Howard Dean's Scandals

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Abortion Doctor?
His son was just arrested in a really stupid burglary
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Howard Dean is already the buzz candidate of the Democratic Primary. Republicans who write him off as a far liberal will be surprised -- he has ruled Vermont since 1991 and despite a couple of wilder positions (supporting gay civil unions, for example) most of his positions are squarely centrist. Most notably, he has the support of the NRA for his states rights position on gun control.

At this point, most people still don't know that much about him, us included, so it's always interesting to read general descriptions of his personality. For example, check out this article on his college years at Yale. Friends remember him as a guy with a strong personality and high energy who threw a lot of parties and didn't exclude anyone from them. He also won points for courage, for example paying offensive lineman against much bigger players in intramural football.


Quotes

"I tend not to be terribly likeable on [interviews with] editorial boards. They donít bring out my best because theyíre going to be tough and I am combative. And so when I get tough questions, I get combative. Iím not one to sort of lean back and say, ĎWell, now, boysÖí you know, all that stuff, I donít do that." -- Howard Dean

Temper, Temper

By his own descripion, Dean is "combative" when he gets tough questions, not unlike John McCain. Of course, as McCain showed, the line between someone with a harsh temper and a tough, no BS straight talker can be a very fine line indeed. (under construction)

Abortion Doctor?

Dean worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic, and some of his right-wing critics are speculating (in whispers) about whether he performed abortions. That's legal, of course, but would certainly be a lurid story if it came out. Unfortunately for the tabloids, the evidence is clear that he did not. In fact, at the time Dean worked there, that clinic did not perform abortions at all, according to Janet Patterson, who worked there. Other doctors who worked with him did note that Dean was unusually calm under stress, and often lightened the mood with jokes and "gallows humor".

Party Animal?

Like President Bush, Howard Dean gave up drinking after a particularly rowdy party (in this case, Dean's own bachelor party). As far as anyone knows though, he was never convicted of drunk driving. There is some evidence that he was a serious partier. His friend Richard Willing, now a reporter for USA Today, said he often organized parties, open to all, and was the kind of guy "who invited you back to his room to finish off the keg." Bill Kerns, another friend who is now a family physician in Virginia, said Dean "did some interesting things as a freshman Iím not going to tell you about, but I mean, hell, didnít we all?"

The Bad Seed?

Dean's son was recently arrested for one of the dumbest crimes in recent history -- driving the getaway car in the burglary of liquor from a country club. He awaits trial.

Sources

"Friends recall Howard Deanís intensity, worldly ways", by Mary E. O'Leary, New Haven Register, October 12, 2003

Quotes --
A Conversation With Howard Dean, Roger Simon.Com, July 9, 2003
Abortion --
"METEORIC RISE IN VT. POLITICS", by Sarah Schweitzer and Tatsha Robertson, Boston Globe, September 22, 2003
Temper --
A Conversation With Howard Dean, Roger Simon.Com, July 9, 2003

Party --
"Friends recall Howard Deanís intensity, worldly ways", by Mary E. O'Leary, New Haven Register, October 12, 2003

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