Wednesday, January 28, 2004

www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish..: "Dean did a little worse than the exit polls suggested. But his concession speech was easily the best of the night. It was authentic, uplifting, and red meat to the Democrats. It actually rang true to me as Dean's real view of the world. It isn't one I entirely share, to say the least, but it is genuine, represents a lot of people in this country and deserves a hearing. He seemed more affable than recently as well. He smiled more. He spoke more calmly but not ineffectively. He's real. Kerry is so fake, in contrast, I cannot believe that Democratic primary voters will continue to support him in such numbers. Dean gave arguments. Kerry spoke in packaged Shrumisms. Dean has a vision. Kerry has ambition. If I were a Democrat, I'd vote for Dean over Kerry in a heartbeat. To my mind, this is a battle between the Democratic party's soul and its fear."

Well said. A friend of mine and I were discussing the other day how she fell in love with Dean the candidate early, before he sprinted to the extreme left, and how frustrated she's been with his campaign generally. Her comments on last night were that his speech reminded her strongly of what she knew of him way back when.

What I think Kerry did by winning in Iowa, strangely, was opening up the move to the center early. Conventional wisdom had suggested that Dean would win because he was pulling the party to the left, and while Kerry didn't win because he seemed more moderate, the fact that he did allows Dean to move back to his true beliefs. I was tempted last night to count him out, but we're going to have to wait until at least next week before any accurate estimates can be made.

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