In the closing remarks of tonight's debate in Columbia, South Carolina, Howard Dean said:

We can't win this election if we worry so much about electability that the American people can't tell the difference between us and the Republicans.

The great unspoken political lie, which comes from stages like this, is elect me and I’ll solve all of your problems.

The great unspoken truth is that the future of this country rests in your hands, not mine.

You have the power to rise up and take this country back. You have the power to give this party the backbone to challenge this President, and all of the harm he has done to our country. You have the power to create jobs, balance the budget, and bring us our dream, which Harry Truman put in our platform in 1948 – health care for every American.

The reason people don’t vote in this country is that we don’t give them a reason to vote. This campaign is about giving all of you a reason to vote.

Abraham Lincoln said, "A government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth." President Bush has forgotten the ordinary people of this country.

It’s time to take our party back and it’s time to take our country back.


Jim Acosta had a great profile on Governor Dean last night. Click here to watch.


Howard Dean will be on CNBC's “After Hours with Maria Bartiromo” on Monday, May 5. It will air at 9pm Eastern and will repeat at midnight.



We're in Columbia, South Carolina for the first big debate! This trip has been exciting from the minute we got on the plane this morning in Burlington, Vermont. Not only is Joe Trippi (our genius campaign manager) joining us on this trip, but we were on the same plane as what seemed to be half of the national press corps covering the debate. George Stephanopoulos sat in the seat directly behind Gov. Dean. Unfortunately, he did not share any debate hints!

When we got to Columbia we stopped by a Ben & Jerry's scoop shop. Where else would a bunch of Vermonters go! The Gov. ordered a chocolate fudge brownie yogurt in a cone.

After our low calorie sugar stop, we got down to business. Gov. Dean did a live interview on a statewide radio show, and appeared live at the top of the 6:00pm news on a local tv station. He then attended the South Carolina Democratic Party's JJ dinner. No speeches, but all the Presidential candidates were there. After the dinner, we went to a fish fry hosted by Congressman Jim Clyburn. The Gov. took a turn on the dance floor (and, yes Howard Kurtz, I have pictures to prove it!). It was a media frenzy at both the dinner and the fish fry. There is more media here than at any event we've attended so far over the last year.

Tonight we are staying with a family in Columbia. Their home has become our home away from home. Tomorrow we get up early to attend a Democratic Party breakfast, and then it's time to get ready for the debate!

Media Alert

Dean will be on the FOX News Channel at 4:08 PM today, May 2.


From today's Note (via email only):

This weekend, you can see the debate in many cities on ABC stations following your late local news Saturday night.

We promise it will be better than Saturday Night Live. Drudge has a list of which affiliates are carrying the debate here, as well as information for catching the debate on radio and broadband.

The Note continues:

Excerpts and analysis will appear on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." In Columbia, "This Week" airs at 10:30 am. Our affiliate WOLO plans to air the debate in full after "This Week."

C-SPAN will show the debate in full on Sunday at 1:30 pm, and then again on "Road to the White House," at 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm, and again at 12:30 am Sunday


MSNBC files a report today on a the results of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, writing that "the outcome [of the war] has done little to improve perceptions of how [Bush] is handling the economy and other domestic issues." The key facts:

Just 35 percent said the state of the economy is good or excellent, with 64 percent saying it is not so good or poor.

Just 28 percent said they prefer Bush’s proposed tax cut to spending the money on more government services, and 57 percent said the tax cut favors the rich. Only 10 percent of those surveyed said they are better off financially today than when Bush took office, with 48 percent saying they are worse off.

Asked whether, as a result of war with Iraq, they were more or less inclined to support this president for reelection, 37 percent said more likely and 24 percent said less likely. Twelve years ago, 55 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to support the president for reelection, with 6 percent saying they were less likely


Dean supporter Richard Hoefer sends this photo of Howard Dean at a rally in San Francisco Tuesday.


Since ABC will only be sending out The Note via email today, we're posting our entry to the Notepad here for those who aren't subscribed:

Once again, we want to thank The Note for providing the opportunity to participate this week in the Notepad.

We’ve never stayed up so late wrestling with 200 words in our lives.

We’ve had a good time. And we hope everyone got the jokes that were meant to be jokes.

But tonight, we’re filing this missive early.

As we pack our bags to head to South Carolina, we want to take a moment to thank the thousands of people across the country who are working so hard in support of Howard Dean.

