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Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Dennis Kucinich

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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-04 11:14 PM
Original message
Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Dennis Kucinich
NUMBER TEN: George Bush Will Lose on 11/02/04 - To Whomever the Democrats Nominate.

We have absolutely no doubt that the Democratic nominee will triumph in November 2004. It is a matter of simple arithmetic.

Despite the superior Republican war chest, Al Gore beat George Bush in the 2000 election by 530,000 votes. Al Gore and Ralph Nader together beat George Bush by 3.5 million votes. Surely, the vast majority of the voters who voted for Gore or Nader in 2000 will vote for the Democrat in November 2004. What has George Bush done that could possibly cause THEM to change their minds?

In addition, George Bush ran for president as a moderate ... but has governed as anything but. We believe that many of the "swing voters" who pulled the lever for Bush in 2000 -- now that they have seen the true agenda of Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld unmasked -- will simply change their minds. Why would a centrist voter who voted for a centrist George Bush then vote for a reactionary George Bush now?

Republicans have not won the nationwide popular vote since 1988. George Bush will likely win the white male vote, but white males become a smaller proportion of the electorate with every four-year election cycle. Labor has been reinvigorated as a political force since John Sweeney took charge of the AFL-CIO in 1995. And in no election in recent memory have so many Americans been so galvanized, motivated, and utterly committed to defeating an incumbent president.

"George W. Bush might be the worst and most unqualified president America has ever had," wrote Norman Mailer recently. "In 2004 we will face what could become the most important election in our history." Millions of Americans, without a doubt, will devote their blood, toil, tears and sweat this fall to sending George Bush into early retirement.

George Bush will receive fewer votes than he did in 2000, not more. And this time he will lose both the popular vote and the Electoral College. George Bush, on November 2nd, will emulate his father - and ride off into the sunset as another failed one-term president.

NUMBER NINE: The Democratic Primaries Are Far From Over. The Nomination Can Still Be Seized ... By the Best Candidate For The Job.

The Democratic presidential race has only just begun. Most normal Americans (i.e., those -- unlike us -- who don't obsess about politics) have just this month started to pay any attention to the Democratic presidential contest at all. On Labor Day, two out of three Americans couldn't even name a single Democratic candidate for president. Today one out of four Iowa Democrats have still not decided whom they are going to support in the caucuses. The most recent national poll has the guy in first place - Howard Dean - supported by only a tepid 24%. Doctor Dean has made a great many stumbles and bumbles in recent weeks - and Lieberman, Gephardt, and Kerry are going for the jugular like a duck on a June bug. Yet none of the other candidates appears poised to break out of the pack. If Dean falters, it could as easily be Dennis as anyone else who emerges to drive toward the nomination.

We would not wish ourselves to be so far behind in money, endorsements, and poll numbers. But because that is where we find ourselves at the dawn of 2004, the "expectations" for our candidacy among the pundits and the party establishment are extremely low. If we simply do "better than expected" in Iowa and New Hampshire, it could unleash a tidal wave of new endorsements, new donations, and new voter support - precisely from the "I love Dennis but he can't win" crowd. The enormous amount of dormant support out there for Dennis is our secret weapon! If the first 7 or 8 primaries BOTH see Dennis do "better than expected" AND leave the race quite muddled and uncertain, Dennis could emerge as no less than the new story of the presidential contest.

NUMBER EIGHT: Dennis Is The MOST Electable Candidate In A Face-Off Against George Bush - Because Dennis Is Someone To Vote FOR.

We believe that Dennis may well be the BEST candidate to defeat George Bush in November 2004. What was the consensus verdict, the unambiguous lesson after the 2002 Congressional election debacle for the Democrats? That if Democrats run like Republicans, Republicans will surely win. That the Democrats need to present voters with a clear distinction, a clear choice, and a clear alternative vision. "It's Democrats above all who need big ideas," says former Clinton and Gore pollster Stanley Greenberg, "who need to create an election that is about something." The lesson of 2002 is that the candidate with the best chance to beat George Bush will be the candidate who offers the starkest alternative to George Bush. And no one can dispute that that candidate is Dennis Kucinich.

