February 11, 2005
GOING TO EXTREMES (via Kevin Whited):
Howard Dean will make a great party chair for Dems: Candid Vermont governor is GOP's worst nightmare (BILLY HORTON, 2/10/05, Houston Chronicle)
For decades I've been not only a loyal and active Democrat, but also a committed party advocate loyal to establishment candidates — though a few have had some outlaw in them. That's why many friends are taking issue with me because I have been working hard for Howard Dean to be national chair of my party.
Nothing emphasizes why we need a fresh approach like Gov. Dean offers more than the rambling, dull and non-inspirational hour of television I viewed Jan. 30, as NBC's Tim Russert struggled through a full hour of Meet the Press dedicated to an interview with John Kerry.
The next day, writers for Jon Stewart, popular host of The Daily Show, didn't have to author clever lines to mock Kerry. Producers just played snippets of Kerry's rambling and Stewart buried his head in his hands. No one-liners needed. [...]
What about the allegations of Dean's arrogance? friends ask, because I spent time working with Dean during his presidential run.
Granted, Howard Dean is confident, knowledgeable and a very quick study. He is a surgeon, a branch of medicine where knowledge of medicine is viewed as being more important than bedside manner. But in my days in proximity to him — days of considerable pressure — I saw nothing but a kind, self-assured professional with a rowdy sense of humor and a knack for candid, straightforward speech.
Perhaps we have wrongly come to see succinct candor as a kind of arrogance because we have forgotten that some of our best, including confident decision-makers like Harry Truman, did not dabble in political double talk. I find it refreshing that Dean's quick and sure answers to the press and political opponents are just what our party needs.
His honesty, intellect and clarity of language will send Republicans packing on the Sunday talk show circuit.
I also think that not many months will pass before reluctant friends will agree with me about Howard Dean as he raises, not only lots of money, but also lots of citizen activism and energy. Perhaps next time, we'll all be shouting for joy.
Not understanding women we obviously don't understand the feminine party, but one thing seems especially inexplicable: How can they choose Howard Dean to lead the Party when he couldn't even beat John Kerry in their own primaries?
The GraniteProf was on NHPR's Exchange this morning discussing the good Doctor and we called in (around the 35 minute mark) to ask if the main strength being cited for Howard Dean isn't also his crucial weakness. He's been sold as a guy who can tap into the money and excitement of the on-line and 527 crowd, but these are the very folks who pushed him far to the Left in the primaries. Allowing them to put their creature in control of the Party seems quite dangerous.Posted by Orrin Judd at February 11, 2005 10:50 AM