Dean's Bubble Bursts | 20/20 Hindsight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Dean’s Bubble Bursts 

Published February 3, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated February 10, 2016 at 12:12 a.m.

click to enlarge Howard Dean - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Howard Dean

Originally published on January 21, 2004.

“It was a sad night,” said former gubernatorial press secretary Sue Allen as she described her boss’ third-place finish in Monday’s Iowa caucuses. As everyone knows by now, Sen. John Kerry won. Sen. John Edwards finished second. Howard Dean was a distant, disappointing third.

“I’m surprised they went to John Kerry,” said Sweet Sue.

Many people familiar with Iowa, however, are not. In fact, the hot bumper sticker in Iowa last week, said Des Moines Register reporterTom Beaumont, was one that read, “Dated Dean, Married Kerry.”

So what happened to Howard Dean’s historic campaign for the White House Monday? Why did so many Iowa Democrats reject the once-glorious front-runner from the Green Mountains of Vermont?

Obviously, the Dean campaign realized something was wrong as they hit Iowa’s homestretch. What else explains the need to rent a Lear jet to fly Ho-Ho’s beloved wife, Dr.Judith Steinberg, to Iowa Sunday to make her first campaign appearance since the June kickoff in Burlington?

And what explains the fact that 75 percent of the Iowa folks who attended Monday night’s Democratic caucuses identified themselves as “antiwar” and then went ahead and voted for two candidates — Kerry and Edwards — who supported the war?

Beaumont of the Register told Seven Days that “Iowa people who liked Dean early were loyal, but many others saw him as a loose cannon, too edgy, even though they did not disagree with what he said.”

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

About the Artist

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen was a photographer for Seven Days 1995-2018. Read all about his life and work here.


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