June 17, 2005
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING:
Scream 2: The Sequel (Howard Fineman and Tamara Lipper, 6/17/05, Newsweek)
Something of a loner politically, he "doesn't have the Rolodex or the contacts that other people have," says Steve Grossman, a former DNC chairman and close ally. Dean is surrounded at the DNC with a new but rather small palace guard of people who believe in his vision and attitude—and who distrust the generation of Democrats that preceded them. [...]
But Dean's real problem may not be his mouth but his mind-set. He and his aides seemed genuinely mystified at the idea that his characterization of the GOP was a political mistake. But by labeling the other party a bastion of Christianity, he implied that his own was something else—something determinedly secular—at a time when Dean's stated aim is to win the hearts of middle-class white Southerners, many of whom are evangelicals. In a slide-show presentation at the DNC conference last weekend, polltaker Cornell Belcher focused on why those voters aren't responding to the Democrats' economic message. One reason, he said, is that too many of them see the Democrats as "anti-religion." And why was that? No one asked Dean, who wasn't taking questions from the press.
George W. Bush and Karl Rove are pretty savvy pols anyway, but they've been blessed by grotesquely incompetent opponents. Posted by Orrin Judd at June 17, 2005 2:30 PM