Sunday, December 31, 2006

Edwards Chapel Hill Rally Draws Thousands

Photo from One America Committee

Photos by "saltman" at One America Committee blog

Bora was at the John Edwards Chapel Hill rally yesterday, as was Kirk and Exile on Jones Street. Kirk provides a clip. [mov version]

Live blogging toook place here.

At the One America Committee blog, Thread Opener writes about the dynamics of a central campaign theme that focuses on the People:

Joe Trippi: It's About Us
True transformational leadership can only come from a candidate who fundmentally gets that it isn't about him/her -- its about us.

Over the Christmas Weekend Matt Stoller started a conversation about John Edwards that got me thinking again about the difference between transactional politics and transformational politics.

I had an epiphany one day in the middle of the Dean campaign about what made us so different...

Its incredibly simple and defines what I now believe is the essential ingredient in any campaign or candidacy that hopes to be transformational.

All modern campaigns and transactional campaogns are built around a candidate who proclaims to the nation "Look at me -- aren't I amazing?".

The Dean campaign (and any transformational campaign successful or not) was built around a candidate who proclaimed "Look at you -- aren't you amazing?"

This strikes me as essential. More than ideology, or any other factor -- true transformational leadership can only come from a candidate who fundmentally gets that it isn't about him/her -- its about us.

So in terms of 2008 is Hillary capable or realizing that she is not the center of the universe -- that the political world and even her own campaign does not revolve around her? Obama? Edwards? Who? Anyone?

The Dean campaign was different not because of ideology or because of opposition to the war -- but because it revolved around its supporters and empowered them. It was the only campaign in a long time that realized that the people were more important than the candidate.

James MacGregor Burns wrote "A transformational leader stands on the shoulders of his followers, expressing coherently those ideas which lie inchoate in the hearts of the followers -- and in the process makes his followers into new leaders."

Al Gore is doing this right now around the issue of Global Warming. Dean did it in 2004 for President. Who in 2008?

As A Dean supporter in 2003/2004, I had similar feelings and comments.
December 21, 2003: How the name of Howard Dean has become synonymous with the investment of our very selves
Along came Howard Dean, promoting joyous citizen participation as avidly as Bush was oppressing it.....

When I hear people attacking Howard Dean (as I have heard so often lately), I am beginning to take each word in each attack in a deeply personal way. I am not saying this because I am partial to Howard Dean (although I admit to being so). I am telling you this because, most simply, it is true.

The name of Howard Dean has become synonymous with the investment of our very selves in the betterment of our nation, our love for healthy and strong American democracy,and our individual interests in preserving our American rights and performing our American duties. This man, Howard Dean, has caused us to believe in ourselves and all we can be for our vision of America. Most important is his reminder of the fact that America is ours...and we need to take her back. The Bush Administration is beginning to see the danger to Dean's candidacy and I don't think they ever really saw it coming. Every attack they will make on Howard Dean will be felt (quite deeply) as an attack on every American who feels they have the right to participate in American government. What a paradox! With every attack on Howard Dean, he is further empowered.
Governor Dean became our DNC chair because the people who came politically alive because of his inspiration wouldn't have it any other way.


Minor Ripper said...

I think Edwards is great but I just don't know what has changed since 2004 except that he is two years older. The more I think about the Dems in 2008, the more I think the nomination is Al Gore's to lose: he was robbed in 2000, has been consistently right on Iraq (unlike Hillary), and will not have a problem with either cash or name recognition... I wrote a story on this at

lonnie said...

I am a huge Roverts fan despite living in China...

I have you bookmarked...

HNY from China!