Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, January 27, 2004  

Well, whatever else happens, at least Dean is back on track. If he loses, it looks like it will be on his own terms. And, with a strong second (which is by no means in the bag), who knows?

Written off by pundits after his "I have a scream" moment in Iowa, Howard Dean has rebounded in the final days of the New Hampshire contest by displaying a sense of humor. He has appeared on David Letterman's late-night show as well as on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on cable's Comedy Central poking fun at himself.

He also tried the self-deprecating shtick on the campaign trail. "Thank you for the applause. It makes me so happy I could just scream," he quietly told a Nashua crowd on Jan. 26. The audience roared its approval. "We'll scream for you," yelled one man. "We're angry, we're angry," yelled another. Retorted the subdued Dean: "This campaign is about hope, not anger."

Later, the happy, happy candidate broke into a big smile when his audience joined him in listing the countries that guarantee their citizens health care. "All right, you wise guys," he told the voters, "some of you have heard the speech before. What's the next line?" The roaring response: "Costa Rica." The candidate was most amused. "Who says you can't have fun and run for President?" he asked.

What a difference a week can make in politics.

Dean remains the candidate who sets the agenda for all the candidates. I'd love to see people get excited enough to set aside their (misplaced) misgivings about his electability and choose him as the nominee--after all, it is his message. In any case, I'm pleased to see he's back to that message. It will compell the rest of the field to respond.

posted by Jeff | 10:25 AM |
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