As co-chairperson of the Committee to Save Howard Dean, I admit that we made an error in strategery. The committee was almost entirely too focused on the mainstream media’s savaging of the “unelectable” Dean (scroll down for Peggy Noonan’s thoughts on why they did it). We should have been busy trying to get Dr. Judy to write a valium prescription for our guy.
We have to admit that our guy’s his concession speech last night was not calculated to win friends and influence people. Drudge and Andrew Sullivan have posted eyes-a-popin’ pix. Striking an elegiac note, Sullivan opines that Dean’s candidacy was’wuz?’a good thing for the Democratic Party. “He was the vehicle for their rage, and he helped them dissipate it.” While Andrew admits that “Bush-hatred” is still alive, I think it’s still going to be THE factor.
Kerry, by the way, proved again how important it is to fight hard to the last. Of those who decided in the last three days, an impressive 37 % broke for Kerry. This compares with 18 % of late deciders for Dean, 32% for second placer Edwards, and 6% for Gephardt, who’s getting out of the race. I’ll always believe that GWB would have won the popular vote if he hadn’t gone home to Texas to await victory. The image of Al Gore shaking hands in the drizzling rain only hours before the polls opened was Gore’s finest moment.
But back to Dr. Dean’Will the Committee to Save Howard Dean fold because of the Iowa debacle? Dean said it best. “We will not quit now or ever!” he vowed last night. Nor will we. He’s still unelectable, and he’s still our guy. No predictions for New Hampshire, except that Wesley K. Clark will be the media flavor of the week. It’s the uniform, Stupid.