Speaking of Dean -- and freaks who read the blog from the bottom-up will know I am -- anyone else a bit surprised at the Chairman's decision to treat the press like he's a groundhog and they're his shadow? The rationale for making him chair rested pretty heavily on his facility in front of the cameras, but the reality of his chairmanship has been a continuing race away from the glare. So while I'm glad he's doing the grassroots thing and encouraged by his focus on local press, which is basically the only kind he's talking to, I fear this is less strategy than phobia.
Folks who rode the Dean train the whole way through its slow-motion explosion have told me how the guv'nor's mistrust and paranoia of the national press rapidly expanded as the campaign fell. Dean, for his part, never liked the press, but at least he tolerated them. I'm a bit concerned that his past experiences have -- rightly! -- soured him on media reliability and fairness, so he's decided to circumvent them. But that judgment, which is perfectly logical considering the guy's past, can't inform his chairmanship. We need Dean to be fairly aggressive with the national press because Democrats lack all the natural points of entry -- the Presidency, the Senate, the House. If this is strategy, as some say it is, and Dean will explode onto the scene in a week or two, that's well and good. If this is character flaw, however, we're in some trouble.
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