Sunday, February 29, 2004

MeanDean, Unpacked

An important, loooong article by Howie Kurtz in this morning's Washington Post, based on impressive access to Dean for America insiders, about the internal "civil war" that raged in the Dean campaign, primarily between Joe Trippi, the fotched-on campaign manager from Washington, D.C., and Kate O'Connor, "the quiet, shrewd, low-profile Vermont confidante who never left Dean's side." Seems clear that in the clinches, O'Connor had more power than Trippi.

It's all here ... the financial mismanagement, the stupid little resentments and conspiracies among staff, the inability to handle the media.

But what comes as something of a shock -- make that a big, jaw-dropping wha-a-a-a? -- is Kurtz's assertion that Howard Dean never really WANTED to be president.

Kurtz writes, "In different conversations and in different ways, according to several people who worked with him, Dean said at the peak of his popularity late last year that he never expected to rise so high, that he didn't like the intense scrutiny, that he had just wanted to make a difference. 'I don't care about being president,' he said. Months earlier, as his candidacy was taking off, he told a colleague: 'The problem is, I'm now afraid I might win.' "

You can read the whole article here (but you have to register, and it's free).

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