October 28, 2003

Taking Bush head-on, Dean is riding high: His 'fire in the belly' is drawing fervent support from war critics -- and increasing attacks from his Democratic rivals.

Politically astute, politically tough, politically
adept...Do not dimiss him Dean...I often remember the
story above Rove standing up at a July 4th parade and
cheering on a contingent of Dean supporters, Rove said
"He's the one we want!" Well, I think Rove might have
been doing what scared people do...whistling in the
dark...Clark/Dean, Dean/Clark. It's a strong
combination either way, not directly in relation to
the Electoral College (they both have challenges in
that regard), but directly in relation to the twin
engines of 2004 anxiety -- the war (Clark) and the
economy (Dean), and most importantly, such a ticket
would directly address the bully in the playground
issue, someone has to stand up to the Little Dictator,
and these two have...

Sacramento Bee: "He is as angry as a lot of the rest of us," said Peter Greenough, a Manhattan businessman who attended the rally at the park on 42nd Street and who wrote a $250 check to Dean's campaign.


Taking Bush head-on, Dean is riding high: His 'fire in the belly' is drawing fervent support from war critics -- and increasing attacks from his Democratic rivals.
By Rob Hotakainen -- Bee Washington Bureau
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Monday, October 27, 2003
Second in a series of profiles on the 2004 Democratic
presidential candidates that will appear on Mondays.

NEW YORK -- After making her way to the front of the
crowd of 10,000 people at Manhattan's Bryant Park,
Heather Palazzo, 32, let out a scream: "I touched

Then the desktop publisher from New Haven, Conn.,
explained her delight in making contact with Howard
Dean, the former governor of Vermont: "He has a ton of
charisma! He's very sexy!"

Plenty of folks are trying to get their hands on Dean
these days, particularly his Democratic rivals for the
party's 2004 presidential nomination. Polls show that
Dean has emerged at the top of the Democratic heap,
and that means fending off attacks.

They're coming from all sides.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts says Dean is out to
raise taxes.

Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri says he once wanted to
cut Medicare.

And Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut suggests that
Dean is too liberal and would lead the party back into
the "political wilderness."

Dean's fight for the nomination grew more complicated
when another Washington outsider, retired Gen. Wesley
Clark, entered the race. But Dean has a strong
organization and plenty of money.

Dean, who describes himself as "a common-sense
moderate," says his fellow Democrats "have had the
greatest time" running against him.

"First they said I was George McGovern and I couldn't
win, and now they're saying I'm Newt Gingrich and I
couldn't win," Dean said at a recent debate.

Dean's supporters are confident that he will survive.
They say Dean, a physician before he entered politics,
is the only candidate with any real passion for taking
on President Bush and his policies.

"He is as angry as a lot of the rest of us," said
Peter Greenough, a Manhattan businessman who attended
the rally at the park on 42nd Street and who wrote a
$250 check to Dean's campaign.

As an anti-war candidate, Dean has surged as
opposition to the war in Iraq has grown. He calls it
"a mistaken war" and says the Democratic Party
establishment "rolled over and provided no opposition"
when Congress authorized the use of military force in
October 2002.

Dean, who says his campaign is based on "mouse pads,
shoe leather and hope," last week became the first
Democratic candidate to visit all 99 of Iowa's

And from July through September, he raised nearly $15
million, a single-quarter record for any Democratic
presidential candidate.

"There's no doubt about it. ... All objective evidence
clearly points to Dean as the front-runner," said
Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University
of Virginia.

According to Dean, 168,000 Americans gave him money
during the three-month period, in contributions
averaging $73.69. Half of his third-quarter donations
were raised on the Internet, which Dean is using to
mobilize his troops as he seeks to register from 3
million to 4 million new voters.

Dean jokes that this time the candidate who receives
the most votes will actually be elected president.

"That is the way that we are going to take back our
country, is to give the 50 percent of the people in
this country who have given up on politics a reason to
vote again," says Dean.

Dean, 54, was born to wealth in New York City and grew
up in East Hampton on Long Island. His father worked
as a stockbroker, his mother as an art appraiser.
After he graduated from Yale, he and his wife, Judith
Steinberg, ran an internal medicine practice before
Dean entered politics. That happened in 1980, when
Dean volunteered for Jimmy Carter's re-election

In 1982, Dean was elected to the Vermont House, where
he served until 1986, when he was elected lieutenant
governor. In 1991, when Gov. Richard Snelling died,
Dean became the state's chief executive, serving as
governor until January 2003.

