I spent a couple of days with Howard Dean in the winter of 2002, watching him just beginning to develop his voice -- "We are never going to beat the Republicans if we try to be the Republicans," he told a crowd in Atlanta -- when he was an asterisk in the presidential race.Howie P.S.: Dean is a convenient straw man for pundits, comedians, you name it. But let's set the record straight (again):"Howard Dean Now Supports Passage of Health Reform Bill After Winning Improvements." His opposition was always qualified with "if the bill stays in its present form." Will somebody please tell Karen Finney to straighten this out. BTW, two Howies and one Howard, all in one post. I don't think I've ever heard Dr. Dean referred to as "Howie."
I was skeptical when Dean told me he'd be the John McCain of the campaign, but a year later he caught fire as an antiwar crusader and raised a ton of money before flaming out in Iowa. Then he became the Democratic Party chairman, was frozen out by the Obama team, and is now a CNBC pundit and high-profile critic of the Senate health-care bill.
But even as the doctor has carved up the legislation, he has been careful to say he still supports the president. That's why I find it surprising that some on the left are again dreaming of Dean in the White House. A few even want him to run in, yes, 2012.
"But hey, you go to war with the president you have, to paraphrase our old friend Donald Rumsfeld. Would we prefer Obama to snatch up his bullhorn and start hollering 'bring it on!' when the latest jock-strap jihadist is apprehended at the airport? I thought we hated all that bellicose Bush-era posturing."
Well, sure, but. . . . how 'bout just a scowl or two?
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Howie Kurtz: "Dreaming of Dean"
Howie Kurtz (WaPo):