I have to confess that I’m conflicted about this news. I want to cheer it in full throat, but not so much that any groundswell might roll up and push him out of the race. That would be tragic.
Dean, whose underdog presidential campaign officially launched 10 years ago this weekend, said he has “mixed feelings” about running for office again but added he would consider another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination if he doesn’t think the other candidates are adequately addressing progressive issues that are dear to his heart.
“I am not driven by my own ambition,” Dean told CNN in an interview at the Netroots Nation conference, an annual gathering of left-leaning political activists. “What I am driven by is pushing the country in a direction that it desperately needs to be pushed; pushing other politicians who aren’t quite as frank as I am who need to be more candid with the American people about what needs to happen. I am not trying to hedge, it’s a hard job running. It’s really tough. I am doing a lot of things I really enjoy. But you should never say never in this business.”
Protip: Whenever someone who has run for political office time after time and then claims that they’re not driven by personal ambition, eh, they’re not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Personal ambition is in the mix.
Dean would run to Arkansas Evita’s left, and could be expected to win Southerners over by mocking them on gun rights and other issues that he thinks aren’t sufficiently important to base one’s vote on — like God, for instance. Through Dean we could relive the heights of the 9-11 Truther movement. Bike paths might become as prominent an issue as, say, Iran’s nukes. And he might scream again.
For the sheer entertainment value, we’re going to have to have Dean or Kucinich or someone flaky and beloved by the left jump in. Hillary’s “What Difference Does It Make?” slogan is already boring.