22
Jan
04

Wired News | Dean Jokes About ‘Screeching’ in Iowa

Wired News | Dean Jokes About ‘Screeching’ in Iowa: “LEBANON, N.H. (Reuters) – A hoarse Howard Dean joked on Thursday about his nationally televised outburst, saying his voice had not recovered from his ‘screeching’ after he lost in Iowa, the first major prize for Democrats seeking the White House. In fact, the former Vermont governor is fighting a bad cold.

Dean is trying to get past the arm-waving, screaming speech he delivered after finishing third in Monday’s Iowa caucuses to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

His performance has been widely lampooned on the Internet, and late-night talk shows, but it could also be a serious problem for his campaign, reinforcing his image among some as an “angry” candidate who does not have the temperament to be president.

“I have still not recovered my voice from my screeching in Iowa,” he told a town hall meeting in Lebanon.

Dean has been dogged by the fist-pumping, sleeve-rolling, shrieking remarks. He has been asked about it in more than a dozen radio and satellite television interviews.

“The context was 3,500 kids waving American flags who’d worked their hearts out for us for three weeks, and I really felt I owed them an uplifting speech, so, I don’t know what it looked like on television,” he said in the interviews. “But I understand the audience wasn’t shown, which is really too bad because it was really a terrific rallying cry.”

“I have my warts. I sometimes say things that get me in trouble,” he later added in Lebanon.

Dean, once the front-runner among seven Democrats vying to challenge President Bush on Nov. 2, has fallen behind Kerry in polls in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday. He once held a 20 point lead.

Kerry, riding a wave of momentum from his Iowa victory, has grabbed a three-point lead over Dean five days before the primary, according to a Reuters/MSNBC/Zogby poll released on Thursday.

Dean spokesman Jay Carson dismissed the polls.

“A lot can change in five days … He’s going to be pointing out that he stands up for what’s right — regardless of whether it’s popular — and that he’s delivered results and not just speeches,” Carson told CNN.

Dean would not apologize for Monday night’s performance, Carson said.

“He had a room full of people who had come to Iowa to work hard for him, to volunteer for him, he wanted to go out there and show his appreciation for the hard work that they had done. He did that, he was energizing them and we’re not going to make any apologies for it.”

But Dean has toned down his rhetoric and his delivery. Instead of rousing rallies, he is holding town hall meetings in New Hampshire, answering questions and forgoing the “red meat” of his previous appearances.

In Lebanon, Dean was on the verge of losing his voice completely. The Democratic candidates meet on Thursday night for a televised debate that could be critical to the New Hampshire vote.

“I’m going to become a frog if I keep this up,” he said.

Copyright � 2003 Reuters Limited.”

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