December 18, 2003


Dean's Remarks Give Rivals Talking Points: His Readiness to Lead Is Questioned (Jim VandeHei and Jonathan Finer, December 18, 2003, Washington Post)

Howard Dean's penchant for flippant and sometimes false statements is generating increased criticism from his Democratic presidential rivals and raising new questions about his ability to emerge as a nominee who can withstand intense, sustained scrutiny and defeat President Bush.

How's that for the first paragraph of the first story every politico will read in the Post tomorrow?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2003 12:31 AM

It was hoped that Dean would self-destruct after getting the nomination. It appears he is self-destructing before, leading to the possibility that Bush will face a more reasonable (but still beatable) opponent like Gephardt.

Posted by: AWW at December 18, 2003 8:49 AM

The same type of thing was said about Bush: That he was unprepared and unserious.

However, he's now President.

Also, Gore told scads of whoppers, seemingly pathologically, and came within a hair of being President.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at December 18, 2003 8:49 AM

If only he had cared about his home state.

Posted by: Bartman at December 18, 2003 9:30 AM

Washington, D.C.?

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 18, 2003 9:41 AM

Dem media like the WaPo are looking at the latest Gallup trial run (Bush crushes Dean 60-37) and getting heart palpitations. Truth to tell, that margin is frighteningly similar to Nixon's smashing of McGovern...and which Dem candidate is Dean most often compared to?

I really don't think a landslide is going to happen. My guess is that Dean softens his wild man image and moves to the center post-haste. In other words, he runs more like Dole than Goldwater.

And he'll probably lose more like Dole than or eight points.

Posted by: Casey Abell at December 18, 2003 10:29 AM


Yeah, that improving your wild man image worked in the campaign for...well, actually no one.

Posted by: oj at December 18, 2003 11:58 AM

In fact, Dean tried to get away from Wild Man with that foreign policy speech. He didn't come out with his sleeves rolled up (does anything look goofier and more fake?) and start shouting.

Instead he tried to express support for every American military action since, I don't know, the Spanish-American war. With one huge exception, of course. For some reason Dean says that Saddam should have kept his palaces.

And he completely blew it with the line about Saddam's capture not increasing America's security. I know the polls are saying this line didn't clank with voters, especially Dems. But there has to be some reason that Dean is losing to Bush 60-37 in the latest Gallup trial run.

My advice to Dean? Drop Iraq as an issue unless hundreds of American troops start dying every week. Announce that you won't raise taxes on the middle class. Smile, wear nice suits, show some humor.

You'll still lose. But you won't get wiped out like Goldwater and McGovern.

Posted by: Casey Abell at December 18, 2003 12:19 PM