Sunday, August 31, 2003

What a year

I sent my first e-mail to the Dean campaign on September 1, 2002. Increasingly frustrated with the lead-up to the Iraq war (Congress voted on the war resolution just a month later), I was intrigued by Governor Dean’s principled stance on our policy in Iraq. More importantly, I was impressed with his ability to articulate a vision for what our country could be. In the year since then, he’s focused on a couple key phrases that have stuck with me: proclaiming a need for the “restoration of democracy”, telling us that “you have the power” and labeling his campaign “people-powered Howard.”

In each case, Governor Dean has put the emphasis not on himself, but on us. Each and every one of us are capable of making a difference. As I’ve become more involved in the campaign, I’ve realized the truth of Governor Dean’s message. I’ve met hundreds of my neighbors who are united not by anger but by hope: hope that we can together shape a future that is built on trust, compassion and hard work.

The past seven days for me are evidence of what has been happening around the country. Last Monday, I went to a seniors center to speak to a group of seniors about Howard Dean. On Tuesday, I joined 3500 fellow Illinois supporters to attend the Chicago stop on the Sleepless Summer Tour. On Wednesday, I had lunch with a friend of a friend — who, it turns out, is also active in the Dean campaign. Thursday, several of my neighbors got together to build banners and signs for our town’s upcoming Labor Day parade (and got their picture in the paper for doing so!). Friday to Sunday, Dean volunteers staffed the local Democrat booth at the annual Labor Day festival in town — handing out bumper stickers, buttons, and sharing information about the Dean campaign.

Tomorrow, one year to the day after I first contacted the Dean campaign, I will be joining 20 neighbors (who I now consider friends) to march in our state’s largest Labor Day parade. Our message? “Picture a Better America.” Volunteers throughout our county have worked on collecting thousands of empty film canisters, and are inserting mock film strips with photos of Governor Dean and bullet points about his policies. (The design work was donated by a fellow volunteer.) We’ll be marching with two 3’ x 8’ banners — again designed by a volunteer and paid for by local volunteers — to encourage parade goers to “Picture a Better America.”

I know I’m not alone — that what I’ve seen happen in the last year is happening all over the country. Ignore the press when they say that what fuels this campaign is anger. They don’t know what we know: that what fuels us is each other, led by a man who will be our next President.

Happy Labor Day.

Rick Klau

Kerry on Meet the Press

Kerry and Russert are bobbing and weaving on MTP right now. Any Dean supporters that thought Russert gave Dean an overly hard time should be watching now — he’s being as hard on Kerry.

But each time Kerry answers, Russert comes back with a question along the lines of, “But Howard Dean…” It’s driving Kerry nuts, and I don’t blame him. I support Dean, and there’s no doubt that part of the story of this race is the horse race between Dean and Kerry — but shouldn’t this be as much about Kerry’s views, not Kerry’s views as opposed to Dean’s views? Russert’s doing it deliberately to try and tweak Kerry enough to get him to slam Dean, and so far (we’re half way through the program) Kerry hasn’t bit. He’s made a few comments, but so far he’s avoided going negative. For that, I commend him. Kerry’s got to be thinking that if he manages to navigate through this race with the nomination in hand, he’ll need the fiercely motivated Dean supporters behind him.

And isn’t that an interesting change in the race? Everyone has been talking about how, now that it’s Labor Day, Dean as frontrunner means Dean-with-target-on-his-back. But with more than 300,000 motivated supporters (and growing), anyone who overtly attacks Dean risks alienating the largest and most dedicated group supporting any candidate. They’re being used for good now — in support of the Dean campaign — but God help the candidate that is in their crosshairs.

One thing is certain (as if there were any doubt): Dean continues to define this race. Even when he’s not in the same zip code as any of the other candidates, he’s setting the agenda and forcing others to react to him. As long as that continues, he looks like the leader, he looks like the standard-bearer, and his name recognition goes up.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

More on the Flip Flops

Matthew Yglesias remarked on the Dean flip-flopping meme earlier today, and there’s a good thread in the comments about how (if) this hurts Dean.

Check it out.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Naperville Last Fling 2003 - Even better than last year

I’m more than willing to put up with the endless jibes from co-workers who live in Chicago — Naperville, they claim, might as well be in Iowa for its distance from Chicago. (It’s 33 miles away if you must know.)

