Both this Boston Globe article and this and Knight-Ridder report are useful in figuring out what happened to Dean. He has retooled his message and his delivery (and what he wears) a couple of times in the last few weeks. A clear sign that he is off balance. His yelling and shouting, not only at Bush and the war, but at the Democratic establishment (which includes candidates against him in the primary) was insufficient. Although it got him noticed, folks seemed to have realized that, somehow, this is not enough to get them to vote for him. Among other things, this indicates that the anti-war sentiment is much more mild than we have been led to think by the manner in which the press reported Deans harrangues against the war and Bush. The origin of his tactical mistake was (dont laugh) getting Al Gore to endorse him. Gore was in the same take no prisoners, Bush is a vile man, etc. mode. Why was this supposed to be helpful? Did someone assume that the last Democratic candidate for president was much belowed by the people? Please. Did Deans people think that now that Gore has turned hard-left and anti-war (always anti-Bush, of course), his endorsement would be helpful? Oddly, the period of Deans demise will be circumscribed by two book-ends, the Gore endorsement and attending church with Jimmy Carter (another very popular Democrat!) on Sunday. Das ist alles! Gephardt will win in Iowa.
Peter, Deans sound and fury certainly did signify something, but sadly, it wasnt fidelity among Iowa voters. I think the slow down by the Dean ship is not only due to the bluster going out of the sails, however, but also a persistant nagging by Dems that,"Sure, hes fun, but shouldnt we pick someone whos actually electable in the national election?" In that sense, Dean is the the one you dally with until the right one comes along-different, loud, fun- but ultimately Dean will never make that trip to the alter. Poor Howard is just not the marrying kind, or, as Andrew Sullivan might prefer, Mad How No Vows.