March 16, 2003


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

Dean's getting dizzier and dizzier....

How long will it be until Democrats start chanting, "We want our party back," and in despair, conclude that they must leave the party, at least til it comes to its senses.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 16, 2003 8:59 AM


Remember, this is the same party that rooted for North Vietnam and the Sandinistas, among others.

Posted by: oj at March 16, 2003 9:38 AM

I haven't decided which will be more effective: donating money to Ralph Nader's presidential campaign or voting for Dean in the NH Democratic primary? I think I'll do both!

Posted by: Genecis at March 16, 2003 12:55 PM


We'll have to invite you to our fundraiser for Al Sharpton...

Posted by: oj at March 16, 2003 2:06 PM

OJ: I meant to ask you before: You characterized Sharpton as only the third least-serious Dem primary sacrificial lamb
contender. Kucinich is ahead of him. Who else? Dean?

Posted by: Chris Badeaux at March 16, 2003 4:08 PM

Carol Mosely Braun.

Posted by: oj at March 16, 2003 5:13 PM


I think keeping Nader in the game is of prime importance. He's really in debt from the last run.

Posted by: Genecis at March 16, 2003 6:38 PM

Not being a partisan of any party, I

generally just skim Orrin's posts about

Republican inside baseball. Nevertheless,

the position of the Democrats now is

getting spookily akin to what it was in the

1860s. When a party has lost all hope of

winning at the polls, the avatars come

on out, don't they?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 16, 2003 8:59 PM
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