Wednesday, May 28, 2003


Political writer Matt Bai profiles former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in this week's New York Times Magazine, summarized by Slate here. ABC News's The Note quotes a key passage of the article about Dean's anger as key to his appeal among Democrats:

"Dean is a gifted orator. Self-righteousness surges like a current from his feet up through his 5-foot-8 frame, energizing a hard voice that strikes a listener in the chest. At a dinner held by local Democrats in little Lee County, Iowa, I watch as he ignites a room full of voters with a broad indictment of Democrats for letting Bush have his way on war, tax cuts and education. 'The sad thing is that the Democratic Party has helped the president do this,' Dean says, although he doesn't sound sad at all. He sounds as if he wants to throw the lectern through a wall."

The Note previously coined an acronym for a typical speech by either Sen. Joe Lieberman or Sen. John McCain, where they speak "more in sorrow than in anger" or MISTIA. I've used that formulation with my children ("I note, more in sorrow than in anger, that nobody has picked up their rooms as we asked you to do this morning") and while they may not see the humor in it now, they will eventually. But Dean may have developed a better formulation for the primary season: More In Anger Than In Sorrow. MIATIS just may plug into what Democrats participating in the primary and caucus process want to see against that guy who's president now and who's screwing up the economy, not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan.

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