Goofus for President

Missed this one last week, about the Take Back America conference:

“Some of this is very much a reaction to the 2002 election, where our strategists made the tragic mistake of not taking on Bush on the tax cut and on the war,” said Paul Begala, a former Clinton strategist and Crossfire co-host. “That’s not what a leader does. It’s what a busboy does.”

Few were making that mistake on Thursday, where each of the candidates got more applause the more they slammed the president. Dean began the day with Wellstone’s quip about the democratic wing and immediately went on the attack against Bush. He slammed the tax cut as a “simple attempt to de-fund government.” He drew cheers when he asked, “Mr. President, where are the weapons you told us about?” and then mocked his pro-war rivals, saying, “All the Democrats said, ‘Ooh, [Iraq] is a clear and present danger.’ It is?”

— snip —

Yet the most impassioned applause of the day was reserved for Kucinich. Introduced by Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers of America, as “the only vegan in Congress,” Kucinich took the stage to John Lennon’s “Imagine” and proceeded to conjure the heyday of American progressivism by promising a new version of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. “We’re gonna rebuild America’s cities, and we’re gonna do it with America’s steel,” he roared, his voice far larger than his elfin frame. In his spellbinding speech, Kucinich laid out a lefty’s dream platform: Medicare for all, money pulled out of the Pentagon budget to pay for schools and other domestic programs, and “total nuclear disarmament.” He spoke to the crowd’s fury over the war in Iraq, getting a screaming standing ovation when he cried, “This war was wrong! This war was fraudulent! We must expose this administration!”

Found that via Lisa at Ruminate This, who notes:

At this meeting of Progressive Dems and another on the West Coast a day earlier, which politicians drove the hearts of the crowd?

Dean and Kucinich.

Remember that.