Dr. Howard Dean
Dr. Howard Brush Dean III (born November 17, 1948) is a Democratic politician who served as Governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2003. Dean was serving as Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, a part-time position, when Governor Richard A. Snelling died of a heart attack on August 14, 1991. Dean served out Snelling's term and then won election to five subsequent terms in his own right, the only governor in Vermont history to be elected governor five times other than Snelling himself. As a surprise presidential candidate skillfully mobilizing independents and previously-uninvolved citizens in the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination, Dean was ahead in the polls in December 2003 and was expected to win, but failed in his efforts to win several key states. Dean suspended his campaign on February 18, 2004 after failing to win a single primary where delegates were awarded. On March 2, he won the primary in his home state of Vermont, the only Super Tuesday state not won by Sen. John Kerry.
Dean's presidential campaign was remarkable at the time for its extensive use of the Internet to reach out to its supporters. The candidate's staff, and occasionally even the candidate, frequently "blogged" while on the campaign trail and even sought advice on important campaign-related decisions -- in at least two instances even making decisions through online polls of supporters. By soliciting contributions online, the campaign shattered previous fundraising records for the Democratic presidential primary. Dean has been credited with being the first national candidate to play to the strengths of the Internet, in particular by engaging the American public directly in the political process.
Based on some public and private urging, Dean is currently considering a candidacy for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (such a move would almost certainly preclude him running for president again in 2008).
Howard was born in New York City to Andree Dean, art appraiser, and Howard Brush Dean, Jr. (deceased), former Dean Witter Reynolds executive. He graduated from Yale University in 1971 and spent the next few years working as a stock broker. Dean received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1978 and practiced as a physician until he became Governor of Vermont upon the death of Richard A. Snelling. Though he was born into the Episcopal Church, he became a Congregationalist in 1982.
Dean married Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean. She uses her maiden name (Judith Steinberg) in their joint medical practice to avoid confusion with her husband. Elsewhere she goes by Judith Dean or Judy Dean. The couple's two children, Paul and Anne, have been raised in Steinberg's Jewish faith.
Early political career
Elections as Governor of Vermont
Source: Vermont Secretary of State
From 1994 to 1995, Dean was the chairman of the National Governors Association.
Campaign for Democratic nomination
Al Gore shocked many when he endorsed the outsider candidate, Howard Dean, in 2003.
Dean officially became the first Democratic public figure to officially declare himself a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2004 presidential election when he filed with the Federal Election Commission. On June 23, 2003, Dean announced his candidacy in an address to thousands of people at the Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington, Vermont. In his speech, Dean used the phrase, "Take our country back," which would become one of the themes of his campaign.1
Dean began his bid for President as a "long shot" candidate. ABC News ranked him eight out of 12 in a list of potential presidential contenders May 30, 2002. Despite this, his campaign's unconventional embrace of the Internet propelled his candidacy forward. By autumn of 2003, Dean had become the apparent frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, outpacing his rivals in fundraising (mainly from individual contributions on his website) and performing strongly in most polls. His growing ranks of supporters came to be termed Deanites, or, more commonly, Deaniacs.
Dean began his campaign by emphasizing health care and fiscal responsibility, and championing grassroots fundraising as a way to fight special interests. However, his opposition to the U.S. plan to invade Iraq (and his forceful criticism of Democrats in Congress who voted to authorize the use of force) quickly eclipsed other issues, resonating with disillusioned Democrats and using momentum from the burgeoning anti-war movement to build an impressive online campaign. Dean's early slogan of representing "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" reflected the feeling among frustrated voters that Democrats hadn't done enough to question the policies of the Republicans. The phrase was first used by the late Senator Paul Wellstone.
Much discussion and criticism focused on Dean's perceived electability. Critics (including fellow candidate Joseph Lieberman and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council) claimed that Dean's positions appeared too liberal and his rhetoric too strident to appeal to moderate voters in the general election. Dean and his supporters responded by arguing that the Democrats will never win with "Bush light," and that the party needed a candidate who would stand up to George W. Bush and energize the Democratic base. (Some pundits have cited national polls showing an unusually polarized electorate going into 2004, suggesting that voter turnout will be particularly important.)
