Vox Populi

Daniel Drezner takes a hard, non-partisan look at Howard Dean’s foriegn policy proposals:

More importantly, Dean’s foreign policy views–laid out most clearly in a June 25 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations–bear a marked similarity to the mainstream Democratic candidates. All, including Dean, support some variant of liberal institutionalism–i.e., working closely with democratic allies, strengthening multilateral institutions, opposing preventive wars, and investing more in homeland defense. And Dean, like the rest of the candidates, extols Harry S Truman and John F. Kennedy as his guiding stars on foreign policy matters. In his speeches, he emphasizes the combination of their hawkishness in the face of illiberal threats and multilateralism as the preferred method for combating such threats. Dean’s emphasis on Kennedy’s prudence during the Cuban missile crisis was a constant refrain of leading Democrats in late 2002.


I worry less about Dean’s ideas than I do his mindset. Drezner explains:

Taken in toto, Dean’s worldview does give off a powerful whiff of populism.

That‘s what worries me. Other populists include Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot. If Buchanan is a populist from the right (sort of, anyway), and Perot of the center, then Dean is one from the left. Populists make for fun campaigns, but lousy leaders.

So let’s see what Dean does, now that he has all that money. It’s going to be a fun race.


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