Jewish World Review Feb. 14, 2005 / 5 Adar I, 5765

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

The new Dean on campus | Twice I have underestimated Howard Dean. I never thought he'd be competitive in the Democratic primaries and, not learning my lesson, I foolishly predicted he would never get the top job at the Democratic National Committee. So I won't blame you if you stop reading my latest thoughts about Dean.

The governor is a driven man who brings a sense of certainty to a party in trouble. The Democrats are waffling around all over the place. The left wing of the party got battered by the successful Iraqi election, a beating that caused Ted Kennedy to skip the State of the Union address. The uber liberal faction of the Democratic Party simply has no traction whatsoever in the court of public opinion.

Moderate Democrats are in much better shape, which is why you are seeing Hillary Clinton running to the center. Senator Clinton now says she understands and respects those who oppose abortion, and she's demanding tough action on national security problems. No more touchy-feely for Mrs. Clinton, no way. She's now tough on the bad guys and understanding of those with whom she disagrees.

Not so Howard Dean. He remains a defiant guy. At a meeting for Democrats on Jan. 29, he made things quite clear by saying: "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for."

On Fox News two weeks earlier, Dean, with apologies to Richard Nixon, again made things perfectly clear: "There's nothing I admire about the Republicans. They can't manage money. They've gotten us into a war without telling us why we're there."

This kind of in-your-face condemnation of Republicans is soothing for many hard-core Democrats who are beyond furious that the GOP is running things. Dean's denunciation of all things right (as in wing) gets juices flowing on the Left. Thus, the governor has become the second most powerful Democrat in country behind Senator Clinton.

By most accounts, Hillary and Bill Clinton aren't real thrilled with Dean. In order to win the presidency, Mrs. Clinton has to sway some traditional voters to her side. A bomb-throwing, left-leaning DNC chief does Hillary no good at all.

Dean is a tremendous fundraiser, but Hillary doesn't need the bucks. She will raise an enormous amount of money with or without Dean. So the bottom line is that Governor Dean brings nothing but potential grief to Mrs. Clinton.

Donate to JWR

On the other side, those hateful Republicans love Dean as head of the DNC. They can put him into the Michael Moore category and demonize him all day long. The truth is that Howard Dean is not a flaming left-winger, but many of his supporters are, and Dean has embraced them. Also, the more successful President Bush is in Iraq, the worse Dean will look and, by extension, most Democrats, including Hillary. So why did the party turn to a man with so many negatives?

The answer is that Dean can fire people up. And that's no small feat in Democratic circles. John Kerry was the ultimate party pooper. He had all kinds of trouble getting folks, including the Democratic choir, to sing along. "Stodgy" is probably the best word for Kerry. The Dems badly need charisma; Dean has it.

But all in all, Howard Dean will probably hurt his party. He is generally intolerant of red state values, and Republicans will seize upon this to serve up Dean, Hillary and liberal extremism in one puffed-up soufflé. And that will certainly be a tasty dish for the party in power.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

Bill O'Reilly Archives


© 2004 Creators Syndicate