January 28, 2004

How the Hulk exploded in Iowa

Mark Steyn on Howard Deans's performance in Iowa:

A little over a month ago, in the Wall Street Journal, I wrote that Governor Howard Dean looked ‘like Bruce Banner just before he turns into the Incredible Hulk, as if his head’s about to explode out of his shirt collar’. On Monday night, Dean, a front-runner in the polls only a week ago, placed a very poor third in the Iowa caucuses - the first time, since he began his political career running for the state legislature in 1982, that the Vermonter has lost an election. He didn’t take it well. He came out on stage, took his jacket off and handed it to Tom Harkin, the wily Democratic senator who fancies himself as Iowa’s kingmaker and had made the mistake of jumping on the Dean bandwagon just as the wheels began to fall off. Howlin’ Howard rolled up his sleeves, and you vaguely noticed from the popping veins on his forehead and so forth that he seemed a little further along in the old Hulk transformation than usual. As the Hulk says, ‘You don’t want to make me angry’ - and Dean had plenty of reason to be angry. He started loud and got louder, and after a minute his face was twisted and contorted and he was yelling at the top of his lungs:

‘WE WILL NOT GIVE UP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE! WE WILL NOT GIVE UP IN SOUTH DAKOTA!! WE WILL NOT GIVE UP IN ARIZONA!!! WE WILL NOT GIVE UP IN...’ South Dakota, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Michigan.... You name it, he’s not giving up there. He pretty much listed all 49 remaining states, and may well have gone on to Puerto Rico and Guam. My TV was beginning to smoke by then. ‘WE WILL NOT QUIT NOW OR EVER!!!!’ he screamed.