Friday, January 02, 2004

Dean, Slogging in South Carolina

Every Southerner -- or many, many of us -- are very curious about how Howard Dean is going to do in the South Carolina primary on Feb. 3.

There's an article in this morning's Washington Post by Mike Leibovich that gives a somewhat gloomy, overall mocking account of Dean's ninth campaign visit to the Palmetto State. For example, Leibovich claims that Dean, the longer he's in the state, begins to speak with a clumsy attempt at a Southern accent , which to Leibovich sounds a little like an Elvis impersonator.

Here's some of the "gloomy" air from Leibovich's piece:

"...This Tuesday morning, he is on his best behavior. He is almost sheepish, a decidedly un-Dean-like characteristic. The presumed front-runner -- who is leading in some polls in South Carolina -- is being pelted daily across the spectrum, from the Al Sharpton left to the Joe Lieberman center to the Republican right. Dean is evincing the air of a man worn down, if not chastened.

"Billy D. Williams, the mayor pro tempore of Florence and a Dean supporter, tries to lead the crowd into a chant of 'Dean, Dean, Dean,' which draws just a smattering of voices and lasts just a few seconds. Dean musters a forced beam.

But he does not look well. Bloated and fatigued, his graying hair sticks up in the back. His eyes, sharp blue and typically alert, are puffy and red. His maroon tie is crooked. His solid, former wrestler's posture has gone mopey. His cadences, normally brisk, are sluggish...."

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