Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003 at 4:20 AM
Given the rest of this stale field, no wonder Dean gets all the buzz.
If Howard Dean were in the Mafia, his nickname would be "Two Covers." Getting Time and Newsweek was quit the coup.
The questions isn't why Democratic voters like Dean -- they question is why they wouldn't.
Just look at the rest of the field:
Mr. Congress. He thinks, breathes, excretes the legislative imperative. If America was attacked again, he might well authorize an act of war, but his instincts would make him attach the declaration to a rider attached to a bill authorizing an inflation-related adjustment in the mohair subsidy. He can't help it.
John F. Kerry:
He may well be better than the rest of us, but he could work harder at keeping the fact concealed. Might face heat this week as union members learn his fund-raising connections to Susie Buell, co-founder of the French-sounding Esprit clothing line.
Of course, it means no such thing, but when Republicans dine at the same restaurant as someone accused of unfair labor practices, they're accused of going back in time to start the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
Well let me tell 'bout the way he walks, the way he acts and the color of his hair.
His voice is soft and cool; his eyes are clear and bright, but he's not there.
Dull, earnest, always sounds like he's trying to pass a stone. Not a chance, you say?
According to a recent South Carolina poll, 13 percent of Democratic voters prefer Joe, as opposed to 4 percent for Howard "Two Covers" Dean.
No man with a Mo Stooge haircut has ever been elected president, and Kucinich will be no exception.
His Web site compares him to Seabiscuit -- another famous horse who came from behind, electrified a depressed nation, and was oddly unconcerned about Saddam Hussein's crimes.
Kucinich's most notable proposal so far is the creation of a Department of Peace, which would presumably issue Karma Level Alerts depending on how much other nations hated America.
Funny, personable, unguarded and unelectable. His incoherent politics and reprehensible history aside, his main problem is this: If you were writing a novel about an opportunistic pol who uses his personality to bamboozle his way onto the national stage, you'd want to name the character "Al Sharpton." Your editor would make you change it. Too obvious.
Amazing 93 percent name recognition drops to .01 percent when people realize the question is not about a tasty cracker.
Carole Mosely Braun:
That's the field. No wonder Dean has all the buzz. But it's not just the paucity of the candidates that makes him stand out; he has fire and charisma.
When the faithful hear him speak, it's as if they've grabbed a barbed wire; when he speaks of his burning need to wrest the nation's reins from the hands of the plutocrats and cake-eaters, you almost forget his plutocratic, cake-eating family roots.
When he pounds President Bush on Iraq, you almost want to stand up and shout "Yeah! Heck yeah!" Iraq would be better off with Saddam still in power, so--
Uh -- never mind. Anyway, passion is overrated. The ability to articulate the swirling fury of the hard-core is not a recipe for success.
If you bring the Nader voters back into the fold, great -- but if your personna drives the middle into the GOP camp, you've lost the race.
Not to say Dean couldn't win the undecided vote -- Americans want security, and Bush is hardly invulnerable on that front.
Hammer the president for Saudi-coddling, for the creepily named Homeland Security Department that seems more concerned with frisking grandmas than securing the borders and guarding the dams. That's a start.
Angry stump speeches about the need to raise taxes and invade Liberia: That's the end.