JIM on DEAN:
Last night in NYC more than a million dollars was raised for 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean. Howard is the hot ticket this summer, with a successful grassroots campaign called the: "Sleepless Summer Tour". This morning, I noticed that my coworker Jim Agostine had a DEAN bumper sticker in his office. I asked if he went to the rally in Bryant Park yesterday, and he said "yes, I did. Did you go?" I said "no, but would you mind if I interviewed you for my website?" he said "not at all".
Here are some other questions that I asked Jim:
Lets talk rally - how many people do you think were there, and what general age group was representin'?
Bryant Park was packed. I read in the Times that there were 10,000 people, but the NY Post says 16,000. It was mostly youngish, under 35.
What is Dean's campaign slogan?
One of them is "Give em Hell, Howard"
Did everyone start shouting the slogan?
In one of those classic awkward moments when the crowd gets suddenly silent, my girlfriend screamed it out at the top of her lungs.
That’s awesome! It seems so Forrest Gump/Jenny in the reflecting pool to me...
Well it started strong and ended weak, with "GIVE EM HELL... howard?"
Were there any fires/riots?
No. It was a pretty well-behaved crowd.
The first thought that came to your mind when you saw Howard Dean in person:
I can't believe how fired up this guy has people, so early in this campaign. I was thinking that Bush or Kerry (or any candidate, for that matter) could never get this kind of a reaction from a crowd.
Did seeing Howard Dean in person change any of your views?
No, but it solidified my opinions of him. He was well-spoken, charismatic and very presidential.
Did you donate any money to the Dean for America campaign?
Yup. If you check out his fund-raising efforts, you can see just how much of a grassroots movement this really is. The average donation is about $50 and I read that they anticipate raising $10.3 million by the end of this quarter. That's a lot of individual supporters vs. the big $2000 a plate Republican you-scratch-my-back-i'll-scratch-yours type donations.
What websites do you frequent in keeping up with the latest news on the dean Campaign?
The official blog is www.blogforamerica.com and his site is www.deanforamerica.com
I read in the Times this morning that Dean's downfall is having a weak representation of Union workers, African Americans and Immigrants. Do you see this changing within the next 15 months?
I'd argue that, contrary to that Times story, I saw a pretty diverse crowd there last night. But, the more people hear about his platform, what he's done and what he stands for, the more you'll see these kinds of groups and organizations publicly supporting him.
Dean in 2004 seems to be the latest and greatest trend, why are you personally rallying Howard Dean?
I feel like Bush is doing a lot of damage to this country. I think the media (and many people in America) are afraid to question his decisions and actions because they don't want to make waves or seem unpatriotic. Dean isn't pulling any punches. He's holding Bush and his cronies responsible for misleading people about the war in Iraq, squandering the surplus and not making any improvements in the economy or the general quality of life.
So, who do you think Howard is REALLY going to win in 2004?
I do. Howard Dean has been portrayed initially as a liberal, leftish dove. Although he does have some progressive views on education, civil unions and worker's rights; people will eventually realize that he does support military action (if justified) and that he leans moderate on issues like gun control and capitol punishment. Also, there are hints of him asking Gen. Wesley Clark to run as his VP if he gets the nomination. That would quickly make him more electable. Most importantly, he is the exact opposite of Bush: a bright man, with a vision and passion.
Give three adjectives to describe Dean:
Honest, spunky & smart
If you could give Howard Dean a color - what would it be?