In addition, think about Kucinich and Bush, one-on-one. "Imagine him in a televised, coast-to-coast debate with Dubya," wrote Studs Terkel in The Nation magazine. "Blood wouldn't flow, but it would be a knockout in the first round."

Contrary to the conventional pundit wisdom that sees Dennis as "too far left" to attract swing voters, Dennis has a history of winning thousands of votes from blue collar "Reagan Democrats" - because no one better illuminates how Bush's policies favor the rich and leave them out in the cold. Dennis also has a history of building broad ethnic coalitions. And Dennis is an experienced and seasoned politician, having fought and won grueling political battles as a city council member, a mayor, a state senator, and a member of the U.S. Congress.

And is there any Democrat who would better motivate our liberal and progressive base in November 2004 - generating not just votes, but midnight oil and shoe leather? Is there any Democrat in January 2004 who generates more enthusiasm than Dennis Kucinich?

In addition, not all the Nader 2000 voters will likely vote for ANY Democratic nominee this November. But surely, more of them would turn out to support Dennis than they would any other Democratic candidate. And given how many states would have swung the other way but for the Nader candidacy (he received 99,000 votes in Florida), these voters could make the decisive difference in the 2004 election.

Also contrary to conventional wisdom, Dennis has a great many weapons to wield in the national security debate - which many believe will be the thing on which this election turns in the post 9/11 world. Dennis can make a comprehensive case that George Bush's foreign policies have generated new foreign enemies. That George Bush's defense policies have weakened our defenses. That George Bush's responses to 9/11 have made future 9/11s far more likely to occur. (So much for Republicans being "strong on defense.")

And our man has a comprehensive alternative to offer! In Dennis Kucinich's America, our nation will abide by Lincoln's precept: "The only lasting way to eliminate an enemy is to make him your friend." Dennis Kucinich will accommodate rather than alienate, employ carrots far more than sticks, and dry up the swamps of hopelessness and humiliation that cause insecure youth to head down the terrorist road. Dennis Kucinich will be both tough on terror and tough on the causes of terror. And that is a winning message for the post 9/11 world.

Finally, Dennis is from Ohio, a key midwestern battleground swing state with 20 electoral votes. Dennis has defeated Republican incumbents three times in Ohio. Only two American presidents were elected without carrying Ohio in the 20th Century. Dennis can win Ohio for the Democrats. And as Ohio goes, so goes the nation.

NUMBER SEVEN: If Voters Believe Dennis Truly Has No Chance Of Winning the Nomination - Then For Them There's No Danger In Voting For Him In The Primary!

When people say, "Dennis cannot win," they themselves are often unclear about what they mean. Do they mean Dennis "cannot win" the nomination? Or do they mean that if Dennis does in fact win the nomination, he "cannot win" the general election? These two very different propositions lead to very different conclusions.

If Voter Vanessa likes Dennis but believes Dennis would lose to George Bush on November 2nd, then a decision to vote for someone else in the primaries might make sense if Dennis was a frontrunner, if Vanessa believes that Dennis has a real shot at the nomination, if the pundits thought Dennis had any chance at all of becoming the Democratic candidate for president.

But they don't. Most voters and most of the punditocracy have written off any possibility that Dennis can win the nomination. Here in my town the mighty Los Angeles Times never refers to our man as anything other than "long shot candidate Dennis Kucinich." Ted Koppel famously dismissed him as a "vanity candidate." If Vanessa believes that Dennis has no chance of emerging as the nominee, then a primary vote for Dennis carries NO danger of anointing the wrong candidate to face-off against George Bush. There is no risk for Vanessa that she will help choose a candidate who is going to get blown out in the general. There is no peril. There is no worst-case scenario.

A vote for Dennis instead is a vote for the positions we would like to see the eventual nominee espouse and adopt. A vote for Dennis now can send a message about the abolition of nuclear weapons, economic justice, and the conviction that an expanded ethic of human unity will be no less than the Great Story of the 21st Century. A vote for Dennis today is a vote for what the Democratic Party OUGHT to stand for at the dawn of the 21st Century. And for what the Democratic party CAN stand for - if only the people who believe in Dennis actually have the courage and integrity to vote for Dennis.

