Yesterday I was watching a political roundtable on CNN. It featured Peter Beinart of the New Republic, Donna Brazille (Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000), National Review’s Jonah Goldberg and some guy from the conservative rag The Weekly Standard.
The question came up about Howard Dean and his fundraising prowess. Beinart and Brazille poo-poohed it, saying Dean was going to have to tilt back towards the center to avoid alienating the electorate. Goldberg and the other conservative hack started off by saying, if Howard Dean is the Democratic candidate in 2004, Bush is going to win 45 states, and that the Democrats would be smart to choose someone more moderate. What was interesting was that Goldberg then immediately conceded that Dean was actually quite the centrist, but had been absolutely wrong on the war.
Then I read this on Drudge, where Dean is supposedly going to dump Terry McAuliffe after he wins New Hampshire, and quotes a senior Dean campaign advisor as the source. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see anyone in the Dean campaign going to Drudge to drop juicy quotes.
Then we have this story about Karl Rove claiming to be delighted with the prospects of a Dean candidacy.
Why all the attention on Howard Dean? I think the Bush Cartel is genuinely concerned about the prospects of a Candidate Dean. The man is blunt and would mop the floor with Bush in a debate. Try as they might to paint him as the “new McGovern”, the man is a centrist and the biggest threat. By pooh-poohing him and saying yeah, he’s exactly who we want to face in the 2004 election, Rove & Co are trying to play mind games with the Dems.
It’s my opinion that Howard Dean scares the bejeebus out of the Republicans. If he’s such a weak candidate, why all the attention? Why the mind games?