Horses cross first finish line…

Why bother calling them candidates?

Nope, they’re horses in a race. This metaphor makes it easy for the press to focus on the easy stuff (such as counting money) and easy to avoid the difficult stuff (such as explaining policy). And horse Howard Dean, despite meeting expectations, is behind the pack. Here’s the spin:

Tony Coelho, who helped manage Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said he was impressed by how much Dean raised in a short time. Meeting expectations and showing momentum are as important – and maybe more important – than having the highest total right now, he said.

“It’s not only what you have in the bank, it’s what can you do next,” Coelho said. “The issue is do you have an organization to raise money and do you have the credibility to go longer.”

Nice try.

In case you’re interested in something Howard Dean might have said recently, I have posted my analysis of his speech to the California State Democratic Convention on Presidential Campaign Rhetoric 2004.