Sunday, May 04, 2003

Dean in Philadelphia

Went to the Dean fundraiser in Philadelphia today. I'd say there were maybe 100 people there. The governor spoke for about 30 mins. - mostly hit the right notes. Seems pretty good at managing to express an appropriate degree of outrage without resorting to hyperbole that the media can use against him. He spoke out clearly why he's for affirmative action, using an example of when he told his female chief of staff to try and hire more men, and attacked Bush for his bigoted dishonesty about the U. of M.'s "quota" system. He relayed an anecdote of an 80 year old gay Normandy Vet thanking him for his support for Civil Unions.

I think Dean has an approach which lets him get away with things other candidates can't. The senators who are running have a hard time criticizing Bush because most of them voted to support too many of his proposals, or at least the watered down versions of them. While one can explain away some of their individual votes (or even all of them) on practical grounds, it does give the Tim Russerts of the world the opportunity to make any criticism of Bush look like opportunism. Whether fair or not, Dean's "outsider" status makes him immune to this kind of badgering, at least for the moment.

(full disclosure: I had a comp ticket)