Load gun, raise foot, pull trigger.
Five days after his damaging third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Howard Dean said Saturday that the state should regulate discussion inside caucus rooms or lose its premier status in the presidential nomination process.
"I like the Iowa caucuses a lot and I think they should be first, but they have to have a process that is good for democracy," Dr. Dean said on his campaign bus as he headed to Dover, N.H., to knock on the doors of undecided voters. "The kind of stuff that's going on with the phone calls and all that under the table is not particularly good for democracy, and I didn't know it went on inside the caucuses. And if it does it should not be permitted."
It's becoming apparent that Dean wants to change the system more than he wants to be President. Perception == Reality: "Sore loser Dean thinks he lost because the rules weren't fair, just like he cried to the head of the DNC about negative camapaigning." Hell, you don't even need to apply spin - the NYT article is pretty carefully neutral (at least the version I read; NYT articles have a tendency to change substantially over time from when they're first posted), but voters who read this will not be likely to stop and think about internal caucus mechanisms. They'll make a judgment about what kind of person Dr. Dean is and it's not not going to be "Gosh, what a brave man he his for taking this principled, unpopular stand, maybe our democratic system really does need improvement in some areas and we should limit free speech in order to accomplish that," it's going to be "Hmm, wants to change the rules again, eh? Won't be pretty to watch Bush skewer him on that one."
Dean shouldn't even be thinking about Iowa anymore, much less making public statements about it, MUCH much less criticizing caucuses once again, thus confirming that the low opinion he expressed about them a few years back in that Canadian interview, which he tried to distance himself from, is actually still very much his opinion now and he can't seem to get over it.