So people (yeah, mostly the media but now people too) are saying Howard Dean melted down. Maybe so. Here’s what it sounded like: http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2004/01/20/20040120_060803_dean.mp3.
But how bad is that? Anyways, it got twisted into headlines like: DISASTER FOR DEAN IN IOWA – NY Post, or: Dean Goes Nuts – Drudge Report. I agree that this is bad. But is it Muskie crying in the snow about his wife? Hart with a blonde in a mini-skirt on his lap? Dukakis in a tank? No way!
What I think (or wish) is that he had the balls to spin it the other way, and say: “You know, we need somebody willing to be a real human being…” and do a whole hoe down, shindig, battle cry thing with it. Co-opt the “I’m mad as hell…” contengent. But given that this year only a military man can win, I’m afraid this Angry Clinton doesn’t stand a chance. Re his gutterance and the crowd he delivered it to, he said: “I thought they deserved everything I could give them.” That’s lame. And the next day, a newly quieted-down Dean said:”Those of you who came here intending to be lifted to your feet by a lot of red-meat rhetoric will be a little disappointed,” he told supporters. That’s really lame. It’s playing to the negative.
He’s so similar to George Bush in this weird way of being nasty. He lots of times says to the press: “I’m not going to play that game” He chastises the press the same way George does. He don’t get it. We want LOVE! We want that nice, warm, kindly Reagan/Clinton thing. Especially now that we’re back to being scared. That’s what can beat George. But mainly, this is the time to be super cool, for the blue flame cool-medium. I hope he can do it.
But what can Howard Dean do to recover from this debacle? What I would do is a Checkers-like big media play, while everybody’s still paying attention. I think it’s his last chance. I would buy a half-hour of national TV time and give a speech about what the heck happened. What speech, you ask?
This one:”My fellow Americans. I’m Howard Dean, and I’ve chosen this unique way to come before you because America is in deep trouble, and now I’m in deep trouble. I decided to just stop, and deal with this issue right now, take back control of the situation, and reframe the debate about what’s really at stake.There are so many special interests taking over this country, we’re losing our country. The idea that a real person, a Doctor no less, could run for President against all the giant corporations and big money and special interests and corrupt lobbyists that run our society and our government, and get as far as I have, is really unbelievable. In a way, I don’t believe it. If you’re watching me right now, it’s because you believe, like I do, that we’re about to go off the rails here.
The terror isn’t terrorism, it’s the way we’re dealing with it that’s terrifying. We’re bullying the world, and at home we’re bullied by smaller and smaller concentrations of ever-more powerful interests that don’t have our interests at heart. What we need is a real human being with a brain and a heart and the strength and the will to get out there and speak the truth. Without tons of handlers, without a marketing committee that decides what dog food the people will eat– the classic American individual, willing to take on the system. But let me tell you, because now I’m learning it, there’s a lot of risks when you freestyle. We were the front runner, but now it’s a new ballgame.
We have to regroup, rethink, and redeploy. Let me then, after these very first election results for the 2004 Presidency, explain why I fell 12 points in 6 days and came in third in Iowa. There are a lot of powerful and entrenched interests in this country, and they come from the left as well as the right. I, however, come from me. And we haven’t had a president that’s just been a person since, well, probably Harry Truman. I speak not just for the common man, I speak for everyman and everywoman. To turn a phrase, I am the silent majority, and I made it on individuals realizing they are in that majority and want it to take back this country.
I really don’t have any powerful lobbyists backing me. I have a lot of little people like me who see themselves in me and want me to make it. Maybe you thought you were one of them. I’d like to convince you you still are. Now, let’s face it. The fact that I call it as I see it, and the fact that I want to take this country back, _is_ a little scary to people. But they can’t say: Gee, this guy is scary because he speaks the truth in an unabashed way, doesn’t have any powerful interests to serve, and would really clean house if he got in office. Now, they can say: this guy is scary because he’s …oooh!….angry! Well, let’s just address this head on. Yes, of course I’m angry.
I’m angry that we waste so many of our precious resources, that we squander our wealth on the military and bloated pork-barrel business deals and corrupt politicians. I’m angry that we haven’t lived up to the America that I know we can be. That we are being hoodwinked and led down the garden path to a totally non-sustainable vision of the USA. I am so angry that our children our dying, that we’re destroying our environment, that our poor are getting poorer, that people don’t seem to care, that the media doesn’t seem to be helping, that people are losing control of their lives.
But hey, people, don’t forget: I decided _not_ to get mad. I decided to get even. I decided to do something about it. I decided to actually run for President of the United States. Me! Just a guy. Right here before you. Running for President. How ironic that the Bushies as well as some of my fellow Democrats are calling me angry, as if I would do some bone headed thing like let my anger get the best of me by, um…let’s see…, invading Iraq? Now that’s the unthinking act of an angry man. I may express myself using words that are emphatic, yes.
But I know the difference between raising my voice and raising the terror alert to orange as a way to scare the American people. So I make no apologies for my anger, for my emphatic style, for jumping up and down or acting like a football coach or what have you. This isn’t France or Germany or England. This is America. And America is not exactly an all upper crust polite society. We cheer here! We accept all kinds here. Especially just plain folks who ride in pickup trucks, go to Football Games, and yell and cheer. Heck, we invented cheerleading in this country. I’m proud of it. I may do it again. I like getting fired up. I like caring. I am me.
It’s amazing I’ve gotten as far as I have by being me. And my value proposition to the American people is this: if you elect me, you will have, for the first time in 50 years, with all due respect to every president during that time, a real guy running the country. Like I said: Just some guy. If you’ll take me back into your hearts, I’ll be the first Doctor to run the country. That’s right: I chose to be a doctor, because I love people. I want to heal people. And now I want to heal this country.
We all know it: America is going insane, and it’s time for there to be a doctor in the house. America, I’m a doctor, and I’m here to help you get better. I am tapping in to, as I said earlier, what I think is the great silent majority of Americans who are neither this nor that, but just plain folks that have had it up to here with lies and bureaucracy and being manipulated and being put on hold for longer and longer as corporations rack up higher and higher profits. I will be a president that is not a part of that system.
I love these other guys I’m running against, but they are all tangled up in it. With me, what you see is what you get. So no wonder they’re all trying to stop me. Honestly, they are all taking shots at me, from all sides. And well they should. Cuz if I win, if you put me in office, I will blow their minds. I will show that when you cut out the fat, when you clear out the deadwood, when you fire the criminals, when all you care about is getting things done for the American people, without paying off some contemptable group of greedheads that bankrolled you in the first place, we can work about half as hard and still get the same results.
We don’t have to work like mad. We don’t have to be killing ourselves. It’s not healthy. We can have a vacation. We can have a life. We can have our families back. We can have our safety back. We can have America back. It just takes a little honesty emanating from the top. And that, my friends, is just about all I’ve got to offer. Thank You, God Bless You, and God Bless America.”