Guest post: Sarah Berger

My friend Sarah Berger and I agree that Dean is still the guy. Here’s her take on why. This note is circulating in our friendship circle, and I know a dozen or so people who have been on the fence and are now (back) behind Dean. Here’s her post:
I just want to share some Sarah thoughts with any of you who are interested. I’ve been on the fence about the pres. candidates and Dean. BUT that has just changed for good. I just went to hear him speak and I am now truly 800% behind him. This is why.
I don’t know if I can capture the feeling of optimisim and hope for our country I felt while listening to him, but I believe that in spite of any rhetoric to the contrary, Howard Dean actually provides the most optimistic view and the most empowered view of our democracy and the the future of our country than any of the other candidates.
He’s the only candidate I can listen to and not get bored, or start rolling my eyes. This is because he is sincere. He is actually giving real information about why he thinks what he does, and what he’d actually do about it. John edwards talks a rousing talk, I’ve got to hand it to him…but while he speaks I am thinking..”yeah, but what would you actually do about that. What about that?” Edwards appears to put on a happy face when he is talking about optimisim. And a fighting face when he talks about the wealthy. A compassionate face when he talks about the poor.
Dean just says what he thinks and his face follows him. His smiles rise up naturally and his fighting looks arise when he is talking about something he feels passionate aboout.
He spoke with calm strength. He had a great sense of humor. He spoke intelligently about self-employed people, about the need for sustainable energy for both environmental and national security reasons, about the need for diversity in the media so we have real democratic access to communication…
He spoke realisitically. He noted that we cannot afford to say he can do everything and be all things to all people. He said he would be realistic with “the people” about what was possible and affordable.
He spoke for health care for all and acknowledged that we are the only industrialized nation that does not provide this. He said that literally, his first act as President would be to repeal just about all the executive orders made by Pres Bush about the environment.
The particulars were important, but more important was the attitude of respect, genuineness, honest and intelligence.
My concerns about him being presidential enough, or able to deal with security issues completely disappeared.
He is the person who made this whole democratic primary process become exciting. The other candidates have ridden his wave and begun to use his rhetoric.
I believe Howard Dean IS the person who is going to bring the most energy and empowerment back to the democratic process. I did not feel at all patronized or pandered to.
His good sense of humor about himself (and his scream) also provided a glimpse into the Howard Dean that will be able to work with the House and Senate.
He’s the only candidate who doesn’t just say what will make him popular or liked. He is realistic, and honest. he is intelligent, does his research. He is passionate, AND he has a great smile and sense of humor. I know he’s made gaffes…HE knows it too. When he makes a mistake he is actually willing to learn and evolve as a human being, while at the same time not aplogizing for what he truly believes.
I don’t know if I conveyed this well, but look and listen in the next few days. I truly believe he is the best person (of those on the table) for the job and I for one, am going to throw my energy behind him.
I got to thinking alot about it all this week and realized that the bottom line was that the reason the campaign was so exciting was really due to Dean in the first place He was the one who energized the vision of reclaiming our democracy. Then all the candidates took on the message and are riding his wave.
When I saw him again in person, it just verified for me that I did in fact trust him as a potential leader at that level. it’s interesting how the rhetoric about someone can start to really infiltrate our brains…I have a feeling many people who’ve leaned toward Dean started leaning away with similar doubts that were all amplified by media stuff. I really needed to go back to basics and see him for myself again. All doubt vanished in his actual presence.
I watched the debate last night and you know, Kerry came off as an angry guy. if he’d been the forerunner in the last several months he’d have been the one labeled as angry..or something else. In real life Dean strikes me as intense but mellow at the same time.