But if you’re raising a family, I can’t really imagine that there’s a better place to live. It has the feel of small suburb — with fantastic schools, incredible restaurants, and a downtown Riverwalk that other states travel to in an effort to figure out how to duplicate it.

And if that isn’t enough, there’s the music. Two major festivals dominate Naperville each year — Last Fling and RibFest. And the musical acts that perform are anything but small-town suburban fare. Read last year’s post for more on who performed there (and my wife’s annoyance at the Google Juice this site gets) in 2002; this year we have The Connells and Better than Ezra tonight, and Soul Asylum and They Might Be Giants tomorrow. (And yes, there’s the inevitable 80s revival band on Labor Day — this year it’s Night Ranger.) (Did I mention we had Hootie & the Blowfish at Ribest this year? And Blondie? And Los Lobos?)

So yes, we’re looking forward to a fun weekend. Tonight’s music is free; tomorrow they charge a whopping $5. Did I mention this was all within walking distance of our house? So we’ll be able to spread the blanket out, let the kids dance, and enjoy some great music in a great town.

(No, I’m not on the chamber of commerce.)

And if you’re in the neighborhood, be on the lookout for several dozen Dean supporters who will be marching in the Labor Day parade on Monday. Yes, Jane — there are Democrats in DuPage County. And we’ve got some fun surprises planned.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

The Right is Catching On...

Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit) is started to take Dean seriously, and notes that many on the right think Dean will get the nomination and “could give Bush a tough ride in the election.”

From the same post, Reynolds links to OxBlog, a conservative blogger who calls the NY Times out on its overly slanted portrayal of the Dean juggernaut. The money quote from the Times article, of course, is the assertion that the people at Dean’s NYC Sleepless Summer stop were “aging flower children and the tongue-studded next generation.”

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve entered the “they’re all white” phase of the campaign. First was the “he’s the anti-war candidate,” then we moved on to “he’s the pacifist candidate”, then “the angry candidate”, then “the unelectable candidate”, then “the poor candidate”, and more recently, “the insurgent who’s peaked to early candidate”. None of those have stuck, so now the press is eager to find another angle. And many of them are observing that many of the throngs showing up to hear Dean speak are caucasian.

Uh, ok. Point taken. But as everyone else points out, we’ve got some time before the primaries. If the articles were pointing out that the missing minorities were attending rallies by one of the other top-tier candidates, I’d be worried.

They’re not. It’s early. Stay tuned.

(And for those keeping score: the seeds are already sown for the next attempted characterization: “the flip-flop candidate.” I’ll comment on that next week; it should start showing up in earnest around the time Clark gets in the race.)

MeetUp on the PocketPC

Mel Sampat is a member of our local Dean MeetUp group, and put together a very cool little PocketPC app that allows you to track the MeetUp totals from the various candidates.

I wish it would run on my Treo, but I guess we can’t have everything. Still, if you have a PocketPC and are interested in seeing a nice demonstration of the technology (.NET Compact Framework), check it out. Nice work, Mel!

Thursday, August 28, 2003

What will Bush do with all his cash?

Here’s a scary proposition: President Bush takes a page out of Gray Davis’s playbook in the spring.

Anyone else remember what Davis did in the Republican primary season last year? Sensing that Dick Riordan was his real threat, Davis spent millions on a negative campaign — while Riordan was campaigning against Bill Simon. So before the Republican voters had picked a candidate, Davis did all he could to ensure they’d pick the candidate he thought he could beat. Result? Simon unexpectedly beat Riordan in the primary, and Davis cruised to a victory in November. (Lot of good it did him, by the way…)

What made it possible was Davis’s war chest and the lack of any real opposition from the Democrats.

Sound familar?

It would seem to me that if Dean continues this pace, we could start seeing a coordinated attack from the Republicans — well ahead of the primaries.

And perhaps this is why the Dean campaign shifted tactics last month. By taking the fight directly to Bush early on, anything coming from Bush & Rove ends up looking like a response to Dean’s critiques. That is much easier to dismiss than a preemptive attack.


First was the Sleepless Summer Tour, Now...

