October 30, 2003


Dean courts wide spectrum (Joey Bunch, October 29, 2003, Denver Post)

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean tried to be all things, except George W. Bush, to all voters on fundraising stops in Boulder and Denver on Tuesday.

The pack-leading Democrat hit all the marks, courting fiscal conservatives and social liberals. He bashed the war and pumped up his plans for universal heath care, renewable energy and investments in schools, highways and broadband Internet for everyone.

Dean declared himself a "metrosexual," the buzz phrase for straight men in touch with their feminine sides, as he touted his accomplishments in "equal justice" for gay and lesbian couples.

But then he waffled.

"I'm a square," Dean declared, after professing his metrosexuality to a Boulder breakfast audience with an anecdote about being called handsome by a gay man. "I like (rapper) Wyclef Jean and everybody thinks I'm very hip, but I am really a square, as my kids will tell you. I don't even get to watch television. I've heard the term (metrosexual), but I don't know what it means."

Try to imagine Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush calling himself a metrosexual just so he could appeal to a given block of voters. Not easy, is it? You can run as a candidate defined by ideas--as they did--or as a constituency candidate, cobbling together the demands of various special interests, as Mondale and Dukakis did and Dean is now doing. But, if you choose the latter, you reach a terrible moment in your campaign where you show youreself to be a hollow man, waiting to be filled up by others, as you stand on stage and plead: "Just tell me who you want me to be..."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2003 10:41 PM

What's interesting is that compared to the DEM
field Dean can (in some odd way) come off
as the "regular guy" candidate. I think that
is part of the appeal. He's not a total
freak like Kucinich, a cardboard cutout like
Gephart, a surly aristocrat like Kerry.

However, when he comes up against Bush that
appeal won't be there and he will have to
run on his left-wing policies.

This election will be the first real left-right
rumble since Reagan V. Mondale.

Posted by: J.H. at October 31, 2003 9:17 AM
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