Sunday, December 28, 2003

How were you taught to treat the servants?-- And where did your live-in nurse stay?

Momma Dean recently registered as a Democrat, presumably so she can vote for Howie. She has an interesting defense of her son's upbringing not being that of a blueblood-- at least by her standards. Perspective is everything, I suppose.

The Park Avenue building where Howard Dean grew up has a neurologist's office on the ground floor and a church just behind. His mother, Andree Maitland Dean, is eager to emphasize that the family's three-bedroom apartment there is not luxurious.

"Look around," Mrs. Dean said in a recent interview, gesturing at the quarters where her boys grew up. "Howard didn't have the least bit of a glamorous upbringing."

Explaining that every time she had a baby, the dining room would serve as a bedroom for the newborn and his nurse, she concluded, "I don't think we could even keep up with the Bushes."
Mrs. Dean sees her son's unpretentiousness as something he learned at home, pointing out that her own parents taught her to treat people in an egalitarian way.

"When I was growing up," she said, "we didn't even treat the servants like servants."

Years later, he remembers, his parents were immediately accepting of his decision to marry Judith Steinberg, even though it was highly unusual for someone from his family background to marry a Jew.

In fact, his mother said, she and his father discussed Ms. Steinberg's heritage, but decided they really liked her and felt she would have a calming effect on their determined but sometimes scattered son.

"We decided, well, he was never going to belong to the Maidstone Club, anyway."

To the Governor's credit, sounds like they concluded he was a lost cause, so-to-speak.

Solid, but impulsive

From Med School:

"Howard is a very solid resident, a good teacher, intellectual in his approach, who performed well in his third year," said the doctor who evaluated him in 1981. "His major problem continues to be one of impulsiveness."

Some things do not appear to have changed.

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