It’s the Bush Administration’s response:

John Ashcroft’s Patriot Act Summer Tour

Hysterical. Thanks to Shelley Cole for the pointer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Zogby: Dean opens up a 20 point lead on Kerry in New Hampshire

Let’s let pollster John Zogby speak in his own words:

This is stunning. Dean’s surge seems to be at a heavy cost to Kerry, who led Dean in previous New Hampshire polling. Dean has also taken from Gephardt’s standing, and from the undecideds. His support is really across the board … both Congressional districts, men and women, Democrats and independents, liberals and moderates. He’s the candidate to watch at the top of the scale, while some of those down the line might re-think their candidacy at this point.

Coupled with word today that the campaign is hinting the $10.3m goal may be “conservative” and I think it’s safe to say we’re on the verge of a sea change in the race.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Press at the Sleepless Summer Rally

A sampling of the publications covering the Sleepless Summer rally today in Chicago:

  • Orlando Sentinel


  • Rolling Stone

  • Time

  • Newsweek

  • GQ

  • Modern Physician

  • WLS Channel 7

  • WGN

  • AP

  • Reuters

  • Chicago Tribune

Interesting, no?

Come again?

Dave Winer says

So far Dean has used the Web to raise money to spend on big rallies and TV ads. That’s using the Web in kind of a nasty way. But he also helps people find what’s good inside themselves. That’s why people give him the money. I want a candidate to use the Web to listen. It doesn’t take much money to do that.

It’ll come as no surprise to anyone reading this that I’m a Dean supporter. (And if you want to see my coverage of his rally in Chicago today, swing by today’s posts for some photos and observations.)

But I’m at a loss to comprehend how Dean’s Internet strategy is “nasty.” Dave wants a candidate to use the web to listen. Well, take a gander over to Larry Lessig’s interview last week with Joe Trippi (Dean’s campaign manager) and tell me whether they’re listening or not.

I think there are numerous critical things that could be said of the Dean campaign at this point. But nasty? With their Internet strategy? I’m missing something.

Illinois is People Powered

Dean at Navy Pier

Dean: How we're going to win

“What we’re not going to do is try to beat George Bush by being Bush Lite.”

“Tough on defense is doing what JFK did when he stood down the hawks. Sometimes it’s tougher to stand for peace than to stand for war.”

“What we’re going to do is give the 50% of Americans who’ve given up on the political process a reason to vote again.”

“If you make me the nominee, I’m going to make you proud to vote Democrat again.”

Photo of the rally crowd

Weather on the way

My wife just IM’d me that thunder storms are on the way:

Still sunny here!

Howard Dean on the economy

“The secret to turning around the economy, is to put money in the pockets of working families.”

“John Ahscroft on tour promoting the Patriot Act is like the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of the Treasury going on the ‘jobs tour.’ That was the cheapest Greyhound bus ticket you’ve ever seen!”

Governor Dean has arrived

Governor Dean just acknowledged a few people in the crowd: Alderman Joe Moore from Chicago, Kevin Conlon, Curt Schmoke (former mayor of Baltimore).

“Not one Republican president has balanced a budget in 34 years.”

“George Bush doesn’t know a deficit from a doughnut.”


The recent Georgetown grad from Chicago’s south side who’s introducing Howard Dean just had a great line: “The truth is, President Bush isn’t on vacation in August. He’s been on vacation since he took office!”

Kevin Conlon on stage

Kevin Conlon, Illinois state chair for Dean for America, just took the stage. “Did you get a 35 day vacation?”


Press have arrived

The press just showed up on the risers; I just spent 10 minutes talking with Mark Silva at the Orlando Sentinel who’s been traveling with the tour since Virginia.

More on his observations shortly. The crowd is growing!

Webcast will start around 11:50am central

You can watch it here.

Crowd just started letting in

The music is playing, and the crowd just started showing up. It looks like the predicted thunderstorm will hold off for a while (we may be sleepless, but we prefer to stay dry!) and there’s a nice breeze keeping us cool.

Someone had a great idea and has been handing out “Dean Rags” – just strips of white cotton that you can use to keep the sweat out of your eyes. With the temperature approaching 95 degrees, people are already taking advantage of them.

Live from the Sleepless Summer Tour!

Greetings from the Terrace Rooftop at Navy Pier in Chicago! Thanks to the guys at SoapBox I’ve got wifi access and can blog the whole event!