Once again, a shout out to the writers, readers and commentators at the Dean 2004 blog and all the blogs, forums and listserves that support Howard Dean online. Thank you. Link.

And to the organizers in South Carolina and the student organizers who are busting their tails across America—this campaign would not be where it is today without you.

And to the more than 19,000 people (18,000 at the beginning of the week) who have signed up for Dean Meetups: your efforts and energy inspire us daily here at Burlington Headquarters. Link.

We’re going to South Carolina for all of you.



Yesterday we spent the day in The City That Never Sleeps - and we didn't sleep much either! On Tuesday night we took the red-eye from San Francisco to New York. (The turkey-cheese croissant sandwich served on the plane was the highlight of the flight!). We arrived in New York City at 6:30am Wednesday morning and immediately started the day with two editorial board meetings: Newsweek and the New York Daily News. We'll have to wait and see how they went!

Later in the day, Gov. Dean spoke at a meeting sponsored by The Drum Major Institute and New York SEIU. Dr. Dean previewed his health care plan which he will unveil in detail in the near future (so stayed tuned!).

We ended the day with the last of our three city tour of events to celebrate the third anniversary of the signing of Vermont's Civil Union law. The NY reception featured special guest Whoopi Goldberg and a performance by Joan Jett.

Around 9:30pm we piled into the car for our 5 hour car ride back to Vermont. There was no turkey-cheese croissant sandwich, but there was a stop at a gas station for snacks. Needless to say, we were all pretty happy when we arrived home around 2:30am. We've got one day back in Vermont to do laundry and then it's back on the road. First stop: South Carolina for the first debate of the campaign!


Daniel Gross over at Slate summarizes the Bush economic record, and comes to this conclusion:

The bad news for Bush is that even if the economy does add 2 million jobs by October 2004, he will still have presided over the only job-losing presidency since Hoover. And as Karl Rove surely knows, that name is never good company for a president seeking re-election. Since 1900, the only incumbent Republican presidents to lose second-term bids have been named Hoover and Bush.



A summary:

Comments like Dean's, if distorted as Lehane distorted them, ordinarily would be highly damaging if not lethal to most candidates. But what has many Democrats so enthusiastic about Howard Dean is his unmatched ability to expose disingenuousness and distortion tactics of both opponents and the media....

Dean is articulate, tough, and when confronted with such cheap tactics is able to fully expose them for what they are, and impress his audience with his ability to communicate complicated concepts clearly and convincingly, while making his interviewer/attacker look bad. This kind of fighting skill is what many Democrats regard as the most important quality in their 2004 presidential nominee, and it's possible Lehane did Howard Dean a favor in handing him another opportunity to show off one of his top virtues.


We realize that many people are coming to the Dean Call to Action blog today because of the Note. But we don't want others to miss it. Check it out.


Patrick Arden over at Salon paints a complete picture of the effects of the second Bush recession in Peoria, Illinois:

On a warm March afternoon just days before President Bush launched the invasion of Iraq, Robert Wood stood outside an unemployment office in Peoria, Ill., and fought a quiet war of his own.

For the last two years, Wood has been a discouraged job seeker. Until this winter he'd pieced together what he calls a "decent living," doing all sorts of odd jobs -- plumbing, roofing, drywalling. He was so proud of his ingenuity, he painted his name and home phone number on the doors of his rusty red Chevy pickup.

But through the winter and into early spring, the 41-year-old general contractor has been idle. If the economy seems to be in recession nationwide, its condition is more dire here in this city that voted for George W. Bush by a narrow margin in 2000. Various economic indicators prove the point, but Wood has a simple measure:

"There are no jobs," he complains

"The direction," [Bradley University economist Bernard] Goitein says, "has definitely been down."

Read the full article.


Coverage of Howard Dean's preview of his health care plan will air this afternoon on CNN's Inside Politics, which airs at 4 pm EDT (not 3 pm).


CNN will be streaming live coverage to their studio of Governor Dean's preview of his health care plan at 3 pm EDT today-- 10 minutes from now. Watch CNN for possible live coverage of the Governor's address.

Dean Wireless members received a text message on their cell phones advising them of this development. To stay in touch with late-breaking campaign news when you're offline, sign up for Dean Wireless.




"This is a brief moment in history when the United States has pre-eminent military, economic and political power. It won't last forever.... This is just a period, a few decades this will last, and I think that all of us who are Americans should think about this and ask ourselves how do we wish this moment to be judged 50 years from now."-- William Jefferson Clinton, February 22, 2002.

