A disastrous Republican administration in the White House. A varied field of Democratic candidates, ranging from a Vermont progressive who opposed the Iraq War to a more moderate frontrunner who voted to authorize it. A mobilized progressive base torn between the desire for ambitious policies and the need to win the general election.
We speak, of course, of 2004, and the Democratic campaign to unseat President George W. Bush. Writing in the magazine after Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) won the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, In These Times’ David Moberg argued that “intense assaults” on the electability of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, then running as a progressive, helped pave the way for Kerry’s success.