Salmon Press

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Dean is the right choice

The newspapers of Salmon Press endorse the candidacy of former Governor Howard Dean in next week's New Hampshire Presidential Primary.

This was not a difficult choice to make despite the formidable opposition that Gov. Dean faces in his long quest to unseat President George W. Bush, for should he win the Democratic presidential nomination, he will give voters here and across the country a clear choice in picking our next President.

Except to those self-described political junkies who revel in campaign minutia, Howard Dean was a nobody as little as six months ago and now appears to have emerged out of nowhere to capture the flash of the national stage.  Just how did a small-town doctor turned small-state governor rise so far and so fast to achieve front-runner status in the Democratic Party?  Luck, of course, some stumbling on the part of his opponents but from this vantage across the Connecticut River it is more the story of the man within.

Governor Dean was never your typical M.D. as a physician nor, as governor of Vermont, was he your typical state house pol.  Discerning Democrats from these parts have long viewed him as a man of Trumanesque strength.  He is forthright, plain speaking and unwilling to run from a fight.  It is that last trait, to mix it up with the other side, that occasionally has cost him in the polls.  He too often lacks finesse, critics say.

In politics the critics are always there.  Howard Dean has emerged as a serious contender for his party's presidential nomination precisely because he has refused to finesse his way to the truth.  His "Give 'em Hell Harry" style has attracted new and dormant voters to his side by the hundreds of thousands and they in turn have raised millions for his war chest, placing him atop the fundraising heap in the Democratic Party.

With money to spend, a story to tell and the conviction to tell it, Howard Dean has the right combination to win his party's presidential nomination.  He should start with a victory in next week's New Hampshire Primary.

Copyright © 2004 Salmon Press, LLC.  Reprinted by permission.  (Rich Piatt, 03/01/04)

Salmon Press, LLC, based in Meredith, publishes weeklies in eight New Hampshire towns.  The decision to endorse Dean was made by the Publisher (Rich Piatt) and the owner with input from the editors of the eight papers, five of whom backed Dean.  Note that the Berlin Reporterwent ahead and made a separate endorsement as well.

Berlin Reporter - Granite State News (Wolfeboro) - Littleton Courier -Telegram (Franklin) - Coos County Democrat (Lancaster) - Carroll County Independent (Ossippee) - RecordEnterprise (Plymouth) - Meredith News