Howard Dean Phenomenon

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 3 14:31:51 MDT 2003


Another good analysis of Howard Dean, this one from Normon Solomon:

http://www.fair.org/media-beat/030626.html

Some excerpts from the article:

After seven years as governor, the Associated Press described Dean as "a
moderate at best on social issues and a clear conservative on fiscal
issues." The news service added: "This is, after all, the governor who has
at times tried to cut benefits for the aged, blind and disabled, whose No. 1
priority is a balanced budget."

When Dean officially announced his presidential campaign on June 23, some
news stories identified him with the left. It's a case of mistaken identity.
"He's really a classic Rockefeller Republican -- a fiscal conservative and
social liberal," according to University of Vermont political scientist
Garrison Nelson.

As a fiscal conservative, Dean is aligned with the status quo of extreme
inequities. That alignment was on display during a pair of June 22
appearances.

In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Dean delivered a one-two punch
against economic justice. He advocated raising the retirement age for Social
Security, and he called for slowing down the rate of increases for Medicare
spending.

Later in the day, at a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition forum, Dean went out of his
way to emphasize support for out-of-control military spending after a rival
candidate, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, said that "the only way we're really going
to close the (digital) divide in this country is to start cutting the
Pentagon budget and put that money into education." Dean's response: "I
don't agree with Dennis about cutting the Pentagon budget when we're in the
middle of a difficulty with terror attacks."

The next day, at his official campaign kickoff, Dean gave a 26-minute speech
and didn't mention Iraq at all. It was a remarkable performance from someone
who has spent much of the last year pitching himself as some kind of
anti-war candidate.

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