NUMBER SIX: Dennis Will Support The Nominee.

Dennis is unalterably committed to supporting whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee for president, to inviting that nominee to see the light in his ideas, and to working tirelessly to defeat George Bush in November 2004. Dennis toiled arduously in 2000 to win the state of Ohio for Al Gore. There is no "Nader scenario" regarding Dennis Kucinich, because Dennis Kucinich is a Democrat, not a Green. A vote for Dennis in January or February will not take a single vote away from the Democratic nominee in November. How does a donation or a day or a vote devoted to Dennis in early 2004 adversely affect the prospects of the eventual nominee in November?

NUMBER FIVE: The Nominee May Adopt Some Of Dennis's Ideas - If Dennis Gets Enough Votes.

The more support Dennis generates this winter and spring, the more likely it will be that the eventual nominee will choose to incorporate some of Dennis's important ideas. If Dennis does better than expected in January and February - in money, in volunteers, and in votes - the Democratic candidate who emerges may conclude that there is indeed support for things such as single payer universal non-profit national health insurance, for creating a Department of Peace to stand alongside the Department of Defense, for bridging the chasm between rich and poor around the block and around the world. The nominee, consequently, may embrace some of these ideas and explicitly campaign upon them.

This phenomenon has already played out in the campaign. For example, after Kucinich strongly rejected Bush's request for $87 billion for Iraq, both John Kerry and John Edwards followed his lead. Dennis's unapologetic opposition to NAFTA and the WTO has caused all the candidates to talk more about fair trade. And consider the other, bleaker scenario. If all the "I love Kucinich -- but he can't win" crowd support someone else, the 2004 Democratic nominee AND the Democratic Party establishment AND the chattering classes will conclude that there isn't much support for the things our candidacy is about. "Gee," they will say, "there's not much interest in withdrawing from NAFTA and the WTO, for putting the brakes on the PATRIOT Act, for investing in alternative energy rather than big oil, is there? After all, Dennis Kucinich ran for president on that stuff - and he never did better than 3%."

"Win or lose the nomination," says Kucinich endorser Ben Cohen, "his grassroots presidential campaign is the vehicle for expanding the party, moving it in a progressive direction, bringing in new voters, and reaching out in a serious way to bring back disaffected voters." The more votes Dennis receives this winter and spring, the more power progressives will wield to shape the character of the Democratic platform in the summer of 2004, and the Democratic Administration which will take office on January 20, 2005.

NUMBER FOUR: Electoral Outcomes In 10 Months -- Or A Better World In 10 Years?

Mother Jones writer George Packer recently quoted D.H. Lawrence: "The ideas of one generation," wrote Lawrence in Making Love to Music, "become the instincts of the next." "There is something worse than losing," continues Packer, "and that is losing pointlessly. ... The way for the party not to lose pointlessly is to proceed incautiously. The most attractive candidate will be the one who airs ideas that risk alienating ... because the ideas might be good ones, and might catch the public pulse ... and might make future victories possible."

Has there been ANY political candidate since Bobby Kennedy and Gene McCarthy more capable of mobilizing the fires in the bellies of committed activists than Dennis Kucinich? If voters support Dennis with their money and their sweat and their votes, it will stoke the engines of social change - far beyond the fate of Kucinich for President.

"Victory," says the inestimable Jonathan Schell, "does not come through the ballot box alone. It sometimes comes by circuitous paths. Electoral politics should be played to win, yet changing hearts and minds can at times be as important as changing the President. ... When in doubt, it's best to err on the side of speaking the truth."

Must we resign ourselves only to vote for a candidate who can rescue us from a dismal present? Or can we free ourselves to vote for a candidate who can lead us toward a brighter future? "None are so hopelessly enslaved," said Goethe, "as those who falsely believe that they are free." Are we concerned solely and exclusively about what is going to happen in America in 10 months? Or can we interest ourselves also in the human condition and the fate of the earth in 10 years, and beyond? A vote for Dennis Kucinich is a vote for the American dream, and for the promise of what America can become. As the poet Langston Hughes so eloquently put it: "America, you've never been America to me; and I swear this oath: you will be!"