The media began in 2003 to more closely scrutinize Dean's record as governor of Vermont, which appeared arguably more moderate than his new national profile: "Dean's emerging national reputation as a liberal tribune [...] obscures the centrist course he steered during his tenure as governor of Vermont" (Washington Post, Aug. 3 2003). As Dean told Salon.com: "I don't mind being characterized as 'liberal'—I just don't happen to think it's true."
Some, most notably fellow candidate Dennis Kucinich, attacked Dean from the left, challenging his credentials as an anti-war candidate due to his refusal to support the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and cuts to the Pentagon budget. Kucinich further criticized Dean for his failure to support a universal single-payer health care system (which Dean rejected as politically impossible).
Dean received the endorsement of Al Gore, former United States Vice-President and 2000 presidential candidate, on December 9, 2003. In the following weeks Dean was endorsed by former U.S. senators Bill Bradley and Carol Moseley Braun, unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidates from the 2000 and 2004 primaries, respectively.
On January 19, 2004, Dean's campaign suffered a blow when a last-minute surge by rival John Kerry led to an embarrassing defeat for Dean in the 2004 Iowa Democratic caucuses, representing the first votes cast in primary season. Dean had been a strong contender for weeks in advance in that state, battling with Richard A. "Dick" Gephardt for first place in the polls. To the surprise of the Dean and Gephardt campaigns, Dean finished third in Iowa behind John Kerry and John Edwards (Gephardt finished fourth). Some Dean supporters questioned whether allegedly unfair media coverage played a role in the result. Other insiders attribute the loss to a staff and supporters inexperienced with the caucus process.
At a post-caucus rally in Iowa, Dean gave an animated speech intended to cheer up those in attendance. However, many in the television audience criticized the speech as loud, peculiar, and unpresidential. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001840708_deantv21.html In particular, this quote from the speech was aired repeatedly in the days following the caucus:
"Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York...And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yeeeaah!!!" http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/26/politics/main596021.shtml
Dean conceded that the speech did not project the best image, jokingly referring to it as a "crazy, red-faced rant" on The Late Show with David Letterman. In an interview later that week with Diane Sawyer, he said he was "a little sheepish, ... but I'm not apologetic". http://abcnews.go.com/sections/Primetime/US/howard_judy_dean_transcript_040122-1.html Sawyer and many others in the national broadcast news media later expressed some regret about overplaying the story. Dean had used a unidirectional microphone which only picked up his voice with little crowd noise, making it sound as if he was raising his voice out of sheer emotion. Recordings of the same speech from within the crowd made it clear that Dean was shouting in order to be heard over the cheers of the crowd. http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/wabc_2004vote_012904dean.html The sound recording of the speech was put to music by Right Magazine for its "Dean Goes Nuts Remix", which derived its name from a Drudge Report headline, and this spawned dozens of copycats. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4021146/
On January 27 Dean again suffered a defeat, finishing second to Kerry in the New Hampshire primary. As late as one week before the first votes were cast in Iowa's caucuses, Dean had enjoyed a 30% lead in New Hampshire opinion polls; accordingly, this loss represented another major setback to his campaign.
Iowa and New Hampshire were only the first in a string of embarrassing losses for the Dean campaign, culminating in a disappointing third place showing in the Wisconsin primary on February 17, 2004. The next day, Dean announced that his candidacy had "come to an end," though he continued to urge people to vote for him, so that Dean delegates would be selected for the convention and could influence the party platform, and he later won the Vermont primaries on Super Tuesday, March 2, 2004.
While his presidential bid ultimately ended in failure, his supporters felt it was not a lost cause, serving to frame the White House race by tapping in to voters' concerns about the war in Iraq, in the process energizing Democrats and sharpening criticism of incumbent George W. Bush. At present, many political pundits affirm that Dean's contribution was "cathartic" for the party. Dean's lone Pennsylvania delegate, State Rep. Mark B. Cohen of Philadelphia, said Dean's decision, ultimately emulated by Kerry,to forgo primary federal matching funds and exceed the matching fund spending limits "marked the day the Democratic Party became a serious contender for national power in 2004."
