Monday, September 22, 2003

The Howard Dean Fun Machine Rolls On

Howard Dean is a tax cheat! A Vermont newspaper is reporting that Dean owes an astounding $76.01 in unpaid taxes. It's a scandal!

No doubt, Republicans will make much of this, and the whackos of the Right will try to spin this in the way so many spun Clinton's various travails and Bush's problems. Or not. Who knows? You can never predict what will catch on the media flypaper and who will decide to stake a claim on it.

What caught my eye, though, was this passage:
Dean contends he wrote a check for the full amount on July 16, and noticed on Aug. 20 that the check never cleared his bank account. He explained the situation in a letter on Aug. 20 and gave the city another check that day and requested he not be penalized because of the city's mistake.

He said in the note, which he wrote by hand, he was paying the full amount he owes at once "because my campaign has me so busy I do not want to miss a payment."
Dean does his own taxes? By hand? You've got to be kidding. That's what I would make an issue of, right there. Is he going to micromanage every single American problem, ala Clinton? I hope not, as he's not in that league.

I shouldn't worry though. Howard Dean is the John McCain of this election cycle. You know the description: the maverick, the outsider speaking truth to power, the grass-roots organiser who energises the base like the main candidate doesn't, the longshot Great White Hope of the party. It's all part of the narrative, story-telling bias fo the press. Read that essay and this discussion of the Mayer predictive model for party nominations. Very intersting stuff, and according to that Dean isn't a winner yet. He may yet be, but the war in Iraq is sucking up a lot of the media's attention that the primary process would normally have this time of year. It makes Dean's job harder.

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