NUMBER THREE: The Left, The Right, And The Center ... Can Change.

We reject the notion that the American electorate is set in stone - e.g., 45% hard left, 45% hard right, and an all-coveted 10% "in the center." We know that the center has moved over time. A great many ideas and initiatives that were once considered hard left - women's rights, civil rights, human rights, gay rights, labor protections, environmental protections - are now much more in the mainstream, much more "moderate," much more "centrist." The anti-war, anti-corporation, and anti-globalization movements of recent years - manifesting in some of the largest demonstrations in history - are surely not far behind.

We believe that many of Dennis's proposals now considered hard left will one distant day be similarly considered as mainstream and centrist, and accepted as conventional wisdom. One of the best vehicles for shifting the center of American politics is a liberal and progressive presidential campaign. And one of the best vehicles for enabling such a campaign to do so is to actually vote for the most liberal and progressive candidate. And Dennis Kucinich is the most liberal and progressive candidate American voters have had the opportunity to embrace in quite a long time. A vote for Dennis Kucinich is a vote to shift the center of gravity of the American political debate. For 2004 and beyond.

NUMBER TWO: Living Up To Your Own Ideals.

"If it feels good -- do it" said one of the mottos of the 1960s. While one might debate whether that guidance is optimal for all of life's scenarios, it certainly IS for the great democratic act of voting. We believe that it simply feels better to walk out of the voting booth knowing that you stood up for what you believe. We believe in voting not just with your head, but also with your heart. We believe that the essence of what voting is all about is demonstrating support for the things you support. We believe that the only way to be fully a citizen of any political community is to maintain what FDR called "stoutness in your heart, steadfastness in your faith, and the courage of your convictions." We believe that the whole point of democracy is to vote for the world you aspire to create.

Let go of your fears. Vote your hopes and dreams. And be true to yourself. Vote Dennis Kucinich for President in 2004.

NUMBER ONE: Moving History Forward - Like Other Noble Presidential Candidacies Of The Past.

Presidential campaigns in American history have often been about much more than winning and losing. Presidential campaigns can be about driving the engines of history. Consider Bruce Babbitt in 1992, Jesse Jackson and Paul Simon in 1988, Gary Hart and Alan Cranston in 1984, John Anderson in 1980, Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy in 1968, Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956 (laying the groundwork for both John F. Kennedy and the 1960s), Norman Thomas and Eugene Debs in the first decades of the 20th century (without whom Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal would have been inconceivable), Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party of 1912. None of these efforts resulted in triumph at the ballot box. But all of them broadened the public conversation. They pressured the structures of power. They inspired new generations of progressive activists. They served to generate debate, to inject new ideas into the public arena, and to hasten the march of history. They were beacons in the political night.

And so too will be the presidential candidacy of Dennis Kucinich. BUT NOT VERY MUCH ... unless those who believe in him actually vote for him.

Victor Hugo famously said: "No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come." Many of Dennis's ideas, we might admit, are ideas whose time has perhaps not quite yet come. OUR job is to bring their time ever closer, to hurry their arrival in the train station of history. How will the time for such ideas EVER come, if we do not choose to vote for those with the vision and integrity to articulate them?

In many cases, our aspirations transcend hope, and evolve into an absolute belief that they will come to fruition. To choose but one example, we know that single payer universal non-profit national health insurance is so far and away the superior solution to the multiple challenges facing the American health care industry that its adoption is a historic inevitability. And whether Dennis Kucinich is elected president or not in 2004, we know that our candidacy -- with our strong emphasis on health care as the paramount social justice issue of our time -- will hasten America's march toward that glorious destination.

