Reality?

Reality?
: Glenn Reynolds delivers his eulogy for Howard Dean:

I’ll actually miss him. I’m pretty sure that he would have been a disaster as a President, or even as a general-election candidate. I disagreed with him on most stuff, I think, and certainly about his signature issue, the war. But he did have a genuineness that the other candidates lacked, and I liked him for that.

I don’t agree that he was genuine.

People said that when he was a governor, he was a centrist and a reasonable man.

He created a new persona and new worldview in his (tatically mistaken) effort to win the nomination: He moved himself left; he moved himself back toward the center when he thought he’d exploited the war sufficiently to become frontrunner; he made himself in to America’s new angry (not) young man.

That’s just why I didn’t trust him, because I couldn’t be sure which was the real Dean.

  • standa

    Reynolds Who Get’s It – obviously not you. You pundits are so arrogrant and self serving it’s really quite amusing.
    OP-ED COLUMNIST
    Who Gets It?
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/16/opinion/16KRUG.html?hp
    Published: January 16, 2004
    Earlier this week, Wesley Clark had some strong words about the state of the nation. “I think we’re at risk with our democracy,” he said. “I think we’re dealing with the most closed, imperialistic, nastiest administration in living memory. They even put Richard Nixon to shame.”
    In other words, the general gets it: he understands that America is facing what Kevin Phillips, in his remarkable new book, “American Dynasty,” calls a “Machiavellian moment.” Among other things, this tells us that General Clark and Howard Dean, whatever they may say in the heat of the nomination fight, are on the same side of the great Democratic divide.
    Most political reporting on the Democratic race, it seems to me, has gotten it wrong. Some journalists do, of course, insist on trivializing the whole thing: what I dread most, in the event of an upset in Iowa, is the return of reporting about the political significance of John Kerry’s hair.
    But even those who refrain from turning political reporting into gossip have used the wrong categories. Again and again, one reads that it’s about the left wing of the Democratic party versus the centrists; but Mr. Dean was a very centrist governor, and his policy proposals are not obviously more liberal than those of his rivals.
    The real division in the race for the Democratic nomination is between those who are willing to question not just the policies but also the honesty and the motives of the people running our country, and those who aren’t.
    What makes Mr. Dean seem radical aren’t his policy positions but his willingness

  • http://youngcurmudgeon.typepad.com Eric Deamer

    You pundits are so arrogrant and self serving it’s really quite amusing. Now let me show you this Paul Krugman column . . .

  • Trevor

    Eric, the only better irony than the one you pointed out, is the fact that your two line comment was far more insightful than the cut-and-paste diatribe.
    Jeff, I think you nailed it in regards to Dean. I was born and raised in VT (I moved away seven years ago, but my family still lives there, and I still follow the politics,) and I watched enough of him to see that he was a low-key governor during his entire tenure. All of a sudden, he’s the fire-breathing Dean we’ve seen on the campaign trail? I get the fact that a candidate has to adapt to the situation, but Dean selling himself as a man of change is a farce.

  • Dan the Man

    “…no tool is better than the hand that holds it.”
    Glenn, that’s some metaphor. This beats (no pun intended) anything that Dean or Clinton would ever say.
    DH

  • Judith

    I wouldn’t have called Dean “genuine” either, although I do think he’s a genuine Narcissist. His campaign was always and only about him and getting people to join in making it about him. He *could* switch positions because he didn’t give a damn about anything — not Saddam’s capture, not the auspices for a trial of bin Laden — except himself.
    Additionally, he *had* to switch positions to get the mirror (that is, the audience of the day) to admire him from all and any angle.
    His blather about “change” was a completely empty concept — and the only content would have been “change from them to me.”
    Without any kind of political vision and making himself his own raison d’etre, he was completely vulnerable to attacks on him as a person and questions about his “temperament.” The “scream” moment was way overdone by the media — but they zeroed in on it because it was about his personality and he had made himself the subject of his campaign. And he had nothing to fall back on or bolster him when he let himself down. He wasn’t about anything, except himself.
    As shallow as our political conversation gets sometimes, it’s at least about more than one guy’s identity.

  • Ebb Tide

    It also shows how CLOSE we came to BUYING a candidate after a successful marketing campaign… but luckily it seems there was enough time for the people of Iowa and New Hampshire to read between the lines and inspect the product with their intellect and not just from Media Gloss (magazine covers) …. from the discussions I have seen on TV the dems wanted to FRONT LOAD the primary season in order to quickly get to a main candidate as soon as possible…. look at how dead-as-a-door-nail Kerry was…. that was pretty darn close, for my tastes, to have someone like Dean game the system, and almost win with no real message at all except anger and change for his mantra. I am sorry that Lieberman dropped out before my primary, I wanted to vote for him…. I would have never voted for Dean.

  • http://www.rogerlsimon.com Roger L. Simon

    What does Dean mean politically: zero.
    What will we see of him in the futre: very little except for a brief appearance at the convention.
    What will he mean historically: Not much. A pioneer in internet political fund-raising, sort of a footnote to the guy (or is it a gal?) who invented direct mailers.

  • http://radio.weblogs.com/0107946 ed cone

    I like(d) Dean. Thought he was genuine and well-intentioned. I agree(d) with other candidates more on some issues and points of focus, didn’t think Dean had the Q-rating to win… But I remain confused by your contempt for him, Jeff.

  • lk

    “That’s just why I didn’t trust him, because I couldn’t be sure which was the real Dean.”
    Bush, on the other hand, appears very real, dumb, maybe even REALly dumb, but real.

  • John Irving

    lk, feel free to speak up again when you display your Harvard MBA.

  • Ebb Tide

    here is an interesting article about Dean’s campaign on Salon (you have to sit through a web ad to see the whole article):
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2004/02/19/dean_drops_out/index.html

  • chet

    Regarding his “genuineness”: did I imagine it or was Dean’s spontaneous sleeve-roll up in Iowa pre-planned: he didn’t unbutton his cuffs before yanking his sleeves up.

  • Joe Peden

    I don’t read Krugman anymore, because he is an imbecile. But at least he’s smarter than Dean, who is essentially diseased — really, certifiably, signed-sealed-and-delivered, genuinely diseased.
    Alternatively, we could just say, “Dean is an airhead”, where Methane gas has come to hold sway.

  • lk

    John Irving
    One can only comment on Bush if one has a Harvard MBA. Well, the silence is going to be deafening. Yes, Bush is dumb, and has used family throughout his life to advance. I come from a long line of poor white trash, and he’s dumber than me (or I, me can never remember the correct usage, I should take lessons from W in his mangling of the language).

  • http://www.citycynic.com/ Anthony

    I don’t think you are being arrogant and self-serving, but you just don’t seem to get what Howard Dean is all about and how he shaped the presidential race and influenced how all the Democratic contenders are running their campaigns.
    Many writers and analysts in both parties in the past week have recognized the contribution to politics Howard Dean has made and the movement he has created. I think you should rethink things and do a little more research on the man. :)

  • Angus Jung

    “I don’t think you are being arrogant and self-serving, but you just don’t seem to get what Howard Dean is all about and how he shaped the presidential race and influenced how all the Democratic contenders are running their campaigns.”
    Beats winning, huh?