I know Gov. Dean is going to pull this off but I have one piece of advice for the Good Doctor.
Drop the stump speech.
Thats right just drop it. At least until after Iowa and New Hampshire. These two states have been paying attention for a long time now they have heard it before, they probably have it memorized. If you drop the speech and start speaking from the heart and say something fresh that gets their blood pumping you'll do so much better going into monday night.
Perhaps part of the reason Edwards and Kerry are starting to rise is because people in Iowa have just now started to take a close look at those candidates and their stump speeches don't seem so played out to them. I mean at least come up with a few fresh talking points.
Here are some rough ideas.
"The question is what are Iowans looking for in a Democratic challenger to the President? The Anti-Bush, or the Anti-Me?"
"If the Media and the other campaigns in this race focused their attacks on President Bush as sharply as they have focused on me maybe he wouldn't be looting the national treasury and getting away with it."
"The bottom line is we need to offer a clear choice to the American people. The me-too style of politics doesn't work, it cost us the mid-terms and it will cost us the General Election. We have to show the American people there are in fact two political parties in this country. That the Democratic party is the party of the people, that it is alive and well and that its ready to kick George W. Bush back to Crawford Texas."
"One of the most common mistakes made by our party at election time is that we roll over or go on the defensive whenever someone in the media or on the other side labels us. Whether it be "too left" "unamerican" "unpatriotic" "angry" we cannot let the Republican party push us around. We cannot be afraid to run on our parties principals and we cannot be afraid of George W. Bush. The American people are getting screwed out here and the Democratic Party has to stand up for them. Because if we don't nobody else will."
"I've taken alot of hits from my rivals over the last week. I've been under constant and increased fire. But no matter how hard it gets its a hundred times worse for the working men and woman out there and that what we're fighting for. Thats really what this is all about."
"I'm in a good position to challenge George W. Bush next year because I will offer a clear choice. We have two different styles of Government. My record on fiscal responsibility is 11 consecutive years of balanced budgets and rational tax cuts.
His idea of fiscal responsibility is record deficits and 3 million jobs lost.
I'm a Doctor, my idea of compassion is treating people and helping them heal themselves. Virtually everyone in my state has health insurance. His idea of compassion is sending your sons and daughters off to die in Iraq and presiding over more executions than any other Governor in Texas History."
"The larger issues of this campaign will not revolve around Iraq. But instead whats happening here in America. I may not have hands on experience in destroying other countries but I more than enough experience in building them back up. And thats what we have to do here in the United States."
"Besides my state of Vermont, almost every state in the union is having a fiscal crisis and it reflects whats happening at the federal level. This President is on a spending spree with the national credit card and passing the debt onto the next generation. The only thing that trickles down in this economy is the bill."
"I think with my head and speak from my heart. I believe in the power of people to make change. I believe Government should be held accountable. I believe this Generation has a responsibility to create a safer and more secure world for the next. I believe progress is the key to survival and that the words 'all men are created equal' did not die with Abe Lincoln. Lastly I believe the people in this country deserve to have their voices heard, their concerns addressed and their votes counted. And if these modest beliefs somehow make me unelectable in the eyes of the powerful... so be it. I believe there is no stopping an idea whose time has come.
And I believe that time is now."