Rush Limbaugh forgets his talking points. Dean is supposed to be the candidate of the angry left. Instead, he says, Dean supporters are very nice:
And really these people are pretty smart. They're keeping Dean's name on this program. They're doing it in a way that nobody associated with Dean turns you off. I mean, these Deanites are not mean. They're not negative, they are quite intelligent sounding, and they're very deferential and polite. But what they always do is manage to explain a Howard Dean position in the most reasonable way possible and then ask for my reaction to it. They don't argue with me about it, they do not call names, they are not confrontational at all. They're not even provocative in a negative sense, and it's starting to happen with an increased frequency or an increasing frequency.
I think the ultimate aim, of course, is twofold. It’s to keep the Dean name alive and prominent on this program, and they also do so in a way that presents themselves and thus supporters of Howard Dean in a totally reasonable, intelligent, and civilized way. And they never tell me I'm wrong about anything. They never, ever call up with belligerence and say "you this,” they say, "Perhaps you have misunderstood one of Howard Dean's positions." And then they restate it to me in a way that may help you and me both to understand what Howard Dean really thinks about this particular issue and the obvious objective here to represent Howard Dean constantly on this program, to have his name mentioned and by virtue of that happening, whenever one of these people calls, his supporters are always going to be heard as reasonable, polite, thoughtful, thinking, all these things, which is in contrast to the way the Democrats are talking about Dean. Forget what I'm saying. But the Democratic candidates are out there portraying this guy as a wacko leftist about to drive the party off the cliff and all that.
Tom DeLay: "Howard Dean's comments are an embarrassment to the democratic process and the Democrat Party. If this cruel, loudmouth extremist is the cream of the Democrat crop, next November's going to make the 1984 election look like a squeaker.” Obviously, Tom DeLay -- who knows a thing or two about being a cruel, loudmouth extremist -- is getting Rove's e-mail just fine.
(Via Dean 2004, via We're Left, They're Wrong.)
Update: Dick Morris is getting the other Rove message, that Dean's an ultra-lefty with whom Bush will clean the floor. There's real fear here, people.
Bush's poll numbers continue to tank. The Zogby poll has his job approval at 45 percent, a drop of seven points since August and 19 since last year. (Zogby's methodology generally understates job approval, but the downward trend is unmistakable). The Fox News/Opinion Dynamic poll shows that Bush would get only 50 percent of the vote in a trial heat against Gore. It would be a rerun of 2000 - and we'd still be waiting up all night to learn the count in Florida.
But the Democrats know that the president has an ace up his sleeve: Howard Dean. This ultra-liberal, who Bush could defeat with his eyes closed, is racing into the lead in the Democratic field.
Consider the fact that the more people think it's time for "someone new" than would vote for Bush (52/40 in the new Zogby poll) and Bush polls at only 10% higher versus Dean in a new Time/CNN poll, the idea that Bush could beat Dean "with his eyes closed" is just ludicrous. Everyone knows that, right now, quite a few people who would vote for Dean but are still hoping that "their" candidate will rise to the top answer those polls as if they'd vote for Bush in order to keep other candidates from looking better. The toesucker knows that, too, but just won't say it.