Sorry Howard Dean lovers. It’s not that I don’t understand the attraction. I kinda do. But he has a long way to go to be viewed as presidential by a majority of voters. Granted, I’m often amazed that anyone with more than a 5th grade education views Dubya as presidential so I’m not necessarily an expert. I know he is going after that John McCain magic, and is closer to it than most. But while John McCain had more candor in 2000 than most candidates, he also had far more political savvy than Dean has displayed. McCain showed unusual restraint for a man with a supposedly legendary temper.
I get the feeling Dean just wants to get back in the ring and wrestle somebody, anybody. And to beat the VRWC a candidate has to have a lot of fight. But he or she also needs sufficient restraint. Dean routinely chooses his words poorly. If he were a football coach other coaches would love the bulletin board material he provides. Russert may have had him in his sights, but he just hit him with the ammo Bush & Co. already had in their quiver. Perhaps now he can get better prepared, but I doubt he’ll come far enough, fast enough. Dean’s relative honeymoon with the media is coming to an end. From here on out it just gets tougher.