I should also thank Mathew Gross and Nicco Mele of the Dean web team, who were generous enough to hook me up with a press pass so I could cover the event like a “real” journalist. :)

More to come.

Fundraising goals for Q3 – Now a player, Dean raises campaign goals

For the three months ending Sept. 30, Dean is setting his sights on $10.3 million — the amount Bill Clinton raised in the same period of 1995, when he was president. That was the best performance by any Democratic presidential candidate in a single quarter the year before an election.

Guess last week’s prediction of $7.6m is old news…

Monday, August 25, 2003

Hey Ernie!

Check this out:

OmniOutliner Export to iPod 1.0 | iPoding | What’s that in your pocket?

View your OmniOutliner documents on your iPod! Download this disk image file for two different scripts to either export outlines so that they show up in the iPod’s Contacts menu, or in the Notes menu for newer iPods.

I’m not a Mac user, nor do I expect to be. But this sounds very, very cool.

The Techie prez

I guess this doesn’t come as any surprise: Bush says he’s ‘not a gadget guy’

But I really would’ve loved it if they’d included this set of photos:

Sunday, August 24, 2003

2002: My security profiling suggestion

When the TSA announced they would stop asking those asinine questions at airport check-in, I had a follow-up suggestion to the TSA which has oddly enough not been implemented:

People sitting next to me tend to be a bit odd. Whether they’re a threat to the plane, they’re certainly a threat to me getting anything productive done on the plane. So if it’s threats they’re looking for, maybe that’s a place to start.

Note to TSA: this one’s on me.

Howard Dean's Sleepless Summer Rally

If you haven’t been following the Howard Dean phenomenon recently, this week is a good time to check in. There were the simultaneous covers of Time and Newsweek a few weeks ago; the coverage in the same week on Larry King Live, The Today Show, and the continued strength in fundraising (the campaign is well on its way to its second consecutive fundraising challenge against the Bush administration).

But the campaign has stepped it up a level, by chartering a 737 jet (to accommodate the dramatic up-turn in press coverage) and flying to 8 cities in four days, calling it the Sleepless Summer tour. They started in Falls Church, VA yesterday – with more than 4000 people in attendance. Then on to Milwaukee, WI, followed by a stop-over in Boise, ID and a mid-day rally in Portland, OR — where more than 5,000 citizens listed to Dean give an impassioned plea for a restoration of our American democracy.

The tour will swing through Chicago on Tuesday — and as further proof (as if we needed it) that the campaign gets it — they’ve issued me a press pass to cover the event so I can provide updates from the event (both on this blog and on my blog focused on the Dean campaign.)

I’m not the only blogger to receive similar treatment — David Weinberger provided some great commentary about yesterday’s goings-on, and guest bloggers are lined up for each day of the tour. (Alas, I won’t be guest-blogging on Tuesday — that honor goes to politcal uber-blogger Kos of DailyKos.)

There are campaigns you support. And then there are campaigns that support you.

Flash volunteers needed

Do you know how to create Shockwave Flash animations? Do you have an artistic flair? I’m not at liberty to reveal too much about what we’re working on, but we have a fun project in mind that has the potential to be a very high profile deal.

If you want to contribute some time to the effort, drop me an e-mail at with “Flash volunteer” in the subject line.

Friday, August 22, 2003

WaPo: Dean Shifts Gears

From Saturday’s Washington Post, a very thorough review of Dean’s emerging front-runner status. Some key bullets:

  • Joe Trippi declares (for the first time, I believe) a fundraising goal for Q3: “at least $7.6m, and perhaps much more.”

  • Dean is leading in NH and Iowa.

  • Dean’s growing operations in key swing states.

  • A first-time acknowledgement of “several private conversations” with Wesley Clark on foreign policy. (Here’s an out-of-left-field thought: what if Clark choses not to run and instead throws his weight behind Dean? Doubtful, but fun to think about…)

  • A recognition that the next phase of the campaign will have others gunning for Dean, as several campaigns “privately acknowledge” Dean as the man to beat.

The bat is back

The Dean campaign has brought back the bat to coincide with the launch of the Sleepless Summer Tour. I’ve put the bat on my home page in the right column (if you’re reading this in a news aggregator, just click here to visit.

