Hitchens' End


Christopher Hitchens should devote on entire column to just Dean's bizarre reaction to Saddam's capture, which exactly corresponded to his campaign's nosedive. What in the world caused that?

It should be a no-brainer for a presidential candidate to say "That's great news! I'm so proud of our armed forces. Now let's get back to building a great America for them!" or something, even if you understand that the capture was not going to solve all the problems of Iraq.

Worse for Dean, Saddam's capture signaled to the rest of the Demo field that it was OK to start nudging the Bush administration more on foreign policy. With the bad guy in hand, recall that the Bushies had successfully morphed Osama into Saddam, it was no longer aid-and-comfort stuff to question the White House's conduct of the War on Terror. The effect was that Dean lost the monopoly on foreign criticism only to start saying stuff that made him sound like a foreign policy loony.

With that, I think, Dean crossed the magic "electability" threshold for many Demo voters, that and John Kerry's botox kicked in. Ballgame.