DATE: 1/20/2004 10:24:00 AM
Dean's Anger - One major thing the Democrat candidates did wrong in Iowa was make Howard Dean and his followers angry. They spent countless hours and dollars attacking the former front-runner and their attacks had quite an effect on him, as viewers of his concession speech saw. (Drudge has an audio clip on his site). Dean has hinted strongly in the past that his support might not be transferrable to other candidates, but backed off after pressure from party leaders.
Dean's full-throated vent in Iowa was, I think, his real answer to the question of whether he'd assist the Democrat party this November. If he doesn't win the nomination, I don't think he's going to be of much help with the general election. He obviously is angry and feels betrayed by those in his party who beat him up so badly on a variety of issues. Dean has been very good at stoking the embers of resentment against President Bush. What the other candidates forget or ignore is that among Dean's supporters, there is also a lot of resentment against the Democrat party establishment. Kerry is the candidate of that establishment. If I were Kerry, I wouldn't count on their support.