October 21, 2003


The Truth Is … Don’t Jump Onto a Moving Truck: Howard Dean Decides to Have Some Fun … But it Backfires (Marc. J. Ambinder, 10/20/03, ABCNEWS.com)

The former governor had arrived a few minutes before he was scheduled to speak to an organizing conference at St. Anselm College near Manchester. He was chatting along the side of the entrance road with a throng of college students, all Dean supporters, when a large red box truck began a slow turn into the parking lot.

By Dean's own recounting, he saw the truck slow down, and "decided to have a little fun." As the truck swung by, Dean hopped onto a running board on its rear.

"I thought the guy was going to pull up 5 feet and I was going to get off and say, 'Ha ha ha,' " he said. A playful prank for the benefit of a friendly crowd.

But then the truck took off. It accelerated to about 20 miles per hour, and zoomed out around the corner.

"I was stuck, clinging to the back of the truck," Dean said.

And people wonder why campaign staff try to make their candidate stick to the script...

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 21, 2003 11:39 AM

Sigh....if only he couldn't have let go....where would he be now? Wonder if the truck made a left turn?

Posted by: Jeff Riley at October 21, 2003 12:15 PM

A clever politician woud have, as soon as he had returned, said something to the effect of "and that's what we're going to do to Bush!" or something, to get the college students all hyped up.

More evidence that Dean is not a clever politician.

Posted by: Timothy at October 21, 2003 12:41 PM

Is he still practicing medicine?

Posted by: genecis at October 21, 2003 1:32 PM

Dean probably heard about the dude who jumped into the Niagara River, plunged down the Horseshoe Falls and then swam to shore (and was promptly escorted to hospital by the police).

Fierce competitor that Dean is, he....

Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 21, 2003 4:52 PM

Were this a Republican presidential hopeful it would define both his candidacy and his personal image forever and make him unfit to not only run for the highest office, but to hold any public office or high-paying private job again in the eyes of the major media...

Posted by: John at October 21, 2003 8:14 PM

John has a point. This is completely analogous to Dole falling off a stage, which was all over the media and pretty much put an end to Dole's campaign (granted it wasn't going far anyway) So where are the news reports for this? Why is it reported nowhere but on a relatively obscure (though well written) amateur blog? (no offense intended, I much prefer reading the "amateurs" these days)

Posted by: MarkD at October 21, 2003 9:12 PM

MarkD writes: "So where are the news reports for this? Why is it reported nowhere but on a relatively obscure (though well written) amateur blog?"

Uh, follow the link dude. Although some might call ABC News "amateurs". ;-)

Posted by: MB at October 21, 2003 10:26 PM

It's not partisan. Remember Dukakis and the tank ride?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 21, 2003 11:17 PM


That wasn't an accident though--his own campaign staged the event. It was a photo-op for goodness sake.

Posted by: oj at October 21, 2003 11:26 PM

I loved Doc Savage !! I used to own maybe thirty books from the series, decades ago.

As to it making Dean unfit for anything... IF he'd fallen off and broken his leg, in full view of the cameras, it might have made him appear foolish, but since many already think that he's mentally unbalanced, a short and unscheduled ride is nothing.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 22, 2003 4:22 AM

This was a potatoe moment. If Dan Quayle had done something like this, Leno and Letterman and the rest of the comedy-industrial complex wouldn't do anything but jokes about it for the rest of the year.

I hope this video makes it out of his campaign's hands. Even I can see the possibilites for its use in campaign spots.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 22, 2003 11:28 AM