What a genuine, adorable interview the Deans had with Diane Sawyer.
How sad that they had to do it.
What we saw tonight on ABC should not have made one whit of difference in anyone's vote on the Presidential election. What we've seen over and over since Monday night in Iowa should not have made one whit of difference in anyone's vote.
It is an indictment of our democracy that these things matter; that a candidate is called from the covers of our newspapers to show us his wife, so that we can see if his marriage meets our approval; that an unguarded whoop, a moment of joyful adrenaline trumping canned reserve, can wipe away five terms of an astonishing, principled Governorship.
Sadly, our Founding Fathers could not have been elected President today, not one. None of them would have stood up to this, having to prove that not only could they manage a country, but that in character, they conformed to every ridiculous ideal we imagine our Presidents should -- that they should be warm but not hot, educated but not intellectual, "straight-talking" but not by any means candid.
Of course, none of these things matter for deciding how fit a person is to govern a country. Everything worth knowing for determining Presidential fitness is in a candidate's record. How he manages, how he practices diplomacy, how he thinks, how he reacts. The only appeal Governor Dean has to me, and it's the strongest appeal of anyone in this race, is in his having steered Vermont from a dangerous place to an enviable situation in our union. No other candidate, in my estimation, can boast practices, strategies, or accomplishments as germane to the office of the Presidency, or as admirable as Governor Dean's. (That, of course, includes President Bush.) Wesley Clark comes close, but his particular proven strengths are, I think, best suited for an office which is not the Presidency.
I understand that I'm a political purist, and that "real Americans" don't think this way. And I hope that Dean's performances tonight bring balance to those of earlier this week. But I just wanted to take a moment to appeal to some of the most discerning followers of this campaign season to reflect on how far we have left to go in building a democracy worthy of the name.