What I've Been Saying
What previous Presidential candidate does Dean resemble most? Pretty much all of them
, I think:
Dean, the once-obscure Democratic presidential candidate who doubled up on the covers of Newsweek and Time this week, has officially gone mainstream. But it's not like Dean came out of nowhere, campaign-watchers agree. He came straight out of the history books - they just can't decide which one.
Look, it's silly to compare Dean to anybody who has come before. First of all, while cadidates might overlap each other in terms of policy or character, each is unique. To say Dean is the next McGovern because of his stance on Iraq requires one to ignore his position on Afghanistan and Liberia. To say Dean is the next McCain is to ignore the fact that he not only represents insurgency against the Establishment, he brings a positive, empowering agenda to the table. Howard Dean is Howard Dean. Period.
Another reason you can't compare Dean to anybody else is that he is breaking new ground. He has, intentionally or not, harnessed a new medium...just like JFK and FDR. But it's not just the medium, it's the messengers. While Howie has struck a chord with a particular segment of the population via the Internet, his movement goes beyond the online community. The people he has energized are making further connections in the offline world via Meetups, phone calls, and traditional "get out the vote" activities. They are hyperlinking beyond the web and blogs, creating real connections and engaging new people. That's how movements grow--no regime can stop the people.