If Dr. Howard Dean doesn’t become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, there will be ample reasons to cite. But one of them shouldn’t be his “I Have a Scream” speech after his loss in the Iowa caucus to Sen. John Kerry. It was much ado about nothing more than throwing some rhetorical red meat to a bunch of 20-something volunteers who were feeling disappointed.
The media characterized it as a “rant,” a “primal scream” and a “manic outburst.” And everyone, including Dean, agreed it wasn’t “presidential.” The tape played as a continuous loop till the New Hampshire primary. It became a running joke with late-night comics.
But as ABC reported a week later, Dean’s hand-held microphone distorted his delivery to those watching the video by eliminating most of the raucous crowd noise. It was that din that Dean was trying to yell above.
More to the point, if Dean’s loud exhortation was so unpresidential, what does that make much of the demeanor of George W. Bush? Remember candidate campaign references to “Grecians?” Or misplaced, “Bring it on” bravado aimed at Iraqi insurgents — who continue to do just that.