Monday, February 2, 2004

Dean takes responsibility

I thought Dean did a great job on Meet the Press yesterday — much more relaxed than he was in June, much more in command of the issues (and willing to tell Russert when he was off-base). I still see a Dean nomination as a long-shot at this point (side note to Mike at TopDog04 — no, I’ve not lost faith. Just realistically assessing where we stand in light of recent developments. Still very committed to Dean, and I still think he’s the best Democrat to challenge President Bush in November.) but I’m quite glad to see Dean stepping up and demonstrating real leadership — something that, as the campaign focused increasingly inward in December and January, was in short supply.

If you didn’t watch MTP, you can also read this interview with Salon where Dean shows this in action (the quote is from page 2 of the interview):

Did Trippi tell you to basically let it rip before you walked out onto the stage in Iowa for the so-called I Have a Scream speech?

Sure, but I’m not going to blame Joe Trippi. One thing about this campaign stuff and Joe Trippi and all that: I do not blame him for one thing that went wrong in the campaign. The reason is, actually what drove Joe crazy, is I want to know everything, and I want everything explained to me, and I sign off on all the final decisions. I have not one piece of ill will about spending too much money. I OK’d every major strategic decision and you can put the blame at my feet for anything going wrong.

Another interesting comment Dean made on MTP yesterday, which I also liked. Russert asked Dean to explain his losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Dean responded that in part, it was people didn’t get to know him. That he’d spent so much time focusing on issues (and President Bush, for that matter) that he failed to present a clear picture of who he is. While there’s undoubtedly some spin involved here, I think there’s some truth to this. Dean is notoriously closed, and hasn’t willingly talked about his background, family or other non-political details. While I still don’t get the fascination with the Judy-Dean-will-she-or-won’t-she-stand-at-a-podium nonsense, I think there’s something to the perception that voters needed a more complete idea of who Dean was and is.

Whether the campaign can get that message out quickly enough remains to be seen. But I think they’re on the right track.


  1. I disagree. It is not about what you 'say' that explains who you are. I agree with Howard Dean that he didn't 'say' anything to explain who he was other than his hatred for Bush and his love affair for high, burdonsome, taxation on the middle class workers.

    What the problem has always been for people who actually go to the voting booth... Is 'HOW' Howard Dean has said the things he said and in what context.

    As I keep saying. You can't campaign on hatred. Hatred never wins. Screaming, 'Anyone but Bush,' has got to be modern era's worst political strategy ever.

    Howard Dean has exposed who he is based on 'how' he said the things he said and how he has reacted to the audience and how he has basically broken down and imploded in Iowa. He has NEVER shown himself to have a SINGLE OUNCE of presidential material/persona. He just isn't presidential.

    A vote for Howard Dean may as well be a vote for Michael Moore.

  2. Jeff,
    I will give you that he is not 'presidential' however I am still not convinced that

    ...his love affair for high, burdonsome, taxation on the middle class workers.

    Is really the case, seems to me rolling back the Bush tax cut is going to cost the people who pay more taxes more vs. middle class workers.

    I think he just about done anyway and John Kerry is going to be easy to beat.

  3. "Is really the case, seems to me rolling back the Bush tax cut is going to cost the people who pay more taxes more vs. middle class workers"

    Uh? And that is somehow GOOD for America? A Tax HIKE is a TAX hike.

    Bill Clinton hiked up taxes HUGE and did it twice. And you are going to tell the American People that they should go back to those HUGE tax rates!?

    The problem in America is how much you guys swallow this Democratic Presidential Spin on the American Deficit.

    The Democratic Liberals blame Bush's tax cuts for the reason that we have a huge deficit. This is not the truth at all. They then blame the deficit on our Defense Spending and War on Terrorism and Homeland Security.

    Again.. This is not the case. This has NEVER been the case. It is like tossing the issue under the carpet just to scare the American People into supporting a Burdonsome TAX Hike.

    You want to know the truth? The truth on the deficit is the domestic agenda. The $400 billion dollar Health Care and Education spending. The Trillion dollar budget which contains billions on pork barrel spending.

    Democrats such as Howard Dean DO NOT want you to believe that cutting domestic spending can get rid of the deficit. No.. They just want to do whatever they can to convince you to live your life under Burdonsome Taxation. By the looks of it. Their scheme has worked.