- May 31, 2002 - Files paperwork to run for 2004 presidential election
- March, 2003 - Campaign signed deal with Meetup.com to integrate Meetup functionality directly into the main page of the campaign website.
- April 17, 2003 - Democratic fundraising totals for the first quarter of 2003 are reported. John Edwards raises $7.4 million, John Kerry raises $7.0 million, Dick Gephardt raises $3.5 million, Joe Lieberman raises $3.0 million, Howard Dean raises $2.6 million, Bob Graham raises $1.1 million, and Dennis Kucinich and Carol Moseley Braun raise less than $1 million each.
- June 17, 2003 - Dean airs the first television advertising of the 2004 campaign. The two week ad campaign will cost more than $300,000.
- June 23, 2003 - Dean formally announces that he is running for President in 2004, filing to form a presidential election campaign with the FEC.
- June 24, 2003 - Liberal advocacy website MoveOn holds the first ever online Democratic "primary," which lasts just over 48 hours. It is an unofficial and non-binding affair, but with important symbolic and financial value. Of 317,647 votes, Dean receives 44%, Dennis Kucinich 24%, and John Kerry 16%. Had any candidate received 50% of the vote, the candidate would have received MoveOn's endorsement and financial support. Instead, MoveOn supports all the candidates. http://moveon.org/pac/primary/report.html
- July 3, 2003 - Democratic fundraising numbers for the second quarter of 2003 are reported and announced. Howard Dean surprises many raising $7.5 million, John Kerry raises $6 million, while John Edwards and Joseph Lieberman raise roughly $5 million each.
- September 17, 2003 - Retired General Wesley Clark announces his candidacy. Pundits compare his grassroots organization to that of Dean, though detractors claim that Clark's campaign only has the outward appearance of grassroots support.
- November 1, 2003 - In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Howard Dean is quoted as saying "I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks. We can't beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross-section of Democrats." http://desmoinesregister.com/news/stories/c4789004/22649906.html This comment stirs strong controversy among Democratic contenders.
- November 8, 2003 - Announces intention to forgo federal campaign financing (and hence primary spending limit), following online vote of supporters
- December 9, 2003 - Receives endorsement from former Vice President Al Gore
- December 17, 2003 - A CBS News/New York Times poll of likely Democratic primary voters shows Dean getting 23% of the vote, with Wesley Clark at 10%, Joe Lieberman at 10%, Richard Gephardt at 6%, Al Sharpton at 5%, John Kerry at 4%, John Edwards at 2%, Carol Moseley-Braun at 1%, Dennis Kucinich at 1%, and the remaining 28% undecided. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/12/17/opinion/polls/main589167.shtml
- January 6, 2004 - Receives endorsement from Bill Bradley, former US senator and Gore's rival for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2000.
- January 13, 2004 - The non-binding Washington, DC Democratic primary is held with four major candidates on the ballot. Howard Dean received 43% of the vote, while Al Sharpton had 34%. Carol Moseley Braun was in third place with 12% followed by Dennis Kucinich who had eight percent. The primary, however, was binding upon the Green Party, making it the Greens' first primary of the season. David Cobb received 37 percent of the vote, Sheila Bilyeu received 19 percent, 13 percent preferred the party not run a candidate, and the remaining 31 percent was distributed among write-in candidates.
- January 15, 2004 - Carol Moseley Braun drops out of the race and announces her support for Dean, saying that "Governor Dean is the candidate best-equipped to bring Americans together, to renew our country, and restore our privacy, our liberty and our economic security."
