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4.3.03

Ninja-posting while I wait to get picked up to go to the airport. I just ran across a transcript of Howard Dean's interview on Face The Nation, and I had a couple observations.

1) I'm glad they called him on using "unilateral," and I hope he stops it. While Matt Yglesias (I'm too lazy to find the link to the post) may have a point that "unilateral" conveys some of the right sense -- that the war is the US's project and its international base of support is quite narrow -- in point of fact it's not correct. And it comes off as a little disingenous for Dean to be so loose with a definition when he makes an issue of Bush's misleading use of "quotas" to describe Michigan's affirmative action policy, and rejects the term "partial-birth abortion." Saying "unilateral" may win him more friends among the doves than it loses among the pedants, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

2) He sounded like a broken record talking about North Korea. They asked about Iran, and within a few sentences he was back on about how big a threat North Korea is. And it wasn't like he was adding detail to his stance on North Korea (until they specifically asked him about it). I know it's important to drive home campaign themes, but he came off sounding like he was trying to push a talking point rather than speaking from a sophisticated knowledge of the geopolitical situation. With foreign policy destined to be a top item in 2004, and Dean's reputation as a foreign policy lightweight already established, I feel like he can't get away with just talking points. And again, whatever the strategic value, I don't like it.

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