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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Howard Dean: What War?
I just got a fund raising letter from Howard Dean that clearly illustrates the strategy shift that some other commentators have noticed. His new strategy is to promise moderate policies, but delivered with radical rhetoric. Except for the issue of gay rights, his letter seems to be seeking the mainstream. Most interestingly, there is no mention -- or even a hint -- of his opposition to the war in Iraq. For many people, his anti-war stance was the alpha and omega of his campaign and now it is nowhere to be seen.

He begins by trumpeting his record as Governor. He balanced budgets, got health insurance for children, and extended gay rights. He then gives some biography, establishing himself as a healer foremost and a reluctant politician. He then goes back to his record, saying that he balanced Vermont's budget by cutting spending, not raising taxes. Next, he accuses President Bush of being out of touch. Finally, he apologizes for the crassness of modern politics, but could I please spare some money for his campaign.

Really, it is a good letter, well written with an appealing pitch. Except for the part about not cutting taxes, I generally like a lot of what he says in that letter. However, I still consider him to be way too irresponsible on national defense.

War-Free Issues in Howard Dean's Letter:
balanced budgets (3 times)
health care (3 times)
equal rights (for gays)
cut spending
not raising taxes
not cutting taxes (2 times)
reduce debt
abortion rights (2 times)
environment

Dean's Virtues (According to Dean)
listening (2 times)
communication
passion (3 times)
commitment
unafraid

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