22 May 2005

Dean excels on Meet The Press

According to conservative writer Robert Novak, many Democrats were nervous about national DNC Chairman Howard Dean's scheduled apearance on this morning's Meet The Press with Tim Russert. Relying on anonymous sources, a practice frowned upon following the Newsweek scandal from last weekend, Novak quoted two individuals who allegedly stated they were not looking forward to Dean's appearance following his somewhat controversial statements of recent months. [NOTE: Novak has displayed a pattern of poor ethical choices in journalism. He is most known for his illegal leak of Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA operative.] After viewing this morning's episode, those concerns were put to rest. Dean did an exceptional job on MTP and hit it out of the park.

Dean has been somewhat impressive as national chairman, because he is doing something that Democrats rarely do - he is trying new things. He is actively pushing the Democratic agenda in the so-called red states, those that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004, and is changing the way liberals discuss the issues that matter to all Americans. He is taking the fight to the GOP and as exhibited this morning under questioning from Russert, he is unwilling to walk away from a fight. Dean's style of leadership was on display this morning.

Tim Russert is the toughest interviewer on television, and today he was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Dean. He hit the chairman from all sides, pulling out quotes from the chairman and trying to find ways to force Dean into a corner. Dean stood his ground and defended his assertions, some that have recently drawn criticism from Republicans.

One quote, which apparently drove Novak completely mad, was from May 14th when Dean gave his opinion on what should happen to ethically-challenged Majority Leader Tom Delay. "I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence down there courtesy of the Texas taxpayers." Russert questioned the wisdom of this quote, asking Dean how he could declare Delay guilty before he has been tried for any crime. Dean confidently responded, "To be honest with you, Tim, I don't think I'm prejudging him. The things that I just read off--offering the congressman's son campaign money, providing Westar, the energy company, with a seat at the table in exchange for contributions, using the Department of Homeland Security to track down the private plane of political enemies--those are things that he has already been adjudicated for. Now, the question is: Where is this going to end up? I think there's a reasonable chance that this may end up in jail."

Dean also ventured away from the typical Democratic talking points and spoke on issues that used to be off-limits for his party. Dean recognized that moral values was an issue in the last campaign, and he wasn't afraid to discuss the topic. "The problem is it is galling to Democrats, 48 percent of us who did not support the president, it is galling to be lectured to about moral values by folks who have their own problems. Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings."

Dean also bucked his right-wing critics by doing something that his opponents claim he doesn't do - he offered an alternative position on the future. "I think one of the things that we're going to insist on is ethics in government. I'd like some real political and campaign and electoral reform as part of the Democratic Party platform as we offer a different vision to the American people."

This is the kind of forward-thinking optimism that the GOP has lacked since Ronald Reagan left the party. Unfortunately, the GOP has adopted a negative agenda and has let down the country.

Americanpolitix.com congratulates Chairman Howard Dean for his exceptional performance on Meet The Press this morning.

[NOTE: Today's Meet The Press will be re-aired on MSNBC tonight at 10:00 PM EST.]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dean's message control was unbelievable. On Captain's Quarters (I visited after reading your other story), one of the conservative comments was that Dean dodged a question. That is good interviewing. Dean stayed on message and refused to let Russert knock him off. Bush and the Republicans do it very well, and now it looks like there is a Democrat who can keep up.

Great job Mr. Chairman!

11:16:00 AM  

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