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Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Dean '04 = Clinton '92?

Yeah, the comparison's been made a lot. Governors of small states, started as outsiders, picked up a buzz, yadayadayada. But I just finished watching The War Room, the documentary about the 1992 Clinton campaign. (Netflix is your friend.) And I was really struck by three things:

  1. Even though he disappointed me in a number of ways, man, I miss Bill Clinton.
  2. If the Al Gore I saw campaigning in that movie had been around in 2000, things would be very different now.
  3. The Dean campaign is an awful lot like that Clinton campaign in a number of ways:
    • Lack of hierarchy.
    • Pugnaciousness.
    • Campaign manager ready to take the fight to the other guy (Trippi, Carville)
    • Willing to do things in new ways instead of sticking to the way you're "supposed" to do them.
    • Attracting new voters (a record number of young people voted in 1992).
    • Getting lots of volunteers who are really committed to the candidate and just out-working the other guys.

Will it have the same happy ending? Ah, it's way too early to say that. But I think that anybody who's a Democrat should try to watch this movie and remember what won the White House in '92 before saying that Dean "isn't electable".

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