If you are thinking of contributing to the Dean campaign, this is a fantastic time to do so. I’ve linked the bat to the contribution page for DuPage for Dean, the county organization I’m chairing in DuPage County, Illinois. All money raised goes to the Dean campaign — it’s just a nice way of logging our participation in the fundraising effort.

What are you waiting for? Contribute now and help send a message to the Bush White House.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Christopher Lydon attends a Dean house party

Many of you should know Christopher Lydon from his NPR radio show. He’s spending a lot of time blogging lately, and now is turning his interest to the presidential campaign.

You can hear the latest report focused on the Dean campaign here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Opt out of snail mail

The campaign listens, they really do. From today’s campaign blog comes this tidbit:

Many of you have asked how to opt-out of receiving snail mail from Dean for America. Simply send an email with your name, email and mailing address to Larry Biddle, Deputy National Finance Director, at with “Please Remove Me from Receiving Standard Mail” in the subject header.

You’ll recall this topic (and resulting comment thread) came up last week; it’s great to see a quick response that more than addresses the issue!

Let’s save the campaign some money, folks!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

At LawNet, you meet the most interesting people

Yup, it’s true: Buzz Bruggeman is at LawNet! We’re having lunch today — it should be a whole lot of fun.

And I have a hunch the waiter will be an ActiveWords convert by the end of the meal.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

We are everywhere...

I’m staying at my parents house tonight before a day’s worth of meetings in Philadelphia tomorrow. And since my wife and kids were on the east coast on vacation, it was a nice chance to meet up and spend a day together.

My wife headed into town to pick up some food tonight. As she came out of the grocery store, she found a note tucked under the windshield wiper. Certain she’d been hit and this was an insurance note, she actually circled the car before picking it up.

Turns out it was a fellow Dean supporter, saying hi. (We have a Dean 2004 bumper sticker on the minivan.) I share their thoughts with you:


Try these sites:

- DeanforAmerica.comWorking for ChangeThis Modern World (Lots of good links here.)

Give ‘em hell Howard!

Beat the unelected fraud in 2004!

Josh Marshall on the Dean operation

If Josh keeps blowing me off when I visit DC I’m going to have to stop calling him a “good friend” (just kidding, Josh). But I can’t help but smirk when I read this account about the contrasts between the Lieberman and Dean camps:

I’m obviously on his main direct-mail list, all on the strength of one contribution. VERY impressive operation on the technical side, and it certainly makes me more likely to contribute again. Wonder where Dean’s people came from? Are these the tech-savvy people who are also staffing his Internet operation?

The organization starts at the top. This is Joe Trippi’s fifth presidential campaign. And yes, there are a number of extremely smart people trying hard to get it right. And given the Lieberman camp’s well-publicized shake-up on the fundraising efforts, the Dean camp has enjoyed a relative stability that gives them an edge.

But here’s my request on the fundraising side: my wife and I have already given money to the campaign, and will continue to do so throughout the year. Direct mail isn’t going to encourage me to give any more money. I’m online, I give online, and I’ll continue to give online. (And let me point once again to my comments from several months ago: money raised online is far more valuable than money raised offline. Don’t believe me? Go back and read the post.)

I want the campaign to save the money they’re spending on paper and postage and put it to better use. I’ve talked with them, and there’s no easy answer: the stats don’t lie — direct mail works. So how to segregate between people like us (who will step up and continue to give) from people who traditionally respond to direct mail? The cost savings to the campaign could easily cover the costs of a few TV spots ($300k or so per quarter)… so we’re talking about real issues.


Dean supporters attack Kerry's blog

The Dean supporters who are making complete asses of themselves over at the Kerry campaign blog should get a clue and give it a rest.

In what lifetime do these idiots think this childish behavior would convince a Kerry supporter to come on board the Dean campaign?

Fraud Prevention = Use Prevention

I’m a Citibank customer, and have been very pleased with their service. (We signed up a year ago, and I was sold when they came to our house — on a Saturday — for a closing on a home equity loan.)

But there’s one area that will likely make me change banks when I’m back home at the end of the month: it’s just too damned hard to use my bank card.

I travel a lot (130,000 miles in the air last year), and a fair amount of that travel is out of the country. My wife travels as well — at least four or five trips a year to visit family. And Citibank is quite aggressive in their fraud prevention department: so much so, that any trip outside your state will likely trigger a “fraud block” until you call them to unblock it. (They explained to me: “Any trip outside your home state may well be fraud.” Me: “But trips outside my home state are normal for me and my wife.” Citibank: “But not for our other customers.”)

