As I gather from this post by Al Barger, a lot of people have the impression that the negative reaction to Howard Dean’s oratory rampage the night of the Iowa caucuses is due to the anger he displayed. This is not at all how I see it.
It wasn’t anger or belligerence that was/is the issue, it was the unhinged nature of of his voice as it rose to a preternatural grunt. People are disconcerted, even frightened by that kind of lack of personal control. That’s the issue and I think it’s totally legitimate: a president must ALWAYS have some space reserved for the meta-picture. Dean’s abyssal, animalistic intonations are just not acceptable in public life – he crossed a line. A president must be reliable not certifiable.
From this report I am not sure if Dean does or does not know why people reacted the way they did:
- After a supporter praised him for his speech after finishing third in Iowa – a scream-laced performance that damaged Dean politically – the former Vermont governor playfully said to the audience: “May I say we are going to win South Carolina. We are going to win New Hampshire. We will win Ohio. We will win Arizona. And then, we’ll go on to win Massachusetts. And after we are done doing that, we will win New York.”
When the cheering subsided, Dean said, ” I couldn’t resist. That does look more presidential, doesn’t it?” [AP]
Okay, so he knows he wasn’t “presidential,” but does he know he wasn’t because of the hole in his psyche that his rant revealed, or does he just think he was a little loud?