21 January 2004

I haven't had an opinion about the presidential candidates til now. But I just formed one: Dean crashes King Day event What gall!

With the start of the Iowa Caucus only hours away, the former Vermont governor arrived at the Iowa Historical Museum for the State of Iowa King remembrance.

Dean, who was not scheduled as one of the speakers, arrived with the national and local media waiting.

“Dean came here and he was hoping that his henchmen would get the job done," said 26-year-old Seville Lee, who heads a mentoring program for at-risk youth in Des Moines. "He thought he was going to speak."

“I’m offended that Dean would even try and do this,” said Lee, who organized a children’s play that day in honor of King. “He wasn’t scheduled to speak.

"If he wanted to come he could go sit down like everyone else.”

After Dean entered the packed auditorium with a mostly black audience of about 300 people, the former Iowa front-runner took a seat in the front row for about five minutes.

Photographers and camera crews followed, positioning themselves at the foot of the stage. A clearly perturbed Dean sat through the flashes, but soon walked up on stage and had a discussion with local organizers.

A while later he exited the auditorium, making a beeline to the front entrance and to his bus.

Organizers were left confused and frustrated, as the bulk of the media quickly followed Dean out of the auditorium.

“I think it was very disrespectful," said Donna Graves, who was on the planning committee for the commemoration ceremony. "The intent of today was not to look at Howard Dean."

“The planning committee didn’t know he was coming as we invited a lot of people. It was very hectic and this is a day that is supposed to be about Martin Luther King.”
Of course he denied that he was trying to insinuate himself in as one of the speakers. Even if he had come as an attendee he should have realized how much commotion his entourage and media would cause, and made special arrangements with the organizers. Do I really believe that on the very day of the Iowa caucus he was going to waste his precious time in the mere attendance of an event? Please. I'm insulted he would even ask me to believe that.

And then that night he's photographed wearing a Fatah-style kaffiyeh. How did he think THAT was going to come across?

The guy has some serious issues with reality. There are plenty of people facing the same challenge but they know better than to try to run for president.