Monday, June 23, 2003

TIME magazine notices E.P. while noticing Howard Dean!!!

It's a real nice thing to be noticed. A few days ago, I had the privilege of taking a boat ride with presidential candidate Howard Dean from San Francisco to Marin County. I certainly wasn't the only one on the boat, which was a public transit ferry for commuters. I was amongst a gaggle of journalists, Dean supporters, and regular commuters that didn't have a clue about the guy that was getting all sorts of attention.

Anyone that knows me knows I've been spending a lot of time following the Dean campaign. Three months ago, I attended the annual California Democratic Convention in Sacramento, where I got a chance to see Dean, Kerry, and Edwards deliver major speeches to democratic delegates of the largest state of America. Neither Gephardt, Lieberman, or Graham (actually undeclared at the time) bothered to show up at this event, and the other three candidates- Kucinich, Sharpton, and Mosley-Braun were scheduled at awkward times that conflicted with my schedule. I emerged from the convention with a renewed sense of hope. There was one candidate that addressed the fact that most of the American voters are as fed up with the democrats as they are with the republicans. This particular candidate exhibited intelligence, passion, and what seemed like a real sincere approach to the topics that I truly care about. This candidate wasn't afraid to take an unpopular stance on some important issues, despite the overwhelming weight of fluctuating popular opinion. That man was Howard Dean, and after March 15th, I spent a lot of time learning more about him.

As far as I'm concerned, the legacy of G.W. Bush is based on a mountain of lies, deception, greed, and arrogance. The American people have been fooled in so many different ways, and I decided that I can no longer be apathetic in the country I love. It was time to use whatever communicative skills I had to educate, enlighten or even pester my fellow Americans into seeing another way of thinking. It is possible to have a secure homeland, a strong economy, and a healthy environment with a government that isn't completely dysfunctional, and I truly believe Howard Dean is the best candidate to bring about the changes that this country desperately needs.

So here I am on a public ferry boat with Howard Dean, and I finally get a chance to chat with the man whose presidential quest resonates with 95% of my core political beliefs. I've never volunteered for any political campaign before, and in the past three months, I've shot videotape for two of his speeches, assembled a DVD of my footage with various promotional clips, created a personal website that showcases his Sacramento speech, joined about 6 different internet forums on his candidacy, and become a very active member of the Northern California coordinators group, a think tank of active volunteers working to promote his campaign with various fundraisers and public events. After all this time, I finally get to meet the man, and talk one-on-one about the things that matter to me. He's a great listener, and his straight-forward approach is truly a breath of fresh air. Of course, the open boat ride certainly added to the ambiance!

After I've had the chance speak with Howard Dean, I am approached by a short bearded man who looks very familiar. It turns out to be Joe Klein of TIME magazine, who wrote the best-selling "Primary Colors" novel that was transformed into a movie starring John Travolta. Joe Klein wants to know about my Howard Dean website, and I'm more than happy to give him my business card with my contact information.

Three days later, I'm looking at the unofficial, but still very cool Howard Dean blog , and I see that Joe Klein has written about Howard Dean's visit to the San Francisco region for TIME magazine. The article is entitled "Why Dean Isn't Going Away," and it's a slightly critical, but generally positive overview of the campaign. So, I'm reading this advance internet copy of the magazine article, when all of the sudden I see something about "white, wired computer geeks," and I see a name that looks like MINE! Actually, it's my name with an extra "i" at the end of it! I am mentioned, as is my friend Lisa Rein, who publishes the On Lisa Rein's Radar blog!

Here's an excerpt from the article by Joe Klein for TIME Magazine:
Why Dean Isn't Going Away
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030630-460238,00.html ,

In any case, Dean has unlocked a fairly new and vibrant Democratic constituency that transcends his left-wing peacenik stereotype. It is young, middle class, white and wired. Standing on the aft deck of the ferry from San Francisco to Marin County, the Governor was approached by a stream of computer geeks: a woman named Lisa Rein, who has a weblog; a man named Eric Predoehli, who has a website; as well as several people from among the 35,000--astonishing if true — who had joined the Dean affinity group on Meetup.com. Dean seemed nonplussed by it all. "I have no idea how any of this works," he said. "But the Meetup folks are the core of our organization out here in California. In New York, they're working to get us on the primary ballot, which is not an easy thing. This campaign is totally decentralized. There are probably 15 or 20 different kinds of Dean bumper stickers, because people in different states decide to print their own."

So, I don't mind being "Eric Predoehli." I guess that makes me an honorary Italian?

(By the way, this photo is not in TIME magazine! My thanks to "Ms. Radar")



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E.P. Monday, June 23, 2003