"No serious candidate for the Presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy.... [It is] surprising and eye-opening to see a major candidate for president even ponder the possibility of not having the strongest military in the world."-- Chris Lehane, Kerry campaign Communications Director, April 28, 2003.


Thanks Meet Up people and Students for Dean! Today we spent the day in San Francisco and were greeted twice by groups of sign waving Meet Up people and Students for Dean groups. Gov. Dean had three events in San Francisco to celebrate the third anniversary of the signing of the Civil Union law in Vermont. Like LA last night, the crowd went wild!

He also toured Glide Memorial Church. It is a wonderful organization that provides shelter, meals and health care to people in need.

The scenic highlight of the day was riding the ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco. We had a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Right now we are sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting to take the red eye to New York. They just called our flight, so it's time to log off!


Governor Howard Dean, MD will preview his health care plan in an address tomorrow (Wednesday) to members of 1199 SEIU and the Drum Major Institute in New York City.

As Governor, Howard Dean provided health care coverage through public and private cooperation to virtually all children under 18 and 92% of adults in Vermont. In his address, Governor Dean will preview his plan to provide access to health care for every man, woman and child in America.


Here at Burlington HQ, CNN is on all the time. We’re not sure which channel the Kerry camp prefers (Fox?), so we thought we’d point out how Kerry’s attack on Howard Dean is playing out on air.

Today on Inside Politics (transcript unavailable at this time), Judy Woodruff asked Candy Crowley to “read between the lines on this campaign battle.”

Crowley’s report:

“Let’s take a look at the polls in NH… The main challenger… to John Kerry at this point is Howard Dean. It’s interesting that John Kerry took on Howard Dean at this point, because if you’re the presumed front-runner, what you’d like to do is remain sort of above the fray. But he chose to take him on, which may hint that Dean is in fact cutting into some of Kerry’s support.

“The stakes are really high.”

Later on Crossfire, Paul Begala reiterated Crowley’s assessment and said, “I like a fighter.”

He wasn’t referring to John Kerry.


Oops. The Kerry campaign's specious attack on Howard Dean is appearing transparent to commentators across the political spectrum.

William F. Buckley Jr., over at the National Review Online, writes:

Senator John Kerry was spoiling for a fight with Governor Howard Dean.... Dean... said something rather trivial about how U.S. military preeminence can't be counted on to solve all problems, which is on the order of saying that man cannot live by bread alone. But it was enough to get Senator Kerry to scream and yell that Governor Dean wants to sell short the military and that such an attitude toward the military is inappropriate in a man who seeks to serve as commander-in-chief, etc., etc.

Howard Dean [said] all the problems of the world couldn't be solved by the military potency of the United States, which is obvious.

Apparently, not that obvious to John Kerry. Or is it? William Saletan over at Slate skewers Kerry for his "hypocritical attack":

The political logic of Kerry's attack is obvious. Dean is the only candidate with momentum and excitement, and he's the only big threat to Kerry in New Hampshire. Discredit Dean, win New Hampshire, and nobody else has the gas to pass Kerry.

Saletan quotes a Senate-floor speech by Kerry on China, then nails him for his word choice:

Expanding power in the world at large? Was Kerry tolerating an erosion of America's supremacy? [Kerry called the US] a bit player? [And said] "We possess no stick"?

Saletan notices a trend:

OK, so that was nine years ago. Has Kerry grown more bullish since then? Not a bit. Outlining his foreign policy views in January, he warned, "In a world growing more, not less interdependent, unilateralism is a formula for isolation and shrinking influence."

Interdependence? Shrinking influence? Are these the words of a defeatist?

Of course not. Kerry wasn't "compromising" or "tolerating" the decline of American power. He was simply describing trends.... Every empire in the history of the world has eventually lost its supremacy. You don't have to like it. You just have to face facts, or at least prepare for the worst. Good doctors do it all the time.

Saletan says it best:

Does Kerry's attack make sense on the merits? Not unless he's willing to disqualify himself as well.


Congrats go to Howard Kurtz over at The Washington Post for picking up on the story that... well, that you're looking at.

Kurtz writes:

It seems this morning that bloggers have taken over the world.

Or at least the 2004 presidential campaign.

The pundits are blogging. The journalists are blogging. And now the candidates are blogging.

Who needs television? Let's just eliminate the middleman.

