Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Bungling the records issue

Howard Fineman questions whether Dean is ready for the Big House over Dean’s handling of the sealed gubernatorial reocrds issue.

I can’t say I disagree with Fineman (on the mishandline of the issue), though I don’t think it’s so serious as to call Dean’s fitness for office into question.

We’ve had a couple situations over the past few months where tiny issues (the confederate flag flap, the public financing switch, now the records issue) where the campaign has appeared surprised by the opposition’s attacks on minor issues. Dean’s propensity for ad-libbing is refreshing — but Fineman’s right in saying that the “I sealed the records to protect AIDS patients” line was inexcusable. That is no way to end this discussion.

I think I’m going to get me a copy of War Room (the documentary about Clinton’s ’92 run) and watch it. A friend of a friend was involved in Clinton’s war room in Little Rock, and tells some amazing stories about the rapid response team they set up.

With a little tweaking to the Dean rapid response effort, I think we’ll be in fine shape. We’ve seen what happens when the team focuses its energies on thinking ahead; the entire success of the campaign to date has been evidence of their ability to out-strategize everyone else. So far that strategizing hasn’t been as evident on the rapid response side. Here’s hoping it gets fixed.


  1. Coat tails, pure and simple

    Is there any question that the Dean campaign’s efforts at courting “traditional” party support is becoming much, much easier as a result of this? (Questions: How many incumbents would love to see a two day infusion of $50,000? How man...

  2. Anybody who reads Fineman's criticism of Dean on the release of records should read Peter Freyne's on the same subject and then ask oneself which was the better journalist.

  3. There are much more substantial problems with the Dean campaign.

    He supports frankenfood (Genetically Engineered Phood).
    Unnecessary Highways (he made a deal with the Bush regime to exempt I-289 in Vermont from normal environmental review)
    He tried to send Vermont's nuke waste to west Texas while Dubya was Governor (citizens in both states united and stopped the Bush/Dean proposal).
    He supports Bush's military budget (Kucinich wants to cut the budget).
    He supports keeping US troops in the Iraqi oil fields.
    He covered up the police execution of Robert "Woody" Woodruff in Vermont (see
    He supports "Homeland Security."
    His environmental record in Vermont is a typical right wing Democratic corporatist reward-the-polluters history that is hard to distinguish from a Republican.
    His middle east position on Israel / Palestine is essentially that written by AIPAC.

    You can't be a peace candidate if you support keeping the war for oil (war on terror) and refuse to support cutting Bush's military budget.