Honest to God, this is like having to have a note from Mom before you leave the house. What’s worse, even when you call them (my wife is now in the habit of calling Citibank ahead of long trips to give them a heads up that she’ll be out of the state — don’t even get me started on how wrong that is) it may not be enough to convince them that you’re really not under duress… so they may still block your card.

Now I have nothing against preventing fraud… in fact I’m quite happy that they make it hard for other people to spend my money. But they’ve gone so far overboard that it is quite literally hard for me to spend my money.

And it seems that shouldn’t really be the bank’s role.

This is not my beautiful PPT

You may ask yourself… Oh, never mind. Just read on —

I’m not kidding. I just purchased my ticket to hear Byrne speak about his most recent project, Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information, a book of essays and original artwork done with PowerPoint. The book is packaged with a DVD of Byrne’s original music. [via Excited Utterances

I just checked the page at Amazon. It’s not a CD of his music, it’s a “DVD which plays 5 of his PowerPoint presentations accompanied by original music..”

Oh my.

The Scrum weighs in

As a follow-up to last night’s post, here’s a take from the opposite point of view: that given Dean’s considerable dominance of the race to date, he has the most to lose.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

California Impact on Dean?

Couple of commentators just made an observation that I’ve been thinking about for a couple days now: that the inevitable shift in political coverage to California will almost certainly give the presidential race a breather.

But what effect will it have on the race itself? In many ways, this breather will give each candidate a chance to address their perceived weakness:

  • Kerry will work on appearing too aloof.

  • Lieberman will work on appearing too conservative.

  • Graham will work on appearing too shrill.

  • Gephardt will work on appearing too bland.

  • Edwards will work on appearing too pretty.

And Dean, of course, will work on appearing unelectable.

But I think there’s a more important advantage: whatever strategy shifts Trippi engineers in Burlington, it’s safe to assume that there won’t be any major swings from any candidates while the press focuses on California. Which means that Dean enjoys frontrunner status for at least a couple of months — without the other candidates getting a real chance to knock him off that perch.

The longer he stays on that perch, the more it appears that he belongs there. And that should help address the electability issue, no?

What do you think? How does California affect the presidential race?

Al Franken Fights back

This is an interesting follow-up to the Franken/O’Reilly fireworks from June….

Yahoo! News – Funnyman Franken Fires Back at Fox’s Lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Humorist Al Franken fought back against Fox News Network on Tuesday over a lawsuit it filed claiming he infringed on its “fair and balanced” trademark by using the phrase on the cover of his upcoming book.

“From everything I know about law regarding satire, I’m not worried,” liberal satirist Franken said in a statement issued by publishers Penguin Group.

Franken questioned the way he was described by the network, part of the News Corp group, in the 17-page suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday and made public on Monday.

“As far as the personal attacks go, when I read ‘intoxicated or deranged’ and ‘shrill and unstable’ in their complaint, I thought for a moment I was a Fox commentator.

“And by the way, a few months ago, I trademarked the word ‘funny.’ So when Fox calls me ‘unfunny,’ they’re violating my trademark. I am seriously considering a countersuit,” he said.

Fox is seeking an injunction against use of the phrase in connection with Franken’s book, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them,” due to be published next month. At the bottom of the planned cover is the tag line “a fair and balanced look at the right.”

Fox said in the suit that Franken flew into a rage near a table of Fox News personalities at a press correspondents’ dinner in April and acted “either intoxicated or deranged.”

It said Franken has become “increasingly unfunny.”

“Franken is neither a journalist nor a television news personality. He is not a well-respected voice in American politics; rather, he appears to be shrill and unstable,” the suit said.

Fox claims it registered the phrase “fair and balanced” in 1997 and that it “was created as a specific alternative to what its founders perceived as a liberal bias in the American media.”

Franken worked as a comedy writer in the 1970s and has appeared frequently on “Saturday Night Live.”

Monday, August 11, 2003

Biden not running

From today’s Note, we learn that Biden is not running:

ABC News has learned that Senator Joe Biden’s office will issue a press release today saying that the six-term senator and 1988 presidential candidate will not run for president in 2004.

