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Howard Dean

Howard DeanAKA Howard Brush Dean III

Born: 17-Nov-1948
Birthplace: East Hampton, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Congregationalist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Governor of Vermont, 1991-2003

As a young man of draftable age during the Vietnam war, Howard Dean received a medical deferment due to a bad back (a congenital deformity known as spondylolisthesis). He is a medical doctor, and was first elected to the Vermont legislature in 1983, then elected Lieutenant Governor in 1986. In 1991, when Gov. Richard Snelling died, Dean succeeded him as Governor. He was then elected Governor in his own right in 1992, 94, 96, 98, and 2000. In Vermont, his often-cited accomplishments include implementing a state-wide health care system that covers 92% of the population, extending marriage benefits to "civil union"-ized gays, and maintaining a balanced budget every year in office.

Running for President in 2004, Dean was the first national candidate who seemed to understand the power of leveraging Internet. He ran a campaign weblog, used to organize meetings, accepted donations through Paypal, and so on. It made him an early frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, at least in terms of fundraising. The Dean campaign also hired two prominent bloggers, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of Daily Kos and Jerome Armstrong of, as consultants, with the explicit hope that these writers would add to the candidate's buzz. The Wall Street Journal reported this hiring after the election as if it were a scandal, but Zuniga had announced it on Daily Kos when it happened, and Armstrong had suspended publication of his weblog while working on Dean's campaign.

Dean has admitted smoking marijuana, but still supports the war on drugs. He also admitted to "a problem with alcohol" in his 20s. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Dean said he "doubted" that Iraq posed any threat to America, and when Saddam Hussein was captured he spoiled the celebration by questioning whether America was any safer than the day before. It was also considered controversial when Dean said he wouldn't reject the support of people "with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks".

Dean's "I have a scream" speech was seen as a major turning point, and certainly contributed to his losing the Democratic nomination. Television across the country aired video of his appearance before a rally of his supporters, where he shouted loudly and eventually let loose with a yowl that was widely derided as not seeming "presidential". What most of the media failed to mention or notice was that Dean had used a specific type of noise-canceling microphone, specifically designed to hear only the user's voice and filter out the roar of a raucous crowd. On recordings that used ordinary microphones, people in the room could barely hear Dean at all, as he hollered to be heard over the cheering audience at his pep rally.

Dean lost the nomination to John Kerry, and after Kerry's loss to George W. Bush, Dean was named Chairman of the Democratic Party.

Prior to Dean tenure at the DNC, the national Party office generally provided financial support only for candidates perceived as having a good chance of victory, which in practice meant offering little or no help to Democrats running in Republican strongholds of the South and Midwest. Dean has instead embraced a "50-state strategy", where the Democratic Party supports Democrats everywhere, an approach that bore fruit in 2006 as Democrats took control of both houses of Congress.

Father: Howard Brush Dean, Jr. (Dean Witter Reynolds executive, d. 23-Aug-2001)
Mother: Andrée Belden Maitland (art appraiser)
Wife: Judith Steinberg Dean (physician, m. 1981)
Daughter: Anne Dean
Son: Paul Dean (arrested for burglary, 2004)

    High School: St. George's School, Newport, RI (1966)
    University: BA Political Science, Yale University (1971)
    Medical School: MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University (1978)

    Governor of Vermont (1991-2003)
    Lieutenant Governor of Vermont (1987-91)
    Vermont State House of Representatives (1983-87)
    Democracy for America
    Democratic National Committee Chairman (2005-09)
    Keep Our Mission PAC
    Planned Parenthood
    Zeta Psi Fraternity
    Endorsement of Yahoo!
    Draft Deferment: Vietnam 1-Y
    Risk Factors: Alcoholism, Marijuana

    Tanner on Tanner (5-Oct-2004) · Himself

Official Website:

Appears on the cover of:
Newsweek, 12-Jan-2004, DETAILS: Doubts About Dean -- Behind the Democrats' Battle to Stop Him
Time, 12-Jan-2004, DETAILS: Who is the Real Dean?
Time, 11-Aug-2003, DETAILS: The Dean Factor -- A feisty ex-Governor from Vermont is setting the pace in the race against Bush. Does Howard Dean's renegade campaign stand a chance?

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