Dean Says His Fall Started With Gore

From Associated Press

In Howard Dean’s assessment of his White House campaign, the beginning of the end came with the endorsement from former Vice President Al Gore.

Dean contends the nod from Gore was so potent it galvanized his rivals.

“Everyone figured, including Bill Clinton, that we were going to win the whole thing when that happened,” Dean said in an interview with Associated Press. “They figured that was it. The other five guys started having meetings about how to take us down after that happened.”

Dean took responsibility for every action that led to the failed candidacy. “I will take all the blame. I oversaw those decisions and I accepted them and I approved them.”


The former Vermont governor said he wished he had had better debate preparation and more media training. Members of his campaign staff were spread too thin, he said, and did poorly handling the media.

Dean said he should have asked his wife, Judy, a doctor in private practice, to join him on the campaign trail sooner.

“She was a huge hit,” he said. “We got all these wonderful letters afterward saying it was so wonderful to see a normal person just like me in this role. I was shocked by how well she did and I was more shocked that she liked it. She was great!”

The missteps that allowed senators John F. Kerry and John Edwards to turn Dean from front-runner before the Iowa caucuses to a distant third were readily ticked off.

“I think Kerry pulled himself together to do a good job in Iowa and he should be given credit for it,” Dean said. “Secondly, we peaked too early and gave everybody an opportunity to go after us.

“Third of all, because I started out from so far behind, we never really had the money, and then we didn’t have the time, to build the kind of infrastructure you need to sustain you through a campaign the whole way.”