democracy.

Therefore, I urge you to take the following actions:

1) Delay the June 2nd vote by the FCC.

2) Testify before Congress so that the Representatives of the American people can have the opportunity to question the representatives of the Bush Administration.

3) Allow for, and consider, additional public input. The FCC must provide sufficient opportunity for public input on a decision that effects every American.

I appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

5/26/2003

AROUND THE BLOGS: UNTELEVISED

Matthew Langer has an interesting analysis of the primary race so far, including this stirring examination of Howard Dean's strengths:

[T]here’s something else contributing to this newfound sense of mine of Dean’s promise for the party, something ethereal and intangible that one can sense Dean’s got that the other candidates don’t. That is the conviction that running against these other candidates is an effort that goes far beyond self-promotion and individual aspirations, the knowledge that beating the incumbent President in 2004 is the most noble cause to which any of these candidates could devote themselves, the firm belief that the Bush presidency has been one of the most tragic events in the history of this nation, and the fear of what damage and destruction would be done to the United States by another four years of George W. Bush.

From the other frontrunners comes a distinct sense of their willingness to compromise in kowtowing deference to the Bush administration, an inability to recognize or at least to publicly confirm the magnitude of the threat that this President represents. But from Howard Dean that message is sent loud and clear.

That’s what this party needs in a candidate, and that’s what this nation needs to be reminded again and again every one of the 527 days between now and November 2, 2004: that this nation has suffered long enough under George W. Bush, and that we cannot endure four more years.

5/25/2003

HOWARD DEAN'S STATEMENT ON MEMORIAL DAY

“On this Memorial Day, I wish to share my profound respect for the men and women who have laid down their lives in service to their country. Theirs has been the ultimate sacrifice, and to all of them we owe nothing less than full commitment to the American ideals which they died defending.

“In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Abraham Lincoln said that it was for us, the living, ‘to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.'

“Our work is still unfinished, and if we are to honor our fallen heroes, we are bound by duty to work every day toward strengthening our democracy and our United States, so that as Lincoln implored, a government of the people, by the people, for the people does not perish from the earth.”-- Howard Dean

MEETUP SURPASSES 26,000; EFFORT TO DOUBLE DEAN BASE UNDERWAY

There are now 26,116 people signed up for Dean Meetups.

Dean for America has also launched an effort to double the size of its email list by June 30, 2003. You can help by clicking on the link below and telling us about your friends and colleagues who want to know more about Howard Dean:

FROM THE ROAD: NEW HAMPSHIRE

Sugar Hill. Berlin. North Conway. Center Sandwich. Brookfied. We visited five New Hampshire towns today and met over 500 people! Being a Sunday, we did not expect more than 25 - 50 people at each event, but we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the crowds. The Gov. is currently speaking to roughly 75 people at the Brookfield Town Hall. It is a great setting, almost right out of a movie. Hardwood floors and walls, a wood stove in the center of the backroom which looks like it served as a classroom at one point. You can just imagine the politics that have gone on in this historic building over the years, and it is interesting to hear the Gov. speak about modern day issues in this setting.

We've met some interesting people and visted some fun places. The highlight was a visit to Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, NH. We didn't stay long enough to eat, but based on the number of people who were there the pancakes must be terrific. We also stopped by the Dairy Bar in Berlin. This time we did get food. I'd highly recommend a stop there if you're ever in the area!

We started the day at 8:15am and will leave here at 8:15pm for the four hour drive back to Burlington, Vermont. The Gov. has analyzed the map and thinks he has figured out a short cut, so perhaps it will be a five hour trip back!