Monday, December 08, 2003

Grace under fire

Check out the transcript of Dean's appearance on FOX News yesterday. Christ Wallace does a hard interview, going after Dean on all the hot-button issues (Dean's calling Bush weak on defense, Dean's mentioning the "interesting theory" that Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand, Dean's gubernatorial records, Dean's call to run a campaign on more than just "God, gays, guns and abortion"). I didn't see the actual appearance, but I would say that Dean did a good to excellent job in dealing with all of these issues.

His weakest moment was in discussing the records. I think his solution of relying on the judge in the Judicial Watch case to decide what should be released is the best solution to the problem, but it is obvious that Dean has not yet found a good sound-bite to present this solution. He gets the point across, but it is mixed in with a lot of hesistancy that probably doesn't look good to some fence-sitters.

His strongest moment comes when he talks about the divisive nature of the "God, gays, guns and abortion" issues. Wallace tries to get Dean into a discussion about whether those are legitimate campaign issues (i.e., to make it look like Dean is attacking people for believing those issues are important). But Dean won't have any of it. He isn't arguing against those issues being discussed. He is arguing against those issues being the deciding factor in the race because Dean understands that they are used primarily as wedges to divide Americans against each other.

Dean is calling for people to look at what we have in common and I think he is doing a pretty good job of it.

Wallace, as I said, gives a tough interview and Dean, at least according to the transcript, held up pretty well under fire.


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