Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Matt Bai on Howard Dean

The Note lets us have a preview of the upcoming NY Times Magazine: "Dean is a gifted orator. Self-righteousness surges like a current from his feet up through his 5-foot-8 frame, energizing a hard voice that strikes a listener in the chest. At a dinner held by local Democrats in little Lee County, Iowa, I watch as he ignites a room full of voters with a broad indictment of Democrats for letting Bush have his way on war, tax cuts and education. 'The sad thing is that the Democratic Party has helped the president do this,' Dean says, although he doesn't sound sad at all. He sounds as if he wants to throw the lectern through a wall."

"After the speech, I meet Merlin Ackerson, 70, who tells me that he and his wife have found their candidate. I ask him if he thinks Dean can win. 'I'm getting to the point where I think it's better to lose with someone like that,' he replies, 'than to have all this me-tooism.'"

Dean has expertly framed the 2004 nomination fight as a choice between white-hot liberal rage on one side and the room-temperature promise of 'electability' on the other. 'Democrats are furious at their own party,' Dean says. 'They feel like the party's leaders have taken a pass.'"

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