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Governor Howard Dean, until two weeks ago considered all but a lock for the Democratic nomination for President, explains his stunning defeat in Iowa:
Howard Dean said Saturday he was surprised by the "under the table" campaigning he faced during the Iowa caucus and said the state needs to prevent such negative attacks if it wants to keep the nation's leadoff presidential vote.
Dean said his rivals "had their folks really beating up on the people who went in, trying to get them to change their minds in caucus." ... Asked Saturday for specifics about the negative attacks, Dean pointed to a book distributed by North Carolina Sen. John Edwards' campaign that instructed supporters how to attack other candidates during the caucuses. For example, it told campaign captains in Iowa to describe Dean as an "elitist from Park Avenue in New York City."
"I never dreamed that would happen," Dean said. "And I don't think that's a healthy thing for democracy. It's enough to have it go on for weeks and weeks in the press, but when it goes on inside the caucus, I don't think that's good," he said.
Dean, you may recall, started the negative campaigning months ago, attacking his fellow Democratic candidates as late as this very week by labeling them Washington insiders, implying that they were not trustworthy. As he has so often demonstrated during his campaign, Dean has a very thin skin -- reminiscent of Jesse Ventura in my neck of the woods -- and comes across as a crybaby when he complains. If he thinks that crying in New Hampshire is a winning strategy, perhaps he should read up on Ed Muskie's adventures in the Granite State in 1972.
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