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Blogging at Davos  

Joi Ito reports on the blogging panel at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos: “We had a great panel.”

Backstory 

Dave Winer has the story behind Dean’s post-Iowa exuberance.

Right attitude 

It’s probably not the done thing, but I was hugely cheered by an email from the person coordinating Dean fundraising here in the UK.

“We tentatively agreed to have a fundraiser for Howard Dean on Thursday, the 11th of March. This assumes that Howard Dean will be the Democratic candidate, but if someone else is chosen we can shift our fundraising effort for whomever the Democratic candidate is. I think that we can all agree that we believe in ABB – anyone but Bush.”

Absolutely. The priority is to get someone who can get rid of Bush.

Who’d want to do this?  

I watched the Diane Sawyer interview with Howard and Judy Dean. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this kind of cringe-inducing American-style interview (I guess Martin Bashir’s interview with princess Diana was in the same league, but it’s uncommon in the UK).

My principal reaction was, who on earth would want to run for president if this is what you get exposed to? I thought both the governor and Dr Dean came across well, but there was a definite sense of ritual humiliation about the interview: you screwed up with that scream, now I’m going to rub you repeatedly in the mess you made, and you need to come up smiling.

I think Dean’s rallying speech post-Iowa was misjudged. By this point in the campaign he should know that everything he does will be subject to the most intense scrutiny. But it wasn’t much more than a momentary abberation. Is this how we are going to judge candidates? Is it really all that relevant?

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to know quite a few good people. It’s striking to me that none of my civic-minded American friends have ever ventured into electoral politics. Over here, it’s different and I do know a few who have faced the voters. When I watch that Dean interview, I have to question whether anyone who isn’t a bit unhinged would ever dream of entering politics in the US.

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