- January 18, 2004 - Dean visits Plains, Georgia to meet with former President Jimmy Carter. Carter makes a statement in a press conference following a church service the two men attended: "I have made an announcement in advance that I'm not going to endorse any particular candidate. But I have been particularly grateful at the courageous and outspoken posture and position that Governor Dean has taken from the very beginning." http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0401/18/se.01.html
- January 19, 2004 - Iowa caucus results: The Iowa caucuses yield unexpectedly strong results for Democratic candidates John Kerry, who earns 38% of the state's delegates and John Edwards, who takes 32%. Dean slips to 18% and third-place, and Richard Gephardt finishes fourth (11%). Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton received minimal support; Joe Lieberman and Wesley Clark had opted not to participate in the Iowa caucuses.
- January 22, 2004 - Dean gives an interview to Diane Sawyer in an attempt to repair his image following the disappointing loss in Iowa, and to control the damage caused by his post-caucus speech, which was widely criticized and ridiculed as the "I have a scream" speech. http://abcnews.go.com/sections/Primetime/US/howard_judy_dean_transcript_040122-1.html Sawyer and many others in the national broadcast news media later expressed some regret about overplaying the story after it becomes clear that that audio engineering played a role in his speech sounding so bad. http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/wabc_2004vote_012904dean.html
- January 27, 2004 - John Kerry wins the New Hampshire primary with 38.4% of the vote. Dean finishes second with 26.4%.
- January 28, 2004 - Appoints Roy Neel as CEO of his campaign; campaign manager Joe Trippi leaves after being offered a lesser position on the campaign and refusing it
- February 3, 2004 - Mini-Tuesday - Dean fails to win any of the seven states up for grabs.
- February 7, 2004 - John Kerry wins the Michigan and Washington caucuses. This earns him over 130 delegates. Dean places second in both caucuses, gaining just over 50 delegates.
- February 8, 2004 - John Kerry wins the Maine caucuses. Dean places second.
- February 10, 2004 - John Kerry wins the Tennessee and Virginia primaries with 41% and 52% of the vote respectively. Dean and most of the other candidates perform very poorly.
- February 14, 2004 - John Kerry wins caucuses in Washington, D.C. with 47% and Nevada with 63% of the vote. Dean attracts nearly twice as many voters in each race as John Edwards taking second place in Nevada (17% vs 10%) and third in Washington, D.C. (18% vs 10%) close behind Al Sharpton with 20%. 6,000 Democrats show up at the caucus in Las Vegas, Nevada, far more than the expected 1,000, forcing the caucus to be held outside on the high school's football field.
- February 17, 2004 - John Kerry wins the Wisconsin primary with 40% of the vote. John Edwards places second with 34% and Dean a distant third with 18%. Other candidates receive 3% or less.
- February 18, 2004 - Dean ends his campaign for president.
- March 2, 2004 - Dean wins a primary in his home state of Vermont.
- March 18, 2004 - Dean launches Democracy for America, an advocacy group dedicated to returning political power to the community level.
- March 25, 2004 - Dean endorses John Kerry, citing Kerry's experience and vision, and emphasizing the importance of uniting Democratic voices behind Kerry to defeat President Bush.
See also U.S. presidential election, 2004 timeline
In the "invisible primary" of raising campaign dollars, Howard Dean led the Democratic pack in the early stages of the 2004 campaign. Among the candidates, he ranked first in total raised ($25.4 million as of September 30, 2003) and first in cash-on-hand ($12.4 million). However, even this performance paled to next to that of George W. Bush, who by that date had raised $84.6 million for a primary campaign in which he had no real challenger.
Many commented on the Dean campaign's unprecedented success with fund-raising over the Internet. While presidential campaigns have traditionally obtained finance by tapping wealthy, established political donors, Dean's funds came largely in small donations over the Internet; the average overall donation size was just under $80. This method of fundraising for the campaign offers several important advantages. First, next to virtually any other method of fundraising (events, telemarketing, direct mail), raising money on the Internet costs virtually nothing, netting a greater amount. Second, because donors on average contribute far less than the legal limit ($2,000 per individual), the campaign can continue to resolicit them throughout the election season - which importantly improves mindshare: the more times people contribute, the more investment they feel they have... and not just financially.
