Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Dean that I saw 

[I wasn't in New Hampshire, but when I heard Dean speak in Philly, he was this good. Warm, funny, quick, and with a knack for crystallizing the issues in one sentence.]

David Barry of Philly's own City Paper here:

The onstage Dean isn't even remotely like the stiff-necked quasi-zealot I've heard about. This Dean is genial, outgoing and quick to grin. He begins by saying voters are choosing between a change of presidents (dumping Bush for any Democrat) or changing America (dumping Bush for Dean).

He then lists the horrors Bush has visited on America. The destruction of the economy, with additional trillion-dollar tax benefits to the rich coming. The ravaging of health care to benefit the drug companies.

The stance is much like what Kerry and Edwards say, but the record should show Dean said it first. Not only that, but this appearance indicates that he says it much better.

Dean reminds the crowd he takes money only from supporters, like the people in this gym.

"The only people I'm going to owe when I'm elected are you," he says, noting that he's not beholden to insurance or drug companies.

He then reminds everyone that he was the only leading candidate against war in Iraq when Congress passed its resolution.

"I don't think we're going to beat a guy with $200 million in his campaign chest by not standing up for what we believe in," he declares. "[Bush] promises us a trip to Mars, which I think he should take."

Dean gets a huge laugh and ovation but continues without missing a beat. The speech builds, gradually raising passion in the audience. His timing is impeccable; his speaking fluid and convincing. Before long, Dean jokes about his "Iowa scream." After reciting another litany of Bush administration horrors he quietly says, "You know, sometimes when I think about George Bush, I could just scream."

A huge laugh, of course, morphs into a roar of applause before returning to laughter and a smile from Dean, who fares much better in front of an audience than during television interviews.

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

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