Probing Dean

You can tell that Michael Isikoff is going hard on Howard Dean when he leads with this photo:
The underlying story – Dean’s decision to keep his records as Vermont governor sealed – isn’t something I get hugely exercised over, but Dean won’t be able to hold the line on this if he gets the nomination (just ask any candidate who’s ever tried to avoid releasing his tax returns; Bill Simon comes prominently to mind). It’s also another example of how Dean’s own record and biography contains so many of the things liberals love to attack Bush over (in this case, secrecy).
I had the same general reaction to stories about Dean’s draft record; it may be fun for his critics to call Dean a “Draft Dodger” or get quotes where even his own mother admits of his medical deferment for a bad back — that didn’t keep him from skiing or working at odd jobs like pouring concrete — “Yeah, that looks bad.” Again, if Dean is the nominee, his vulnerabilities on this point may help immunize Bush against (idiotic) attacks on Bush’s military service record, but the fact is that the military has some physical specifications for soldiers that are different from other demands of everyday life. Don’t forget that in the 1950s, when Mickey Mantle was the best athlete on earth, he failed his draft physical due to bad knees. Just because Mickey could hit a ball a mile, run 90 feet like the wind and show up ready to play everyday no matter what he’d been out doing the night before didn’t mean he had the stamina to march 5 miles with a heavy pack on his back, and so he didn’t have to serve.

3 thoughts on “Probing Dean”

  1. That’s probably the case, particularly since the article’s online, and I’m not sure if the print edition of Newsweek carries the same photo. I actually didn’t mean to suggest that Isikoff necessarily picked the photo so much as that you could tell this was an unfavorable piece because the picture was so rough.

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