Look, I admire Howard Dean. I really wish he had been the Democratic nominee in 2004 over John Kerry. But he is exactly the wrong person for Utah’s Democrats to bring to Utah to kick off their voter registration drive.
Associating themselves with Dean basically confirms every single stereotype the average Utahn might have about Democrats and, by association, Utah’s minority party.
Sure, the former Vermont Governor, Chair of the DNC and erstwhile presidential candidate will make Utah’s Democrats feel good about themselves, but his appearance may do more harm than good outside of their little political bubble.
An east-coast liberal who is most famous around these parts for the “Dean scream” is probably not the image Utah’s Democrats want to pop into the minds of the average Utah voter.
Dean has been mocked relentlessly by conservative media – which is very popular ’round these parts – so his public perception here is basically in the toilet. I just don’t think too many Utahns watch MSNBC (where Dean is a frequent guest and treated with more respect than he is on more right-wing outlets).
I get it. It’s difficult to get big-time Democrats to come to Utah. When they do make their way to the Beehive State, it’s usually for private fundraisers in Park City or at the Alta Club.
It doesn’t hurt that Dean and former Salt Lake County Peter Corroon are cousins – making Dean an “easy get” for the party.
But, putting forward an unabashed progressive as the face of your 2014 voter registration drive really isn’t gonna win you many converts in Utah.