Which leaves Clark

Friday, August 8, 2003

VC Bloggers

John Robb’s Weblog

VC webloggers. Introducing if you haven’t started reading them yet are: Tim Oren of the Pacificafund. Charles Hudson, formely of In-Q-Tel. Ventureblog, a group weblog. Geekfishing, a group weblog, and Martin Tobias from Ignition Partners. Rich Miller of Breo Ventures.

Thursday, August 7, 2003

Heading to SF

I’m at O’Hare, and will be boarding for San Francisco in a few minutes. Posts will probably be light until the weekend. Feel free to post whatever’s on your mind in the comments; I’ll check in when I can.

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Larry Sabato comes around (sort of)

What a difference six weeks makes. Back in June, UVA polling guru Larry Sabato was claiming Dean didn’t belong in even the second tier, that he was a flash in the pan. Last night on Fox News, Sabato admitted that there is “no precedent” for what Dean has done, and that he is the only candidate with excitement.

Sabato still predicts a tough road ahead for Dean, but who knows where he’ll be in another six weeks?!

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Don't End Travel Visas

Now this is cool — my good friend Greg Siskind was the guest editorial writer in yesterday’s USA Today. How’d they get Greg to write the editorial? On a tight deadline, they searched the web. Greg wrote something on this subject three years ago. They gave him 18 hours to write 350 words.

Trivia buffs will recall that Greg’s firm was one of the first law firms with a website, coming up on ten years ago.

Greg will be one of my co-panelists on Friday at the ABA Annual Conference he is also my co-author on Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet (and the original author of the first edition).

Photos from AFL/CIO Rally

Photo by Joe DeCock

If you look closely, you’ll even see Eric Davis’s doctor’s coat signed by Governor Dean.

(yes, that’s me on the left)

All photos by Joe DeCock.

Online Journalism Review - Mark Glaser looks at the campaign blog

Mark Glaser took a critical look at the campaign weblog and comes away vaguely disappointed. He’s impressed at the community that has built up around the campaign blog, but is disappointed that Governor Dean isn’t taking advantage of the opportunity to post more often to his blog.

Mark interviewed me on this subject, and includes this quote from me:

Blogger Rick Klau shrugs off the lack of posts from Dean himself. “I think the way the campaign has used the blog has accomplished something equally effective: pulling his many supporters into the campaign, making them feel a part of the process,” he said via e-mail. “I look at it in much the same way I look at a company; I don’t particularly care about whether the CEO has a blog. The CEO typically has plenty of avenues to have a voice; it’s the people who are doing the work underneath the CEO whose voices I want to hear.”

Radio silence

You know you’re slacking when your Dad gives you shit about not posting to your blog in a week.

(And he wasn’t the only one. I got an e-mail from a close friend asking me what major life-changing event was going on — surely something was up since I hadn’t posted to my blog?!)

Hard as this may be for those that know me well to believe, I just didn’t have much to say concerning law, technology or marketing this week. (Now that’s newsworthy.) I have been updating my Dean blog though if you want to know what I’ve been up to the past week or so. (Tonight’s entry is particularly cool, by the way. A real thrill for a political junkie.)

I’ll try to resume my regular posting so that nobody thinks I’ve kicked the bucket. I should have plenty of fodder, too — I meet with a couple VCs (as prospects, not as a prospect myself) later in the week, and I’m speaking at the ABA Annual Conference on Friday afternoon. I’ll be talking about weblogs (among other topics), by the way.

And week after next I’m at LawNet — so there should be plenty of law & tech stuff to talk about.

"You're Rick Klau?"

There’s knowing who you are and there’s knowing who you are. As Governor Dean showed up at the rally tonight, the throng immediately surrounded him. The energy was palpable.

Standing just behind the scrum was campaign manager Joe Trippi. I stepped back – “Joe — I’m the guy who’s been helping Mathew with the blog.”

Blank stare.

“I’m Rick Klau.”

“No way! You’re Rick Klau? You ROCK!” I then got a bear hug from Joe Trippi.

That the campaign manager for the frontrunning presidential campaign not only knows who I am but is actually appreciative of my volunteer work is nothing short of amazing.

My visibility (such as it is) to the campaign is a direct result of this weblog. In much the same way that the Dean campaign is giving individual voters a voice on a national stage, weblogs are just one more way an individual can have an impact on the national stage in a remarkable way.


