Thursday, March 13, 2003

Meet The Nation...

Progress mag The Nation magazine published a lengthy profile of Governor Dean this week, and it is accompanied by an hour-long interview with Radio Nation’s David Corn. No sound-bites, lots of substance.

Corn tries to paint Dean with some labels, and isn’t exactly blown away by the governor. Then again, that may not be a bad thing:

Dean is not overly polished (which might be a plus), hardly an imposing or commanding figure (which is not). Brusque? He does have a doctor’s that’s-the-way-it-is manner. He’s no charmer. But he is smart and sharp, and can exude a cool passion. And he’s trying to cut a path for himself as an ideals-driven, angry but reasonable and rational, middle-loving, just-the- facts message-candidate who embraces pragmatism—one who takes on Bush Inc. for its warmongering and out-of-whack domestic priorities (though his candidacy, as of now, is far more defined by his war opposition than his other stands—which means he has a lot riding on whatever happens in Gulf War II). He’s also a Democrat who bemoans his own party for its general wimpiness, rightward drift and inability to kick Bush squarely in the teeth. With these themes, he may well have an appeal for die-hard Democrats not put off by his lack of national standing or his more cerebral than charismatic political stylings. Yet he is a message candidate who recoils from ideological politics. “I don’t really consider myself a progressive,” Dean remarks, “though by national standards maybe I am…. I’m determined to change America. We are heading in the wrong direction.” And if he has to sound (mostly) like a liberal to accomplish such change, so be it.

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