February 15, 2005


The Fighting Moderates (PAUL KRUGMAN, 2/15/05, NY Times)

Mr. Dean is squarely in the center of his party on issues like health care and national defense.

Which recalls this:
Asked whether bin Laden should be tried in the United States and put to death, Dean told the Concord Monitor: "I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."

and this, Dean's Speech on Iraq Brings Rebuttals From Rivals (JODI WILGOREN and RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD, 12/16/03, USA Today)
"The difficulties and tragedies which we have faced in Iraq show the administration launched the war in the wrong way, at the wrong time, with inadequate planning, insufficient help, and at the extraordinary cost, so far, of $166 billion," he said. "The capture of Saddam does not end our difficulties from the aftermath of the administration's war to oust him."

Dr. Dean's Democratic opponents immediately seized on the speech to raise new questions about his viability in a general election during a flurry of hastily scheduled conference calls as well as in their own planned campaign events. At the same time, a group of Democrats known informally as a "stop Dean" coalition began running a television advertisement in New Hampshire and South Carolina that shows a photograph of Osama bin Laden with the warning, "It's time for Democrats to start thinking about Dean's inexperience."

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who supported the war, spent a second day in row hammering Dr. Dean on the Iraq issue, and scheduled a speech for Tuesday in New Hampshire to highlight their differences on national security.

"If he truly believes the capture of this evil man has not made America safer, then Howard Dean has put himself in his own spider hole of denial," Mr. Lieberman said. "I fear that the American people will wonder if they will be safer with him as president."

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2005 6:09 AM

The desperate attempt to run toward the middle by any Dem who wants the spotlight will only become more fevered between now and '08.

Moderates? Heh. Remind me what a so-called "Moderate" emphatically STANDS for?

Posted by: John Resnick at February 15, 2005 10:08 AM

Hey, if Dean were a Princeton faculty member, or a NYT columnist, he would be moderate.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 15, 2005 12:36 PM

Dean is already dancing - in his acceptance speech he stated he was not going to talk about policy.

Even he knows he can't.

Not that the Deanics care - they know nothing about it, anyway.

But unless Dean metamorphasizes himself, he will be stumbling soon. And how will he answer the question - "Dr. Dean, who speaks for the party, you or Reid/Pelosi?"

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 15, 2005 1:52 PM

There is an obvious conceit operating in the expectation that Dean can "reposition" or "reconfigure" the Democrats. Like people won't notice if the effort is genuine or just cosmetic/hygenic? Dems will need to eradicate years of behavior, and this can only be done, credibly, with years of effort. Even if he wanted to reach this goal, one stray YEARRRRRGGGGG, and it's back to the start. Explain, please, why he's the guy to pull it off?

Posted by: Luciferous at February 15, 2005 2:58 PM
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