It was like the good old days, as former Gov. Howard Dean sat down for about 40 minutes Wednesday morning with a table full of veteran Vermont reporters in the back room at Democrat Campaign HQ on the Burlington Waterfront. Ross Sneyd (AP) and Darren Allen (Rutland Herald/Times Argus) drove in from Montpeculiar. John Dillon (VPR), Sam Hemingway (Freeps) and Stew Ledbetter (WPTZ-TV) also attended and fired questions at the national star.
Surprisingly, the biggest local TV news station, WGOP, er, WCAX-TV, aka “Vermont’s Own,” did not make it. Well, maybe not too surprising, eh?
The chairman of the Democratic National Committee (a born-and-raised Goldwater Republican, let’s not forget), told the gang that if next Tuesday’s election were held today, his party - the Democratic Party - would win back a majority in the House and the vote in the Senate would be a tie, as of today.
Chairman Dean said he’s feeling “optimistic.” He said “People want change and they’re going to get change.”
Ho-Ho also looked into his 2007 crystal ball and predicted a raise in the minimum wage, an interest rollback on college loans, a middle-class tax cut and NO tax cuts for oil companies with Democrats in power on Capitol Hill.
Dean also promised, “There will be no vindictiveness.”
Though he compared Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to the Nixon-Agnew administration of the Vietnam War era (1969-74), Americans, said Dean, will not see what he called, “extensive impeachment hearings” of President George W. Bush. Rather, he said, we need to concentrate on bringing the country back together. Said Ho-Ho:
“The worst thing George Bush has done to this country is not the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina. It’s not the huge deficits - all of which are really bad. The worst thing this president has done is divide us bitterly and I think what the American people want is for us to be put back together again and given hope. You can’t do that if you’re spending all your time trying to impeach the president.”
Besides, added Howard:
“There is a practical consideration. Should you impeach the president, you end up with Dick Cheney. How’d you like those apples?”
Good point, eh?