We couldn't agree more.

So now we have the following exciting scenario: Candidate gives speech. ABC News reports speech. ABC's Note blogs speech. Then candidate blogs his own speech, knocking down any negative interpretation by other bloggers. And we blog the whole incestuous process.

That's right! Give 'em hell, Howard!

(Though we're starting to wonder if this means we'll ever get to leave the office. The Note we can keep up with. But can we keep up with the prolific posting of Atrios or Matthew Yglesias?)

Turns out that some candidates – notably Howard Dean, and [snip] – have their own blogs. This raises the disturbing prospect of a blog deficit for the other contenders.

Kurtz dedicates some ink time to our own Kate O'Connor, whose "From the Road" reports have become a favorite around here. Referencing a recent post in which Kate mentioned that Howard Dean "has a great hoop shot," Kurtz writes:

We'll remain skeptical until they post pictures of Dean sinking a turnaround jumper.

We're working on the photo, sir. In the meantime, care for a game of horse?


The latest edition of the Notepad is out, courtesy of ABC News.


The Mercury News picks up an AP story on Howard Dean's appearance in Southern California yesterday. (See Kate's report, below.) The AP notes Dean's praise of the Internet:

"This new generation does get it," Dean said. "Today there are 60 million people on the Internet. Corporations own all the media, but fair and balanced news really does exist on the Internet, with all those bright young people."

Supporter Rob Reiner gets in a few quotes, too:

Reiner... called Dean the "only one really telling the truth."

"He says what he believes," Reiner said. "You might not like what he says but when Howard Dean says something you know he's honest, trustworthy."


"This campaign is fueled by enthusiasm!" Gov. Howard Dean today in California.

And the Gov. is sure right! It's around 12:30am and we're just finishing up a long - but productive - day in Los Angeles. Gov. Dean met with members of the California League of Conservation Voters and outlined some of his environmental policy: Less reliance on oil, more conservation and renewables. And, most importantly, an attitude towards the environment that is no longer short sighted.

We capped the day off with four receptions honoring the third anniversary of the signing of the Civil Union law in Vermont. The Gov. is losing his voice because he has been giving too many speeches over screaming crowds lately, but he was still able to bring the people to their feet. (We also had a great turn out despite the fact that the Hollywood premier of the new X-Men movie was held at the theater next door!)

Tomorrow we're on a plane and off to San Francisco!



The following is the statement of Dean for America campaign manager Joe Trippi in response to a press release by Senator John Kerry’s campaign attacking Governor Dean.

“The statement by Senator John Kerry’s campaign is absurd. As Commander in Chief, Howard Dean will never tolerate an erosion of American military power, nor has he ever said such a thing. The war on terrorism will not be won by relying solely on military supremacy.

“We need a long-term approach to our national security that includes diplomatic initiatives and multilateral agreements. Our standing in the world is not determined solely by our military supremacy. Governor Dean believes that even the most sophisticated military in the world acting alone cannot eliminate all sleeper terrorist cells, nor should it be called upon to take on every dictator for the purpose of regime change. Pursuing the short-sighted strategy of the Bush Doctrine will leave us weaker and will create new problems that we will long regret.

“John Kerry’s approach to foreign policy was also short sighted when he voted to give President Bush a blank check to wage a preemptive war. This is a disturbing pattern in which John Kerry votes one way on the Senate floor and then says the opposite on the campaign trail. In New Hampshire, Senator Kerry denounced the No Child Left Behind Act—despite voting for it. In Iowa, he campaigned against the war—despite voting for it. No Democratic nominee can ever hope to beat President Bush by imitating him, or by trying to have it both ways.

“If Senator Kerry is suggesting that he would continue to pursue the Bush Doctrine, then John Kerry is running for the nomination of the wrong party, because the Bush doctrine of preemptive war must stop here.”


Is Senator John Kerry getting desperate? Apparently his campaign found it necessary to put out a full-court press release based on the following quote by Howard Dean reported at Time.com. The quote by Governor Dean:

"We have to take a different approach [to diplomacy]. We won't always have the strongest military."

The hyperventilating response from Kerry Communications Director Chris Lehane, in the Kerry campaign's press release:

"Howard Dean's stated belief that the United States 'won't always have the strongest military,' raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as Commander-in-Chief. No serious candidate for the Presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy."

