Wednesday February 18, 2004
A tribute to Dr. Howard Dean, Vermont's ex-governor, an important player in the presidential campaign of 2004.
My guess will be that he'll take his time before suggesting where his ardent followers should place their support, now that he has withdrawn from the race. He's earned it. I am so glad he ran because his experience teaches us that it can be done; the right person can establish a real challenge form the left, even when the country is at war. It hasn't been easy in our country where the political establishment has really made dissent appear unpatriotic. And much of the media has followed suit, sad to say.
No, he was not "doing a Nader," he ran with the hope of winning his party's nomination. And in running from the left, he made Sens. Kerry and Edwards look more moderate and the incumbent more conservative.
What I liked about his candidacy included the fact that he was strident and strong and he forced the leaders to respond in kind. I think that it was his presence on the campaign trail and in the face-to-face debates that compelled the candidates to address the tough questions that Democratic voters are asking, to which the President has no answers.
What caused his decline in the polls, beyond his primal scream, is in major part that he does not speak for the majority of people who consider themselves Democrats. His wife appeared upon the scene too late and too little. He went from being the man with the most money to a severe shortage of funds.
Dean's rise in popularity was amazing - his decline in the polls so soon thereafter, staggering. Just a few weeks ago (January 19), at the Iowa Caucuses, he was on the verge of reconstituting Democratic party politics. He had more money and endorsements than any of the challengers. By day's end he was a big loser, in third place and it has been all downhill since then, through six grueling weeks and 17 contests.
Not that the race for the nomination is decided, but it surely does appear to be a two man affair with everything pointing to Sen. Kerry winning the nomination. The longer it goes, the better it will be for the Democrats. If Sen. Edwards eventually overhauls the large lead that Kerry has in the delegate count, both men will be well prepared, with their arguments well honed, to be able to make a most credible showing against President Bush. Sen. Kerry, Sen. Edwards watch your backs, the party with the big bucks is preparing for political warfare.
I wonder how soon the mating game will begin ...the selection of a running mate.
Kerry and Edwards could beat Bush and Cheney.
Edwards and Kerry could beat Bush and Cheney.
Bush and Cheney (or some other running mate), could beat Bush and his choice.