Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

December 8, 2003

by J

Dean Smacks Woodruff

Dean was on Inside Politics today with a pre-taped interview by Judy Woodruff. CNN's marketers may not be completely clueless -- they divided the segment so that some came early and some came late in the show -- keeps the Deanies watching instead of just turning off the television after the Dean interview is finished. I didn't see it, only read the transcript, but it looks like Dean got in a couple of good smacks -- deservedly so. Woodruff has been nothing but contemptuous of Dean in every interview I've seen.
WOODRUFF: At the same time, Governor, I'm sure you know the Republicans are already starting to talk about the fact that you -- I think by your own acknowledgment, left the Episcopal Church in some dispute over a bike path, and you switched to another denomination, the Congregationalist denomination.

They're asking what does this say about the depth of your commitment to your own faith? [Uh, didn't Dubya switch denominations to join Laura's church? Did Judy ever ask him about that? Nooooo...]

DEAN: You know what it really says? It says the Republicans are talking like they're out of the Pharisees. Because if you're a Christian, you're a Christian. I don't believe it ought to matter what kind of a denomination you are.

So people who talk like that are what Jesus would call the Pharisees. And I think that's enough of that kind of stuff in the Republican Party. We are all in this together.

[...] WOODRUFF: And you don't believe, Governor, the Republicans are going to have a field day with comments like these?

DEAN: The Republicans always have a field day with things like this. That's the reason Democrats lose, is because they're so afraid of the Republicans having a field day with comments like this or like that, that they never make any comments. [Ha! Touche!]

[...] [Woodruff tried to pick at the stupid draft thing one more time and whether he has sufficient liberal guilt over it -- Dean stomped on her but good -- maybe someone on the staff reads VJ, because we talked about this here in a comments thread recently...] WOODRUFF: But we know today there were people who went to Vietnam who had back pain.

DEAN: So your argument is that I could have lied to the draft board and gotten in. [High Five!]

WOODRUFF: No, I'm -- no. That's not what I'm -- [sputter, sputter] I'm just asking if you have any twinge of any feeling about it.

DEAN: I have a lot of twinge about the terrible policy that sent our young people to Vietnam for an exercise that turned out not to be justified, as we're doing right now in Iraq. Yes, I have twinges about that.
Good job, Guv. I feel another donation coming on right now!
Posted by J at December 8, 2003 09:41 PM | TrackBack

Oh my GAWD, that man has a kidney waiting for him in California if he ever needs one.

Posted by: Janis at December 8, 2003 11:04 PM

Make it two.

Then again, let's not be redundant. It's pretty clear he already HAS guts.

Posted by: Daniel A. Munz at December 9, 2003 12:27 AM

Dean: "One thing I feel about religion, you have to be very careful not to be a hypocrite if you're a religious person. It is really tough to preach one thing and do something else. And I don't think you can do that."

I'm not sure he is very religious, or his last sentence would have read "I don't think *I or they* can do that." This is going to be a very big issue on the campaign trail as time passes. Dean sounds like a gospel preacher on the stump but he's going to have to go much deeper into his religious views in the future.

Posted by: Scott at December 9, 2003 07:57 AM

Deeper how? What should he say? How deep did Reagan go on his personal religious beliefs? Bush I? Not to mention that Bush II talks the talk but certainly doesn't walk the walk, so any attacks based on religion will backfire. Dean fights back, remember.

True Christians will respect Dean's beliefs that religion is a personal issue. The Pharisees and the fundies would never vote for him anyway.

No litmus tests -- Dean's upended plenty of CW so far, I hope he continues to do so. I'm tired of the hypocritical sanctimony.

Posted by: J at December 9, 2003 12:03 PM

My point is: he says he's religious. Is he? Many voters do/will care about this.

Posted by: Scott at December 9, 2003 03:04 PM

And my point is what could he say that would "prove" that he is?

If someone goes after him for not being overtly religious enough, then he just turns it around and says he believes that religion is a personal thing and not something he uses to promote his political career. Of course, Dean will turn it around better than that, but it can be done. . .

Posted by: J at December 9, 2003 03:16 PM

His comments don't jive. I think Howard Dean is spiritual in all the right ways, but I'm not sure he's religious. But he claimed he was, so...I'm just pleading for him to be straight in the future. If he is being straight and I'm wrong in the interpretation, I accept the blame.

Posted by: at December 9, 2003 03:53 PM

Well, now you're raising a semantic question about the difference between "spiritual" and "religious." Does it make any sense at all for a U.S. presidential candidate in 2003 to start that debate?

Posted by: J at December 9, 2003 05:14 PM


To me it's a matter of semantics, for voters I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm just being contrarian. :)
Or maybe not.

Posted by: Scott at December 9, 2003 07:57 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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