March 16, 2003
WE WANT DEAN!:State Demos cheer, jeer presidential hopefuls: Varied Iraq stances ignite convention (Carla Marinucci, John Wildermuth, March 16, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle)
Presidential hopeful Howard Dean electrified the state Democratic convention here Saturday when he leveled a verbal barrage against the Bush policies in support of the war in Iraq -- fists raised, roaring, "We want our country back!"
But North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, also a candidate for president, got a different reception entirely from the 1,800 delegates here when he raised the issue of Iraq. A resounding chorus of boos and chants of "No war!" erupted with his statement: "I believe Saddam Hussein is a serious threat and must be disarmed (with) military force if necessary."
Indeed, the level of anti-war fervor was evident in the reception for Dean, the former Vermont governor and a physician, who fired up partisans chanting "We want Dean, We want Dean" almost as soon as he took the stage.
From his opening shots, his ammunition was aimed not only at Bush -- but also at other Democrats whom he suggested had waffled on the war.
"What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing, supporting the president's unilateral intervention in Iraq," he said, as delegates got to their feet. "I'm Howard Dean, and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party."
Although he is only in single digits in some national polls and is an unknown to most voters, delegates jammed Dean's information booth, snapping up souvenir prescription bottles and "The Doctor is In" signs.
"He's the only one who is a straight shooter, and called the Bush administration on the war," said Corey Johnson, one enthusiastic Dean delegate. [...]
Kerry, who raised $900,000 in a San Francisco fund-raiser this week, also joked that, "I'm running for president of the United States because I believe we need a regime change at home."
That regime change formulation, which implicitly equates George W. Bush to Saddam Hussein, seems unfortunate, especially when delivered on foreign soil. Posted by Orrin Judd at March 16, 2003 7:50 AM