And one reason to vote for Dennis Kucinich - frankly, whether you secretly believe that "he can win" or not - is to accelerate our progress toward that inevitable outcome. A vote for Dennis Kucinich is the quintessential exercise of what Thomas Jefferson called "practical idealism." If politics, as every undergraduate knows, is the art of the possible, then a vote for Dennis Kucinich is a mechanism for expanding the parameters of political possibility. Every single vote cast for Dennis Kucinich this winter and spring, in Democratic primaries across the land, moves us closer to the day of the dawn.
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snoochie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-04 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent post, Dan
Thanks

:yourock:



"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi
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diamondsoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-04 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. A kixk for the blind. n/t
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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-04 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Maybe with enough "light" as we light up America everyone will see
Won't that be great...

:kick:

DPB
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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-04 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. He gets my Vote (n/t)
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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-04 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. You're making the wise choice!
Dennis is the only one in the race that I know will fight with everything he has for my rights.

I don't know at what point the other ones will sell me out, but I'm sure they've got a price.

DPB
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diamondsoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-04 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Heh! Yeah, election to the Presidency! n/t
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revcarol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
7. Great post!!
(You forgot one: NO STRINGS ATTACHED!!)

Dennis is so much for ordinary people!!
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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I LOVE that "I'm no puppet" move he does!
Standing with his arms outstretched until you wonder kind of what's going on....and then it dawns on you.

No Strings!

Dan Brown
Saint Paul, Minnesota
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WiltedFlowerChild Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
9. My name really is Vanessa!
And Dennis gets my vote.
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diamondsoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Hi, Vanessa.
Pleasure to have you aboard and if you want to meet up with some of our staunchest volunteers and supporters you might drop in and register at our volunteer forum-

http://us.denniskucinich.us/phpBB2/

Hope to see you and any other newcomers to the Kucinich Peace Train there!:toast:
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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #9
19. You're making the wise choice!
Thanks, Vanessa!

:hi:

Coming to Minneapolis?

Dan Brown
Saint Paul, Minnesota
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HowdyDUit Donating Member (79 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 02:15 AM
Response to Original message
10. Number 0
Does Dennis support Gay Marriage?
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diamondsoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Yes, completely and without reserevation.
His opening statement for his position paper was "It's time for same-sex marriage in this country."
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Gemini Cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. He has my vote! (eom)
:dem:
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
13. Really excellent post
And I am voting Kucinich in the California primary.
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lams712 Donating Member (645 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:27 AM
Response to Original message
15. This is one of the bests posts EVER!!!!
I wish I wrote it!!!!


DK ALL THEY WAY!!!!!!
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tedzbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
16. I'm voting for Dennis in the Calif. primary!
If he drops out, then I'll vote for Al Sharpton. I definitely won't vote for Kerry until November, and even then I'm not sure I will. I have this Noam Chomsky feeling that Kerry and * are just two sides to the same coin. I've voted Green before and I could do it again.

:kick:
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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. It would be so cool if Kucinich did exceptionally well in California
I know that he took second to Dean in the Central Democratic meeting (I know I don't have that name right), and if the Dean folks would switch to someone who is still actively supporting progressive causes and not quitting campaigning, Dennis would really do well in California.

DPB
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
18. ZombyKick
:kick:
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Indiana Democrat Donating Member (718 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
20. Kucinich wouldn't even win Ohio.
At least Sharpton might carry D.C.


I've got no problem with Kucinich supporters...The man speaks his mind and stands his groud, he deserves their support, but can't we at least be realistic??
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Indeed
One has to question the wisdom of a poster who believes that "George Bush Will Lose on 11/02/04 - To Whomever the Democrats Nominate".

Some people around here have no clue what is heading our way in the coming months. Bush is going to be a very very tough opponent.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Question my wisdom all you want.
Help yourself.

Because I believe we can win with any of them.

I'll reserve the right to question the wisdom of any who think we have to lose to win by giving up what we're fighting for before we enter the battle, and then fighting anyway.

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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
23. Excellent post
Thanks for putting this together. Of course I agree and I also think it is likely that any of our Dems could beat Bush*. Whatever Bush* puts out there will be balanced against what he has done and how he has governed and I personally do not know anyone who wants anymore of this.
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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
24. Next Stop, Hawaii!
Dennis' whirlwind tour continues.

Dennis is going to do very well in Hawaii and California and Minnesota.

DPB
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