Pop Quiz: Did Howard Dean Lose in 2004?
When Dean entered the race for President did he really expect to win the nomination? Did he really expect to become the rallying point for a million frustrated Democrats? Did he honestly think he could achieve anything more then a token showing in the polls?
Of course not. The guy isn't stupid.
Dean didn't get in the race to win the Presidency. He got in the race to take back the party from the players who were driving it into the ground. He got into the race because he was frustrated with so many Democrats who weren't willing to fight back.
What he didn't expect was that there was such a large number of like minded Democrats out there who were just waiting for someone to give voice to their frustrations. What he didn't expect was that a convergence of forces would come together to elevate him beyond his expectations into a realistic chance of winning the nomination and the Presidency.
He didn't meet that elevated expectation. But he far and away exceeded his original expectations. He is now chairman of the DNC. He is probably the most popular grassroots leader in the country. He can command the forces of a hundred thousand activists and millions of small dollar donations to force open the doors of the inner sanctum of the party apparatus.
So I ask again: Did Howard Dean lose in 2004?
The answer to that question will tell you a lot about the person who gives it.