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On the road with Howard Dean (Slate)

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dajabr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-03 07:15 AM
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On the road with Howard Dean (Slate)
HIGHWAY 34, SOUTHERN IOWA, July 28 Did you see what happened? Howard Dean asks. Hes excited, engaging in a bit of self-swooning after a campaign stop in Chariton, Iowa. The former Vermont governor is munching on a chocolate chip cookie, his legs propped on the seat across from him. I was actually surprised at how many people came up and said they were going to support us.

AT A BARN in Chariton, Dean spoke to about 40 people, the kind who wear trucker hats and American-flag belt buckles unironically. One supporter gave Dean a $5 check. That is not the educated, cultural elite that the national media say comprises the bulk of his supporters, Dean emphasizes.

Its 12:30 p.m. on Friday, and Im riding on McFun, the Dean van named for its personalized license plate. Its a big Ford E-350, festooned with Dean placards and bumper stickers, a loaner from a Dean supporter named McGuire who uses it to haul around his seven kids. Up to now, Ive been following McFun in a van driven by a Dean campaign intern. There are two rules on McFun, Jenn Hengstenberg, Deans Iowa political director, tells me before I get on board. One, you have to have fun. Two, if you have any spinal problems, let me know, because its bumpy. McFuns low-rent allure is a pretty good reflection of the appeal of the Dean campaign.

People have no idear Dean always says idear what kind of politician I am, the candidate continues. Because they have no idear what governing Vermont is like for the most part, because theyve never come up and seen it. That was classic Vermont. Farmers, working people, smart, maybe not so well-educated, but they read a daily newspaper every day. Literate, product of good high-school systems. Work with their hands, rural. Conservative social values, but open-minded. Later, Dean returns to the point. It took me about three minutes to figure out what that crowd was like, and it was rural Vermont. He smiles and raises his eyebrows in a self-satisfied way.

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FlashHarry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-03 07:17 AM
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1. Ah, those yokel Iowans.
I hate it when the media portrays Iowans as a bunch of hayseeds. For once, Frank Luntz had it right last night on Hardball: Iowans are smart and very politically savvy. Many of them tend to be very progressive (the western part of the state excluded.)
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pansypoo53219 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-03 07:48 AM
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2. i met a VERY progressive
iowan in Kimballton. Hi Eivind!(also 40+ years my senior-i miss our discussions).
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Egnever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-03 05:58 PM
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3. Yay howard!
more positives from the Dean camp!
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