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... Howard Dean would have already dropped like a rock in the polls, based on the extraordinary number of gaffes he's already committed, such as his remarks after Saddam's capture. So far he's had a Teflon candidacy, but a couple of incidents yesterday may have put a big dent in his shields:
Under fire in a campaign debate, Howard Dean conceded Sunday night that he never named a black or Hispanic to his Cabinet during nearly 12 years as governor of Vermont. "If you want to lecture people on race, you ought to have the background and track record to do that," Al Sharpton snapped at the Democratic presidential front-runner in an emotionally charged exchange in the final debate before next Monday's Iowa caucuses. ...
"You keep talking about race," the former street activist chided Dean when he had a turn to ask a question. He said that not one "black or brown held a senior position, not one. . . . It seems as though you've discovered blacks and browns in this campaign."
Dean bristled at that and said it was untrue. He said he had had "senior members" of his staff who were minorities, but Sharpton cut him off and said he was asking about his Cabinet, which has fewer members.
"No, we did not," conceded Dean, whose state has a population that is nearly 98 percent white.
Carol Mosely-Braun let him off the hook, but he still wound up looking rather foolish. To top that off, he managed to get rude with a voter, abeit a Republican, later on (via Blogs for Bush):
"Please tone down the garbage, the mean mouthing, the tearing down of your neighbor and being so pompous," Ungerer told the former Vermont governor and Democratic front-runner. "You should help your neighbor and not tear him down."
"George Bush is not my neighbor," Dean replied.
"Yes, he is," Ungerer said, to which Dean responded: "You sit down. You've had your say and now I'm going to have my say."
Spoken like a true ... doctor, as Marjorie Williams notes in her column:
The man is a doctor. This is the least-examined chapter of his career. But suddenly it all makes sense: Where else but in medicine do you find men and women who never admit a mistake? Who talk more than they listen, and feel entitled to withhold crucial information? Whose lack of tact in matters of life and death might disqualify them for any other field?
Read all of Williams' excellent and entertaining column. Little by little, Dean the man is sneaking past Dean the packaged candidate, and perhaps the media is prepared to finally start reporting it. Perhaps.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on January 13, 2004 6:10 PM
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