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November 5, 2003

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Old-School Howard Dean

OK, say you’re the average not-from-Vermonter. Four years ago, Howard Dean completely did not exist. I mean, honestly, had someone approached you four years ago talking about “Howard Dean,” could your face have been anything but blank at that moment?

Today, if you don’t know who Howard Dean is, you pretty much need to put down Snarkmarket and pick up a newspaper clue.

And your cred is dodgy at best if you’ve never heard of Zephyr Teachout.

Well, so, my eventual point is that we ostensibly know all about Howard Dean, the presidential candidate. But most of us know precious little about Howard Dean, actual former governor of Vermont. And there’s a way to change all that, if you’re interested.

The jointly-owned Rutland Herald and Times Argus have thought to bring all us clueless non-Vermonters this snazzy archive of all their articles related to Howard Dean since their online web operation started in 1999. It is a brief, but stellar peek at Dean’s job as governor, well before anyone was thinking of him as a Presidential candidate.

Sift momentarily through the archive and you will find interesting artifacts like this little number, from Nov. 28, 2001, in which the newspaper’s editorial board remarks about the yet-nascent notion that little VT’s governor just might be thinking of running for President in ‘04. Marvel at the way they talk about 2003’s Democratic front-runner (let’s not quibble) the way we talk about Dennis Kucinich today.

A sample:

The fact is that, if Dean has only a 1 percent chance of winning, there still may be benefits from running. For one thing, he is an active player in the nationís affairs, and there is no reason he should not enter the fray, if not to win office, at least to advance the causes in which he believes.

There is plenty of room at the national level for politicians promoting non-ideological, pragmatic politics. Who knows if Dean would be taken seriously by voters in Iowa or New Hampshire? There is a chance that he would be.

Indeed. The future is rife with possibility.

PS: Also duly notable, the papers’ archive of stories related to the civil unions ruling. It’s difficult for non-Vermonters looking in three years after the fact to grasp how dramatically the civil unions affair rent the state.

Posted November 5, 2003 at 10:16 | Comments (0) | Permasnark
File under: Election 2004
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