Okay, Chris. We'll make this simple for you:

1) Governor Dean has never suggested that he would tolerate an erosion of American military supremacy. Governor Dean has repeatedly stated that he is committed to supporting the US military and to protecting the national security of the United States. What Governor Dean has suggested (and stated) is that the reckless foreign policy of the Bush administration-- a foreign policy that has alienated some of our nation's closest allies and exacerbated tensions between the US and the world community-- fails to promote the long term national security of the United States.

2) The long term national security of the United States cannot be built on military supremacy alone. As Governor Dean has said, the current Administration has defined the concept of national security too narrowly. For example, the Bush Administration's failure to develop alternative sources of energy and fuel creates an over-dependence on petroleum imported from the Middle East. As well, the Bush Administration's cavalier attitude toward the United Nations during the build up of the war to Iraq undermines the effectiveness of that multilateral body. Is John Kerry suggesting that he shares the myopic view of the Bush Administration when it comes to foreign policy? Is that what his vote for the President's preemptive war in Iraq meant? If so, then that raises serious concerns about John Kerry's ability to lead this country forward into the 21st century.

3) You see where this goes, Chris? Tit for tat? Never mind that our first instinct was to send you a few history books for your edification. The US will continue to have the strongest military in the world under President Dean. The difference between President Dean or President Bush or Kerry, apparently, is how that military will be used, and in what context, and to what end. Get back to us when Senator Kerry decides where he stands on that issue.


ABC News's The Note, a must-read for any political junkie, has a new section out this week called The Notepad. The Dean campaign's contribution begins:

We'd like to start by thanking the Political Unit at ABCNews for inviting Dean for America to participate in the Notepad segment. We're sleeping soundly, knowing that we will now appear in five consecutive editions of the Note.

And we've voted in the Webby Awards. (Does that sentence count toward the 200 word limit?)

We then go on to celebrate bloggers, Meet Up, and the "What I Want to Know" Dance Mix.

Click here to read the entire Notepad.



The crowd is going wild! Right now , I'm standing in a labor hall in St. Paul, Minnesota. There are almost 500 people here rallying for Gov. Dean. He had them screaming from his first line, "My campaign is about change and standing up for what's right!" They haven't stopped screaming since!


People are great! Instead of staying in hotels we stay in private homes. Last night we stayed with a family in Elkader, Iowa (population 1,500). We arrived at 11:30pm - more than fashionably late - and were greeted with a campfire in the backyard. We stayed up for over an hour chatting. This morning they treated us to a home cooked breakfast featuring an Iowa brunch casserole. Before we jumped in the van to head to Minnesota we played basketball with the neigbhors. The Governor has a great hoop shot!!

We arrived in Elkader knowing no one, but left with new friends!


Okay, so maybe not the candidate himself. But if you want to know what's on heavy rotation here in Burlington, it's undoubtedly the What I Want to Know (Dance Mix).

The Georgia Dean for America group (gaforhowarddean@yahoo.com) writes:

You asked for it, so we created it…. The original Howard Dean Dance Mix. Lovingly called “What I want to Know”, this song mixes snippets of Dean’s speech to the California Democratic Party Dinner and a popular dance song to give our campaign both momentum and an ANTHEM. This can easily serve as a Democratic anthem against the growing usurping of power by the radical right wing Republicans and corporate affiliated conflict of interest ridden leaders in our nation’s capital.

For this week, GAForHowardDean dedicates this song to Senator Rick Sartorum for whom Howard Dean has asked his resignation. Bigotry can no longer be tolerated in this country. We want our country back……. Rock on Rick!

Click here to download.


Coming soon: united serfs of America
by Molly Ivins

Boy, there is no shortage of creatively terrible ideas from the Republican Party these days. Those folks are just full of notions about how to make people's lives worse -- one horrible idea after another bursting out like popcorn -- and all of them with these sickeningly cute names attached to them.

Consider the Family Time and Workplace Flexibility Act (Senate version) and the Family Time Flexibility Act (House version). The Bush administration is leading the charge with proposed new rules that will erode the 40-hour workweek and affect more than 80 million workers now protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

To hear the Republicans tell it, you'd think these were family-friendly bills, something like Bill Clinton's Family Leave Act, designed to help you balance the difficult combined demands of work and family. With such a smarm of butter over their visages do the Republicans go on about the joys of "flexibility" and "freedom of choice" that you would have to read the bills for maybe 30 seconds before figuring out they're about repealing the 40-hour workweek and ending overtime.

To read the full editorial, click here.