January 21, 2004

Running for President means never allowing yourself to act in a way that might appear abnormal, not even for a few seconds.
"That's six ads," one [Republican] party official said, referring playfully to the number of advertisements that might be mined from that appearance to reinforce efforts to portray Dr. Dean as angry and nonpresidential.
I had thought that Kerry would fail because he speaks in an oratorical style, as if he only noticed the real people in the room and not the cameras and the people the cameras represent, who are watching TV at home or listening to the radio in their cars.

But there is much worse camera oblivion than old-fashioned oratory, as Dean found out. In the context of the room, it made sense to play cheerleader for his disappointed fans. On TV, it was a meltdown of historic proportion:
"Howard Dean scared a lot of children last night," Tucker Carlson, a Republican political commentator, declared on CNN.

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