  4. The problem with taxes is that the higher they are the worse off everyone is. Even in a 'good' economy. High taxation only gives power to the Politicians. It does not give any power to the people.

    Democrats love to 'claim' that minorities and poor people were much better off during Clintons administration BECAUSE OF the tax hikes.

    The truth? The truth is that this again is more spinning and shoving the real issue under the carpet. Income Levels for African Americans went up by 5% because the economy was good. People were getting jobs and getting payed more for those jobs.

    Under the current administration we have tax cuts and the economy is doing so well. It went into recession for about 6 months to a year. People have done poorly. But it is NOT because of the tax cuts. It is in fact because the economy sucked.

    American people just don't get it anymore. Liberals put all of their belief, energy, emotions, and philosophy based on Government Accountability. Whatever happens in America... It is all because of Government.

    The truth is that whatever happens in america is all because of Americans. You and I dictate what goes on in America. Government tries to take set up barriers and blockades to our own way of life. But, when it comes to how successful America is.... It is all because of YOU and I.

    SO why shouldn't we support tax cuts? Why not? It makes far more sense pumping dollars into the hands of American Citizens rather than pumping dollars into the hands of Politicians who promise things but never deliver.

    I don't want George W. Bush to get his hands on any more of my money.

  5. You liberals need to do a little more 'supporting your selves' and a little less 'giving yourself over to the government.' It isn't healthy expecting governement to fix problems that you could fix yourself and do a much better job at it.

    Rick Klau is according to his website a software executive. I would trust his judgement on his company and what direction the company should go... Than to trust that judgement on Howard Dean or George W. Bush.

    I don't want government getting into areas it doesn't belong in. I don't want taxes so high that there is no monetary breathing room for college students trying to get a living.

    We have people in their late 20s who still live at home because they can't quite make a living. Lower taxes is one of many ways that can solve this problem. High taxes is one of many ways that furthers this problem.

  6. Jeff are you in a position to run for office? If so get out there and do so and see how many people line up behind you and test those ideas you have. Otherwise its just comments on a blog.

  7. "and test those ideas you have."

    I don't have any 'ideas' Ron. I only have 'truth.' And you just commented on my commenting and dodged the truth. You guys are so transparent. You can't keep putting all of your entire faith into politics and expect things to go your way and the world to be a better place.

    It's what separates you guys from Libertarians. We put our faith in ourselves. We take care of ourselvses. We aren't embarrased at all if we mess up and we don't need any help except the bloackades to be lifted.

  8. Unlike you liberals out there.. I don't need other people to support me. I only need them to get out of my way so I can live my life on my terms.

    If I get married and decide to have kids... It will be my decision whether I educate my kids myself and ignore the government 'Screwl' system. If the public schools are so poor they can't teach your kids? Then teach your kids yourself is what I live by.

  9. Watching MTP right now; I wish President Bush would respond to the hatred that Dean and the rest of the Dwarves have for him. He could make this election so easy, but he has principles. One of his principles is not hypocracy, a wlll-known trait possessed by all of the remaining Dwarves. Especially Kerry, not so much Dean. Dean's just a whacko liberal who is, for all intents and purposes, finished for 2004. He may as well go dust off his scalpel...

  10. When is Nikita gonna open up his records as Vermont's governor, so we can really see how he balanced the states budget and gave health care to all Vermonters? He's on CNN right now spewing his hate-Bush rhetoric--the defecit, the environment,the liberal same-old...

    I can't fathom how someone who had a big lead going into the Iowa Caucuses has, to steal a phrase from little Dick Gephardt, "failed mniserably!" But now he's shifting his eggs--if he's not nominated, he'll support Kerry or any other "Washininton insider," any thing it takes to defeat Bush. What a hypocrite! He says Bush is "the worst president" to serve in his lifetime. I can name a few who easily top Bush--Nixon, Johnson, Carter, CLINTON, Kennedy, to name a few who've served in my lifetime.

    Now this idiot is spinning Bush's interview on Meet The Press. How un-American and unpatriotic of him. He says "now we know there were no WMDs in Iraq before the war." This is not what was said. This is getting old! Where was Dean when Clinton was using the same intelligence? Dean is attempting to refute all which was said on MTP today; he's making an ass of himself in the process. Dean, the American patriot, who avoided the draft because of a medical condition. This condition which prevented him from wearing combat boots was not severe enough to prevent him from wearing ski boots!