Roger L. Simon

"The Dean's December"

I chose this title to honor my friend Adam Bellow’s lovely meditation on his relationship with his father in this morning’s NYT, but also as a more ironic nod to that other Dean (Howard), much in the news lately for yet another gaffe.

One of the things that occurs to me about the former Vermont governor is that he seems more like an actor than a politician in his style and affect. His ideas, such as they are, are designed to elicit audience reaction (gain love from those in front of him) rather than to express any serious policy. For example, I never believed he was really antiwar to begin with, but simply found himself filling a vacuum in the early days of ’04 campaign. That became his position because it worked for him. Now, undoubtedly, he believes it. He’s kind of like Arianna Huffington that way.