Don’t Count Him Out of the Race Just Yet

by on January 23rd, 2004

Here’s a question. Who did you think I was talking about when you read that headline?

Howard Dean has had a pretty solid week redeeming himself, even if all of us in our own minds have dismissed him as a Presidential Candidate at one point or another. But the funny thing about dismissing someone is that, no matter how many times you do it, if the candidate keeps coming back, he hasn’t been quite dismissed.

The media has been freaking out more about Howard Dean this week than Howard Dean freaked out in Iowa. Chris Matthews on Hardball has truly set a record by dismissing him on average about 50-60 times each night. But the problem with repeated dismissals is that usually something is on that is perpetuating the story.

It’s pretty easy to dismiss controversial Presidential Candidates that nobody cares about. Joe Lieberman, easily the most conservative Democratic candidate in the race, should be theoretically controversial to his Democratic base -largely for his almost total support for the War in Iraq, and for his almost unqualified approval of the way his potential opponent George W. Bush has conducted it.


Dennis Kucinich is apparently turning his campaign into a contest to see which supporter can put an end to end his Bachelorhood. Plus, holding up those graphs for all the nation of see on National Public Radio sure was ditzy.

How to pronounce his name again?

The simple fact is that Howard Dean somehow generates a hell of a lot of interest, and people’s curiosity tends to gravitate towards people who generate interest. Bill Clinton’s rise in popularity in the ’92 Democratic primaries can be correlated to when the Gennifer Flowers story broke. Why is that?

John Kerry just pulled off a big upset in Iowa. But beyond the usual banalities about the Kerry insurgency the next day, he has been almost completely overshadowed by Dean’s concession speech in Iowa.

That has got to be the first time in my memory that a concession speech has generated more interest than a win in any state.

And let’s face it, Bush’s State of the Union was almost completely dismissed the day after it happened, because…

Howard Dean screamed while making a speech.

He was mocked by Letterman. He was on Letterman. He did the lovey-dovey thing with his wife for Diane Sawyer and the whole country to see.

Because he screamed while making a speech.

This speech has generated about 50-60 remixes (some done by professional DJ’s, some not) setting portions of the speech to tunes like “Crazy Train” and “Welcome to the Jungle.”

Interesting? Well, to somebody out there it is.

Edward E.J. Davis