17 janvier 2004

:: The flip flop candidate

Howard Dean: 'the flip flop candidate' Jonathan Raban, Guardian:
"In fact he is at least as politically experienced, crafty and ambitious as Clinton (another five-term governor) was in 1992. But where Clinton, when cornered, used to fall back on his ineffable brand of legalistic sophistry ('It all depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is'), and thereby alienate even his own supporters, Dean acts the part of the brusque doctor, summoned from his country surgery to attend a grave case of dementia in Washington DC, and mops up votes with even his most 'impolitic' performances. Doctors - unlike lawyers, journalists, and politicians - are popular figures, and Dean's time as a physician (he was in private practice in Vermont from 1981 to 1991) shapes his whole political rhetoric. Answering questions at town meetings, which is something he excels at, he rattles dispassionately through the diagnosis, talking, as doctors do, a little above the patient's head; then he prescribes the treatment, in language comprehensible to a child. I've seen audience after audience succumb gratefully to Dean's air of superior professional authority. No other candidate for the nomination comes close to matching him in this. "

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