If he ran today, could Al Gore even win his old Senate seat? Considering he didn't even win his home state in 2000 it seems pretty unlikely. It seems like the people who know him best are not his biggest supporters. I don't know what it means but I think it would be interesting to apply this test to people such as George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, Bob Dole, Jack Kemp... and so on.Yeah, that's the kind of friend that I want. But that's OK with Dean.
For now, anyway. According to another item on the Corner, Dean has been pretty flexible about what's OK and what's not OK.
The fact is that Dean governed, in Vermont terms, as a budget-balancing moderate. He could easily have run for the nomination as a Joe Lieberman centrist. Instead, the running room was to the left, especially with all the credible candidates on the record in support of the Iraq war resolution.I might as well rip off their link, too - see this by David Brooks in the NYT.
So Dean ran left. Very little in his campaign would have seemed a natural fit two or three years ago. He spent his career fighting the angry, shaggy Left in Vermont, exactly the constituency he is attracting nationally. He was a free-trader, but now tells the labor unions, 'When I am president, we won't be talking about free trade in the Americas.' He was pro-business, but now rails against corporations. He drove Vermont environmentalists batty with his flexible approach to regulation, but now seeks a comprehensive 're-regulation' of American business. To top it off, he was a computer illiterate who knew nothing about the Internet that has become an indispensable organizing tool for his campaign."