Photos are coming soon, but here’s a quick report:

We had 150 people there (probably more) to show our support for Governor Dean. We had more people than any other candidate, and got quite a bit of positive feedback from union delegates arriving on buses outside Navy Pier.

Governor Dean showed up and spent 10 minutes shaking hands (he even signed Eric Davis’s Doctor’s coat!) and gave a quick stump speech. Joe Trippi was there as well and had great things to say about what we’re doing in Illinois.

It was great to see so many supporters out in force. There were “Tots for Dean” (the Ginsburg daughters!), “Teens for Dean”, “Teachers for Dean”, “Oak Parkers for Dean” and lots of other constituencies represented.

I’ll sound like a broken record (why don’t we say “a scratched CD” these days?), but I’ll repeat it: this campaign isn’t about the Internet, it’s about community. Tonight’s rally was just further proof of that.

Free ad buys

By my count, Governor Dean’s $100,000 ad buy in Texas has now enjoyed its third nationwide run (on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Monday’s Larry King Live, Tuesday’s Today Show).

Seems like money well spent, no?

Monday, August 4, 2003


Larry King: “Will you run to the center as the election gets closer?”

Howard Dean: “Larry, I am in the center.”

Dean is being interviewed by Larry King right now. Aaron Brown’s Newsnight at 10pm covers the “Dean Machine”. Do weeks start any better than this?!

Quote of the day: Will Saletan

This probably shouldn’t make me laugh, but it does:

One of the comedies of the 2004 campaign is watching all the candidates other than Dean claim to be angry when they clearly aren’t. … If you got into a fender bender with Dean, and he got out of his car and started walking toward you, you’d be afraid he was going to hit you. If, on the other hand, you looked up and saw that the guy approaching your car was Lieberman, you’d ease up and roll down your window.

Here’s the thing: what the press is calling anger, I call conviction. It’s a big difference. One makes you marginal. The other makes you the frontrunner.

Sunday, August 3, 2003

Phase II of the Dean strategy: pick your opposition

While the other candidates are defining themselves by their opponents within the party (“I’m more electable than Howard Dean” “I’m stronger on defense than Gephardt” “I can raise more money than Lieberman” “I’m the only Democrat who fought in Viet Nam”), Governor Dean has made clear that his opposition isn’t his fellow Democrats: it’s President Bush.

Anyone doubting that this is a deliberate step need only look at two indicators: the fundraising challenge from last week (where the campaign challenged supporters to out-raise the Cheney fundraiser held on Monday) and the new ad airing in Texas (which, coincidentally, was funded from money raised in that challenge).

The impact of this shift remains to be seen: but my guess is that it will only further frustrate the rest of the Democratic field who’ve tried (largely in vain in the past few months) to pick a fight with the Governor. Trippi will continue to respond to attacks (he handled himself well on CNBC’s Capital Watch last week, where former Clinton pollster Penn — who’s now running numbers for Lieberman — repeatedly lobbed distoritions Trippi’s way) while Dean will stay focused on the only opponent who matters: Bush.

I was talking to a friend of mine on Friday. He’s a soldier who recently returned from Baghdad. He was a Bush supporter going into the war; now he’s furious with the way the war’s aftermath has been handled. “Bring ‘em on” was simply the last straw. Countless times over the last few weeks I’ve been stopped in airports by people who have noticed the Dean button on my briefcase. “Who is he?” they ask. “He’s running for president.” Most then follow up with a look of relief and ask, simply: “Is he standing up against Bush?” When I say yes, they grin.

This isn’t just about disliking Bush. It’s about providing a clear, articulate alternative to Bush. As John McCain proved in 2000, people like hearing straight talk. And Dean’s ability to articulate a message that is in opposition to the distortions coming out of the Bush administration will be what fuels his run. The cover stories this week ask if Dean has peaked too early.

Not even close: there are millions of people who voted against Bush in 2000 who don’t even know that Dean’s out there yet. When they find him, they won’t let go.

The trifecta

Newsweek cover - August 2003 Time cover - August 2003

Talk about arriving: both Time and Newsweek have cover stories on the Dean campaign, and US News & World Report has the campaign on the cover as well. As noted at the official blog, this kind of attention — five months before the first caucus — is unprecedented.