Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is among the Democrats running for the 2004 nomination. He recently granted a very interesting interview with the Advocate with comments I believe will spark some interest in discussing his candidacy.
A couple of excerpts:
Much of the Advocate interview is not available in the online link above. A few excerpts retyped from the print version (much longer than the online one):
There’s much more in the print version, including his personal conversion from someone who did not understand and had no handle on the motivations of gay people, to someone who came in contact with them extensively during the “civil union” fight and grew to understand them better. One more quick excerpt:
I think what will be interesting is how much of the gay community supports him because of one plank. Lord knows a lot of us drooled over Clinton at first. For myself, the proof is, as they say, in the pudding.
Priam, I’m considering supporting him because of where he stands on various issues, like health care, education, his straightforward stance on Republican fiscal irresponsibility, abortion, and defense. I’m not as impressed by his position on gun laws.
It’s refreshing to see someone run who’s not apologetic about being a Democrat.
I’m not saying many won’t support him because of reasons beyond his gay rights plank, but its been my experience that the gay community is very willing to latch onto and support candidates simply because they are gay supportive.
I myself am considering my support for him as well, so don’t think I hate the man or anything.
If I may weigh in here, as a former VT resident. I lived in Vermont for almost the entire tenure of this man a governor. I can say that I will be supporting him 100%. I found him to be moderate, fiscally responsible and plain spoken. Also, during the time of the whole Civil Union debate, I found that he did an excellent job of keeping things from getting ugly.
Also, from the reading that I have been doing, it seems that he is faring quite well in the early stages of campaigning and so I think that he may have a shot.
To be honest, I was feeling kind of depressed about the upcoming election until I discovered that he was running.
The Pubs would tear him apart with a “non-partisan” scorched earth campaign. Didn’t you hear he gets hand-jobs in a public stall back out behind the office? Shhh… you didn’t hear it from us… the mere association with gay rights would make it stick as a rumor, no matter how irrational. Gore got taken down several pegs by rumors that didn’t even have a common theme, much less veracity.
He doesn’t tow the line on the “defense of marriage.” Ergo, without some major shift in national attitudes, he can’t win any of the conservative to moderate states he would need to pick up to win. He’d be toast.
If he were more fiscally conservative and less into restricting other civil liberties, I might be more happy about voting for him. Guess it depends who he’s running against.
Pardon me for asking, but where on earth did that come from? I lived, as I stated, for many years under this man’s tenure as governor and found him to be quite fiscally conservative (to the point of this being cited as a fault against him during elections) and very much in favor of Civil Rights.
—I lived, as I stated, for many years under this man’s tenure as governor and found him to be quite fiscally conservative (to the point of this being cited as a fault against him during elections) and very much in favor of Civil Rights.—
I’m really fiscally conservative.
But then, social issues like civil equality, as well as leadership ability, generally mean more to me in the voting booth, since I despair that any candidate will in reality match my preferences.
I also draw a very big distinction between civil liberties and civil rights. They always the same, by a long shot.
Well, I like the fact he is straightforward, and he didn’t dodge around any questions; he does sound more Presidential than Bush. Still, I wouldn’t vote for him, as I disagree with his position on several key points - I don’t care either way about gay civil unions or marriages, this is a total non-issue to me, his webpage http://www.deanforamerica.com/dean.cfm?section=about&page=issues
says he supports universal health care, which I oppose; I like that he doesn’t want to make any more federal gun control laws, but dislike that he wants to keep the Brady Bill and “assault weapon” ban, he is way too enviromentalist for me, and I disagree with him on almost every other issue. So while he seems to be a remarkably honest politician, there is no way in hell I would ever support or vote for him.
I like that Dean got out in front anti-war wise, which is what I like about Kucinish as well. Used to think Kerry might be a good choice, but I think he caved on the war issue, as did most of the other gutless Democrats. If this thing goes into the terlet, thats going to be tough on guys like Kerry who voted in favor of the war resolution.
However, there is an escape hatch: recent article, like the thread I posted about the uranium fiasco, suggest that some senators were “secretly briefed”, that is, lied to. Kerry might take cover under that and turn it against Bush even stronger.
Of course, this thing goes badly, Carrot Top could be Bush.
I actually did meet-and-greet Dean once at a government conference in Burlington (I actually know current gov of Vermont Jim Douglas, from sitting with him in some interstate gov’t committees back when he was Treasurer) and have then and otherwise been well-impressed with him. And it IS good to have someone to stand up for the ideologically liberal wing. But, yeah, the odds against him are appalling in this age.
If only Kerrey weren’t another New Englander they could make a cover-all-bases ticket (centrist top dog w. military record who supported the war + liberal-green veep who questioned it).
(Then again, it’s Vermont. A state that elects a socialist to Congress – and where you can pack concealed heat easier than almost anywhere else. I’d move there if it weren’t so GDMF cold in winter…)
I haven’t kept up too much on the '04 election at this point (the way the races have been starting earlier and earlier, I’m wondering why the '08 candidates haven’t thrown their hat in the ring: “Hi, I’m Tommy Thompson, you might remember me as the bungler at the head of HHS earlier in the decade, but for about 14 years I owned the great state of Wisconsin…”), but from the micro-snippets I’ve heard Dean seems the only Democrat who has established an identity outside of the rest of the gang of 40 other candidates. He does sound convicted in the things he says, but I think the same can be said of Bush as a candidate, and we know how he dropped the campaign identity once he took office. As of now he’d get my vote, but that’s not an endorsement of Dean so much as it’s a slap at the other spineless blobs. Personally, I’m waiting to see what Wesley Clark does.
Speaking as a judge of character and personality, and a registered republican, it’s Dean vs McCain for my vote. They… Well, frankly, I agree with them on about half their platform, and disagree on the other half, and it’s the opposite half for each of them. Which isn’t bad, considering the person in the white house right now comes up with about none, with high marks in “You’re freaking me out, man.”
The common thread between the two is that they appear to be their own people, with a spine and actual position on the issues.