In 2000, Dean gained national attention when he signed
a civil unions bill that gave gay couples the benefits
of marriage. And under Dean's leadership, Vermont, the
second-smallest state in the nation, began providing
access to health care to all children under 18.

He was known as a fiscal watchdog, cutting income
taxes and reducing the state's long-term debt.

Dean calls the Bush presidency "a credit-card
presidency," and he is promising to balance the
budget, something he did with regularity as governor
of Vermont. He says the president doesn't know how to
manage money, as evidenced by a deficit that's
approaching a half-trillion dollars per year.

"The fact is that no Republican president in the last
34 years has balanced the budget," Dean says. "If you
want to trust your hard-earned taxpaying dollars to
the federal government, you better hire a Democrat,
because you can't trust a Republican."

Dean throws out plenty of red meat for partisans at
his rallies.

He says Bush has lost nearly 3 million U.S. jobs since
becoming president, giving him the worst record since
Herbert Hoover. He says the United States needs an
energy policy that seeks more than drilling for oil in
national parks, a reference to Bush's proposal to
allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

He links Bush to the Enron scandal, saying Bush
provided plenty of help for "(former Enron Chairman)
Ken Lay and the boys." And he says Bush likes to "talk
so big about those tax cuts for the fat cats." If Dean
is elected president, he says, he'll get rid of those
tax breaks.

"The next time we have a tax cut, it's going to go to
middle-class and working people, and not the Ken Lays
of the world," he says.

The middle class is paying for the tax cuts with
higher property taxes and higher college tuition, Dean
says. And the United States should be spending more on
education, homeland security, roads, bridges and
renewable energy, among other things, he says.

Dean backs abortion rights. He wants to raise the
minimum wage to $6.65 an hour (from $5.15), spend more
on health insurance and special education, repeal all
of the Bush tax cuts and increase taxes on
corporations. In 1973, he said, corporations paid 40
percent of federal tax revenues, but the corporate
contribution declined to 16.8 percent last year.

At a speech at Georgetown University in Washington,
D.C., in mid-October, Dean announced his economic
plan, which includes a $100 billion "Fund to Restore
America." It aims to create 1 million new jobs by
distributing money to states and cities that have been
hardest hit by the economic downturn. Dean says his
top domestic priority is putting people back to work.

Dean is trying to broaden his base beyond Democrats.
He says the ailing economy is making that easier to

"There's so many Republicans that are worried about
what's going on that we're actually seeing Republicans
come to our rallies," says Dean.

At a rally in Falls Church, Va., just outside
Washington, 22-year-old Matt Larkin, a student from
Seattle, scrambled to get near the front of the stage
to pose for a photograph with Dean after the candidate
gave his speech. Larkin considers himself an
independent voter and said he supported Bush in 2000,
but that could change.

"I don't agree with Bush on a lot of things," he said.
Of Dean, he said: "I like the passion. I like the fact
that he can get a crowd going. You know, that really
gets me excited."

In 2000, many Democrats worried that Al Gore was too
stiff. Dean supporters say their candidate can create
a buzz.

"Howard Dean is the only candidate who is actually
making the Democratic Party exciting again," said Rep.
Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

Ron Taylor, 56, a biochemist from Charlottesville,
Va., said Dean is creating such a big buzz because of
his courage in taking on Bush, and his honesty.

"There's an awful lot of passion for Dean," said
Taylor, who also saw Dean speak at the Falls Church
rally. "If you look around, this is not a bunch of
left-wing flower-power type of people. This is
mainstream America that's disgusted with Bush's

"I feel like there's some hope," said Marty Cathcart,
55, a high school administrator from Washington, D.C.,
who attended the Falls Church rally. "I haven't been
to a campaign rally for 20 years. There's something
about this guy. He's the only person who came out
against the war. That was the biggie that attracted my

Dean says he's no pacifist. He supported the Persian
Gulf War in 1991, he says, because a U.S. ally had
been attacked. And he says that launching war in
Afghanistan was the right thing to do after more than
3,000 Americans were killed in the attacks of Sept.
11, 2001.

"This time, the president told us that Saddam Hussein
was making a deal with Osama bin Laden," says Dean,
referring to an alleged link between Iraq and
al-Qaida. "That turned out not to be true. He told us
that Iraq was buying uranium from Africa. That turned
out not to be true."

