Dean talks about the economy to a packed auditorium at Timberlane High School in Plaistow, NH.
I went to see Howard Dean make an appearance in Plaistow last Sunday. The topic was mostly economic policy and lots of Bush-bashing. He had some seemingly controversial things to say. For instance, when asked about where to place blame for high health insurance costs, Dean listed 5 parties responsible: doctors, lawyers, insurance companies, hospitals, and us. He explained that people have become too demanding regarding health care -- expecting a cure for everything and a prolonged life at any cost. And health insurance companies take advantage of that demand. Well, I don't know how significant the observation is, but he went on to make the point that his campaign is about "empowering people" and treating people like adults rather than saying, "vote for me, and I'll solve all your problems. And you won't have to sacrifice anything." He justifies his opposition to the Bush tax cuts (including the so-called "Democratic" tax cuts thrown in) by explaining that since most people didn't receive much of a tax cut, it would be better to use that money for something more important, like universal (or single-payer, whatever) health insurance. He believes that if you give citizens a choice between a measly tax-cut or better government services, they'd choose the latter. I appreciate Dean's honesty and hope his message continues to resonate with ordinary folks.
Dean also had a few memorable quotes when asked about solving the AIDS crisis. He said that when he heard Bush mention funding AIDS programs in Africa, he felt like throwing up because he knew it was a sham. Also, while explaining the need to teach prevention in third world countries, he said (paraphrase) "... you have to talk about condoms. Unfortunately this president is too giggly to mention the word... He needs a Surgeon General who can explain the birds and the bees to him." Ha!
It was a pretty good speech overall. Of course the audience members mostly asked him softball questions ("what are the top 5 companies profiting from the war?"). I suspect not many republicans come out to Dean's stump speeches. At any rate, the NH primary is still a few months away. I hope I can get out to see a few more events/rallies before his inevitable nomination. How cool is it to meet the future president? Pretty cool.