Friday, January 30, 2004

i know I'm not a superdelegate, but....
an affordable endorsement

I think I've seen enough to make a call, to take a stand, and to encourage anyone who reads this to do so as well. As many of you know, I just got back from New Hampshire, where I was exploring and covering the first Primary of this election. I got a chance to see Kerry, Edwards, and Dean in person. After standing back for this long, waiting and watching, I've made my choice, and I just hope it isn't to late.

I'm endorsing Howard Dean.

Of all the candidates, Dean has the best chance to beat George W. Bush in November. He governed in Vermont as a centrist. Kerry's record in the Senate is to the left of Ted Kennedy. Edwards doesn't have much of a record in the Senate, and he's running for President because he didn't think he'd get re-elected to the Senate.

Of all the viable candidates, Dean has the best blend of charisma and substance. Edwards is all style and no substance, entrancing, yes, but empty. Kerry is terribly, unescapably boring. At Dean's town hall, he presented nuanced arguments in an engaging manner. He made sense.

Dean provides a clear vision and direction for a party that has lost its way. Terrorist attacks, gloablization of corporations, trade, and ideas, and the rise of information technology require a reassesment and realignment of the two major political parties. Both are having trouble making the shift. Bush's "compassionate conservative" vision of the new Republican party is, in practice, jumbled and confusing. Most Democrats, on the other hand, have not even tried to recast their party and principles for the new challenges of the new century. Howard Dean's candidacy and platform provides a clear way forward that positions the Democratic party in the mainstream on the important issues of today and tomorrow. Fiscal discipline and equal rights under law for all Americans are not losing issues.

Dean's wife, Judith, is a powerful and inspiring person, a normal woman, independent and sucessful. In contrast, Theresa Heinz Kerry carries with her the air of Washington wealth and power. This is not unusual or fatal on the campaign trail, but there is something so beautifully radical about Judith Dean's commitment to her practice and intention to continue practicing medicine were whe first lady.

There is so much more to say, but I will stop here, and leave the rest for another time. Right now, I need a favor. The Dean campaign is running a bit low on money. And Dean, not John Kerry, and not John Edwards, is our best hope to beat George W. Bush. So we all need to make a choice. Can we afford to give $20, $50, or $100 to help keep this campaign going?

Because I don't think any of us can afford four more years of George W. Bush.

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