As commander in chief, Dean says he would be willing
to use U.S. troops, but adds: "I will never send our
sons and daughters and our brothers and sisters to die
in a foreign country without being truthful to the
American people."

While Dean's position on Iraq is energizing the
party's liberal base, his position on guns is making
many liberals nervous. He believes states, not the
federal government, should have the main
responsibility for controlling guns.

When Dean went to Georgetown, Isaac Halpern, 23, a
second-year graduate student from Philadelphia,
greeted him with a sign that read: "NRA-powered

"We want students to really understand Howard Dean's
position on guns," said Halpern, who's supporting
Kerry. "He doesn't bring up his record on guns."

Indeed, Dean made no mention of guns at Georgetown or
at his rallies in New York and Falls Church.

"I'd prefer a little bit stricter gun control, but
there's no such thing as a candidate that agrees with
every single thing you think," said Andrew Bleeker,
18, of McLean, Va.

But many Dean supporters say his position on guns will
help when the campaign moves beyond Iowa and New

"If people in the South realize that he's not opposed
to the right to own guns and that his philosophy is
less regulation ... that's not a liberal stance," said
Greenough, the Manhattan businessman. "There are lots
of people in New York City who would say that's

As a front-runner, Dean is coming under intense
scrutiny on his record, and he has been forced to play
defense in recent debates.

After Kerry said Dean was out to raise taxes, Dean
accused Kerry of using misleading numbers. And when
Gephardt suggested that Dean might tinker with
Medicare, Dean shot back that Gephardt was engaging in
"the politics of the past."

Paul Perry, 18, a student at American University in
Washington, D.C., said it's no surprise that other
Democratic candidates are trying to gang up on Dean.

"The electorate wants a Democrat who's willing to
represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,
and that's what Dean is," said Perry. "He's not Kerry.
He's not Lieberman. He's not these other candidates
who are trying to be Bush Lite."

Dean borrowed his trademark line -- that he represents
the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party -- from
the late Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota,
who said that too many Democrats have been behaving
like Republicans.

When Dean first used the line, leaders of the centrist
Democratic Leadership Council pounced on him, saying
that wing of the party represents the
"McGovern-Mondale" wing. That's a reference to the
party's losing nominees in 1972 and 1984, McGovern and
former Vice President Walter Mondale of Minnesota.

Dean's supporters say it's wrong to describe him as
just another Northeastern liberal, such as Michael
Dukakis, the former governor of Massachusetts and the
party's failed 1988 presidential nominee.

"Dukakis didn't have a passionate bone in his body,
and Howard Dean has fire in his belly," said John
Clewett, 53, a former arts administrator from Falls
Church. He said the notion that Dean can't be elected
is "a right-wing red herring."

Sabato attributed Dean's rise to his opposition to the
war, his ability to connect with Democratic activists
and his status as a Washington outsider.

"As we've learned in modern times, governors have
major advantages, just being disconnected from
Washington," Sabato said.

But with the general election a year away, Dean faces
a challenge in keeping the excitement of his campaign
going. Much will depend on how he fares in Iowa and
New Hampshire, where voters go to the polls in

If he wins one of those states, Sabato said, it will
give Dean even more momentum: "The question is always,
'Is it Big Mo? Or is it Little Mo?' "

Howard Dean
Born: Nov. 17, 1948, in New York City; grew up in East
Hampton, N.Y.
Hometown: Burlington, Vt.

Education: Bachelor's degree, Yale University, 1971;
medical degree, Albert Einstein College of Medicine,
New York City, 1978.

Career: Completed medical school in three years rather
than the traditional four and was sent to Vermont for
his residency in 1978. In 1981, opened his medical
practice in Shelburne, Vt., with another doctor. His
wife, Dr. Judith Steinberg, joined the practice in
1985. Dean entered politics in 1980 as a volunteer for
Jimmy Carter. Served in Vermont House, 1982-86.
Elected lieutenant governor in 1986. Became governor
in 1991 on death of Gov. Richard Snelling. Re-elected
five times and served until January 2003.

Family: Met his wife at medical school. The Deans have
two children, Anne, who attends Yale, and Paul, a high
school senior.

Campaign Web site: www.DeanForAmerica.com

- Bee Washington Bureau

Posted by richard at October 28, 2003 07:17 AM