"Quietly Optimistic" | Freyne Land

"Quietly Optimistic"

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That's how former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (1991-2003) responded when we asked his this afternoon how he was feeling about tomorrow - Election Day 2006. That's Ho-Ho above with Lite-Gov candidate Matt Dunne next to him this afternoon at Democratic H.Q. in Burlap. About the same size are they. Interesting. But where's lieutenant governor ever led anyone, eh?

Just kidding. Anyway, "Chairman Dean," we asked, "how are you feeling right at this moment?"

"I'm feeling quietly optimistic. I think we like where the polls are heading us. The only poll that counts is tomorrow, but we're putting up a huge effort to get out the vote - one that we haven't done for a long time. And that effort is in all 50 states for the first time in several decades."

"New Kid on the Block" Dean, you may recall, took a lot of flack from his party's Old Guard for doing the 50-state game plan. The Old Guard, however, is looking like doggie poop at the moment.

But let's be brave - a lot of people are worried the election will be stolen by the party in power. What makes one think they would stop at anything at this point in the Bush-Cheney charade? After all, it wouldn't be the first time. Said Ho-Ho:

"It won't be stolen in Vermont 'cause we don't use those machines that you can hack into.  But, sure, there's some worry around the country in some spots. We've already found some voting irregularities and we have a huge task force of 7500 attorneys who can be at any poll in America within a matter of minutes. We have a toll-free number: 1-800-DEM-VOTE. But again in Vermont I don't expect anything like that. We run our elections pretty well up here."

Is the Democratic Party Chairman surprised the party is doing so well?

"Look, tomorrow is the only poll that counts. So I feel good about it, but I feel like we still have a lot of work to do - 36 more hours."

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" we asked. (Got to keep them off-balance, on their toes.)

Dean laughed aloud. The laughs have come easier lately.

"Good question," he said with a smile.

No problem. That's my job. Howard.

Never did get an answer.

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