Alarming News

September 30, 2004

What if.

I think Howard Dean would’ve made for tougher competition than John Kerry. Yes, he made some people (example #1, example #2) run screaming from the Democratic party but I don’t see these people returning to vote for John Kerry anyway. Dean would’ve had, at least, a position on Iraq that a majority of people can understand: he was against it, period. Peter Beinart looks at other benefits that Dean would’ve had.

Posted by Karol at 12:48 PM |

I have read these articles and other ones kicking around how Dean would have done. I think the selection of Dean would have led to a lot of division in the Democratic Party and people sitting home. I suspect Murray, Dacschle, Lincoln, Bowles, Castor and other Senate candidates would have gone out of their way to avoid being linked to the ticket. Remember, the more people saw Dean, the more they did not like him. Even before his scream, he was done. I suspect he would have bombed in the debates as well. And there were other issues, such as marriage, where he would have gotten in trouble.

Posted by: Von Bek at September 30, 2004 at 1:04 pm

I saw Dean speak last year. He gave a good performance with no strange antics. He seemed to know where he stood on issues and why GWB was wrong for the job. In particular, he seemed to have articulate views on the Middle East. The other people in the audience (mainly Democrats) were also impressed by him.
I think that the powers that be in the Democratic Party wanted someone who would not want to make major changes to Middle East policy and had military experience. They figured they could neutralize Bush on the military by Kerry’s record. Unfortunately for them, the strategy appears to have failed. Kerry has not defined the issues that separate him from Bush and as long as things don’t worsen in Iraq between now and Election Day, Bush will be re-elected.
It is quite possible that Dean would have lost anyway, but at least you would know the difference between the candidates. Even now, I have no clue what Kerry’s position is on Iraq.

Posted by: Dan at September 30, 2004 at 1:08 pm

Also, don’t underestimate how many apathetic people would have been motivated to vote.
Kerry isn’t exactly inspiring, but the left-of-the-Dems Left and the college kids *loved* Dean.

Posted by: Joe Grossberg at September 30, 2004 at 1:58 pm

Governors always run stronger than Senators. They’re more used to tough races, because each election comes down to “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?” Senators run on “I sponsored S. 110.” Who cares about S. 110? Just pull the lever for the incumbent.
Dean was torpedoed because his success scared Hillary. If he won the presidency, she wouldn’t get to run till 2012. Also he said he would replace MacAuliffe at the DNC, taking the purse strings away from the Clintons.

Posted by: Oschisms at September 30, 2004 at 3:43 pm

Joe Grossberg’s argument is what the Dean people kept saying during the final week in Iowa. Turned out, no previously apathetic people turned out to vote, and the people who loved Dean were the small, cocooned minority that populates the Daily Kos.
The elections are not about issues. They are choices between men. Howard Dean is a bad man, even more so than John Kerry. The more people saw him, the more they’d realize that.
We’d be on our way to a 49-state landslide if Dean were the candidate. If only…

Posted by: Mike at September 30, 2004 at 4:30 pm

I’m curious how small the “cocooned minority,” that Mike is talking about, really is. I very much agree on the “cocooned” part, but I know so many disaffected, left-leaning people! Very few of them are mad enough to be Daily Kos readers. They don’t usually vote, because they are too apathetic, but this election IS different.
I like the theory about how Hillary got scared of Dean’s success, but I’m not sure if she saw him as successful. Did it really look like he was gonna motivate the left-of-Dems/usual non-voters to get out and vote? Because the regular voters didn’t seem inspired by him at all.

Posted by: Ivan Lenin at September 30, 2004 at 5:47 pm
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