Yesterday there was a pretty good article on Dean's internet campaigning
in the Wall Street Journal.
In the mind-boggling game of guessing who could possibly win the Democratic Nomination, who could possibly win the General Presidental Election, or who would make the best president. I'm still willing to only clear out less than half the field. Any one of Clark, Dean, Edwards, Gephardt, or Kerry could carry the day. At first glance this article seemed like a ringing endorsement for Dean--the numbers crunch for his campaign enormously better than any of the other established ones and Clark's very novelty may be held against him. But no actual mention of Dean in the article is obviously flattering---it does not emphasize his
being web-saavy, but that of his accolytes and followers. Indeed, Dean is most often quoted or described being flustered, surprised, slightly inept, maybe even a little clueless at times. The brilliant, branding ideas all seem to come from his deputies.
Let us remember that this is not 1996 nor even 2000---geeks as gods are almost taken for granted, and a "huh?" factor that might have been endearing in Clinton could be off-putting now. The Democratic policy-wonks out there trying to decide whom to support might cringe at the notion of a president who lets his deputies tell him what to do, or voting for a man based on the quality of the hired-help. That was, after all, a big argument against Mr. Bush--it was not reassuring to tell them that he would surround himself with "smart people."
But let us also remember that the dubiousness of Dean's smarts is not quite at the same scale as that of Dubya's. For all that Dean might have a father who worked for Dean-Witter, he has not inherited his deputies from the family stables--they
came to him
, and he seems to still issue their basic marching orders. So despite the flustered quotes, I think he still gets points for powers of delegation from this article.