In November 2003, after a much-publicized online vote among his followers, Dean became the first Democrat to forgo federal matching funds (and the spending limits that go with them) since the system became established in 1974. (John Kerry has since followed his lead.) In addition to state-by-state spending limits for the primaries, the system limits a candidate to spending only $44.6 million until the Democratic National Convention in July, which sum would almost certainly run out soon after the early primary season. (George W. Bush declined federal matching funds in 2000 and has done so again for the 2004 campaign.)
In a sign that the Dean campaign was starting to think beyond the primaries, they began in late 2003 to speak of a "$100 revolution" in which 2 million Americans would give $100 in order to compete with Bush.
Post Campaign & Democracy for America
Following Dean's withdrawal after the Wisconsin primary, he pledged to support the eventual Democratic nominee. Though many supporters encouraged him to support the only remaining "non-establishment candidate," John Edwards, he remained neutral until John Kerry became the presumptive nominee. Dean endorsed Kerry on March 25, 2004.
On March 18, 2004, Dean founded the group Democracy for America. This group was created to house the large, Internet-based organization Dean created for his presidential campaign. Its goal is to help like-minded Democrats get elected to local, state and federal offices, though some suggest it is merely a front for a 2008 presidential bid. It has endorsed several sets of twelve candidates known as the Dean Dozen.
Dean has strongly urged his left-leaning, maverick supporters to support Kerry as opposed to Ralph Nader, arguing that a vote for Nader will only help to re-elect Bush. He debated Ralph Nader on the topic "Should Ralph run for president?" on July 9, 2004.
Dean currently is writing a weekly column that's being syndicated by Cagle Cartoons (CC).
After the defeat of John Kerry, for whom Dean actively campaigned, some of his 2004 supporters began floating the idea of a Dean Presidential candidacy in 2008. Dean's post-withdrawal organizational and media efforts for Kerry and other Democrats could be seen as aiding a potential 2008 Presidential campaign. Others have suggested Dean as a possible replacement for Terry McAuliffe as chair of the Democratic National Committee.
- Justice and civil rights Dean says: "I will support affirmative action, from which we have all benefited, because it has strengthened our institutions and provided opportunity. I will work to ensure that racial profiling ends and I will direct my Attorney General to use regulatory authority under existing anti-discrimination laws the 1964 Civil Rights Act to define racial profiling as discrimination, and to withhold federal funds from state and local law enforcement that violate those regulations. I will appoint an Attorney General who sees our constitution not just as a document to be manipulated, ignored, and violated, but who recognizes and respects it as the fabric that binds the American community together. I will oppose expansion of the Patriot Act, efforts to remove sunset clauses included in the act, and I will seek to repeal the portions of the Patriot Act that are unconstitutional. I will put the weight of my office behind the Innocence Protection Act, proposed by Senator Patrick Leahy, which would expand access to DNA testing and strengthen the quality of lawyers for defendants facing the death penalty. I will protect the civil rights of immigrants detained by the Department of Homeland Security. I will work for federal legislation to restore the right to vote in any federal election for ex-felons who have paid their debt to society."
- Abortion Dean says, "As a physician, I do not like the idea that Congress or the President think they should practice medicine. Abortion is a deeply personal decision which ought to be made between the patient, the family and physician. It's none of the government's business." and "I will unflinchingly defend a woman's right to choose against those who would take away this right."
- Environment Dean says, "My administration will take ambitious steps to strengthen our clean air and water standards, promote renewable energy sources, conserve our wild and open spaces, strengthen our downtowns to reduce sprawl, and provide a safe and healthy environment for our children."
- Healthcare Dean has expressed his desire for healthcare for every American, quoting democratic president Harry Truman on the subject. However, he has stated that a fully universal, public healthcare system would be politically impossible.
