AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 1/06/2004 08:40:00 AM ----- BODY: Not So Fast - John Podhoretz says after the last debate, Democrat voters may have second thoughts about a Howard Dean candidacy. He says voters in the primary may not like the fact that Dean plays fast and loose with the truth. I'm not so sure it will make much of a difference. In fact, I think the more it's perceived that the other candidates are beating up on Dean, the more popular and motivated the former Vermont governor's followers will become. Dean's supporters formed an emotional attachment to their man early in this race and have stuck by him despite the various controversies Dean provokes with his words. They like Dean's fire and his outspokenness. They are frustrated with the political process and have found the voice to vent that frustration. Podhoretz points out that 85 percent of Iowa voters are behind someone other than Dean, or haven't made up their minds yet. To be frank, that doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot with this many candidates in the race. The same could be said of anyone in that crowded group of candidates. --------