Elanor Clift picks up on the juggernaut that is becoming the Dean campaign in a Newsweek Web exclusive:
- The buzz is that Howard Dean will post over $4 million. Two rival camps privately predict that Dean will come close to $6 million.
- There is panic in the air [from rival campaigns].
- Democrats have won the White House only twice in the last thirty years. Both times it was by somebody who was not part of Washington. Governors don’t speak Washingtonese. Whatever you think about Dean and his cranky assault on the Establishment, you can’t avoid the fact that he fits the pattern. Thanks to a little strategic thinking and a lot of luck, the former Vermont governor is positioned as the only outsider in the race at a time when Democrats have given up on insider politicians. Dean says that when he travels around the country, he finds that Democratic voters are almost as angry at Democrats in Washington as they are at Bush.
- By all accounts, [his 6/22 Meet the Press appearance] was a terrible performance. “If he was Gephardt, he’d be out of the race,” says a Democratic strategist. But the next day Dean presided over a hokey official announcement of his candidacy, which drew a large press contingent and got him on all the news shows. “The rules don’t apply to him,” says the strategist. “He operates in a different universe. His supporters say, ‘That mean Tim Russert,’ and they send him another $200 on the Internet.”
- Savior or spoiler, Dean has gone from a second tier candidate to the man to beat.
The man to beat.
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