- National security Dean says, "Fifty-five years ago, President Harry Truman delivered what was known as the Four Point Speech. In it, he challenged Democrats and Republicans alike to come together to build strong and effective international organizations, to support arrangements that would spur global economic recovery, to join with free people everywhere in the defense of human liberty, and to draw upon the genius of our people to help societies who needed help in the battle against hunger and illness, ignorance, and despair. Harry Truman believed that a world in which even the poorest and most desperate had grounds for hope would be a world in which our own children could grow up in security and peace not because evil would then be absent from the globe, but because the forces of right would be united and strong. Harry Truman had faith as I have faith, and as I believe the American people have faith, that if we are wise enough and determined enough in our opposition to hate and our promotion of tolerance, in our opposition to aggression and our fidelity to law, we will have allies not only among governments but among people everywhere. Such an alliance can never be beaten. The creation of such an alliance will be my goal if I am entrusted with the presidency of the United States. Because, this is what will keep America strong."
- Social Security Dean opposes raising the retirement age or applying means tests to Social Security benefits. Has been criticized by other candidates for comments he made in 1995 suggesting that the retirement age ought to be raised to age 70, and for more recently saying he would entertain the notion.
- 2003 Iraq War Dean says, "We can't (withdraw from Iraq). We cannot lose the peace in Iraq. This situation was created by Bush, who ignored the greater danger in Iran and North Korea and Al Qaida at home to do it. This was a mistake, this war. And the president's gotten into it, now we're going to have to get out of it. But if we leave Iraq to chaos, Al Qaida may move in, if we leave Iraq to a fundamentalist Shiite regime with Iranian influence, we will be in both circumstances worse off than we were when Saddam Hussein was president." and "I opposed President Bush’s war in Iraq from the beginning. While Saddam Hussein’s regime was clearly evil and needed to be disarmed, it did not present an immediate threat to U.S. security that would justify going to war, particularly going to war alone. From the beginning, I felt that winning the war would not be the hard part - winning the peace would be. This Administration failed to plan for the postwar period as it did for the battle, and today we are paying the price."
- Gun control Dean supports federal legislation to close the so-called "gun show loophole" and to renew the assault weapons ban. Supports the re-enactment of the Brady Bill. Would leave most additional gun control to the states. Received an "A" rating from the NRA most of his career.
- Drug policy Dean promises to force FDA evaluation of medical marijuana within one year after taking office, and says he will abide by their recommendation. Strident opponent of methadone maintenance to treat opiate dependence.
- Gay rights "I will work to expand equal rights to same-sex couples and ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, strengthen federal protections against anti-gay violence, give federal employees the right to name same-sex partners as beneficiaries, remove bias from our immigration laws, and end the military's Don't ask, don't tell policy." As governor, he signed the nation's first same-sex civil unions bill.
- Immigration "I will work to ensure that people who work hard, pay taxes, and otherwise obey the rules can become full participants in our society, including becoming citizens. I will work to regularize the inevitable future migration of labor in a way that makes economic and humanitarian sense. Deaths in the desert do neither. I will propose reforms that ensure we can meet our economy’s need for workers at all skill levels, without pitting foreign workers against U.S. workers and while respecting workers' rights including the right to organize. I will work to forge stronger partnerships with countries from which immigrants migrate -- especially Mexico -- so that in the long run, fewer people will be driven by desperation to break laws and risk their lives for basic opportunities that every human being deserves. I will work to ensure that immigrants who are detained by the Department of Homeland Security are afforded their basic civil rights and that our concern for national security does not become another excuse for racial profiling. I will build on our country’s long history of welcoming immigrants in ways that reflect our need for security but do not sacrifice the basic ideals upon which this nation was founded."
- Middle East Supports a negotiated peace based on acceptance of a two-state solution by majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians. Has indicated that his position is closer to that of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee than that of Americans for Peace Now. A minor controversy ensued when he made comments that the United States should not "take sides" in the conflict. In response to criticism, he affirmed his support for the "special relationship" the U.S. has with Israel, referring to America's economic, military, and political support for Israel. In April 2004, he stated that he supports Israel's assassination of Hamas leaders.
1 A copy of the speech, in addition to an audio file available for Windows Media Player, is available here.
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