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Sunday, October 12, 2003


Friends recall Howard Dean’s intensity, worldly ways

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, October 12, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
With most campaigns, this kind of profile would be firmly in the "unauthorized" category. With Dean, I think they're probably grinning, widely:

Dean: then and nowWith the turbulent ’60s as a backdrop, what his friends remember most are the good times and Dean was at the center of that — a fun guy, quick to organize a mixer and hang out for a card game.

"He was just somebody, and it remains true, that people liked to be around. You sort of feel good about yourself around Howard. I think it has something to do with his unpretentiousness," said David Berg of New Haven, his good friend from Yale’s Pierson College.

Dean was at Yale from 1967 to 1971, as the war escalated in Vietnam, the civil rights movement advanced, the National Guard patrolled New Haven on May Day and the first women came to the Ivy League campus.

"He was seldom, if ever, a loner. He was always the guy who was getting a group of people together, and he was very inclusive," said Bill Kerns, who is now a family physician in Virginia.

Dean was also the guy who invited you back to his room to finish off the keg that was left over from those socials he helped organize, said good friend Richard Willing, a national correspondent for USA Today.

Classmates, contacted across the country, remember his stamina and the intensity he brought to those late night bull sessions on Old Campus during freshman year and later at Pierson.

"Howard had a huge amount of energy and you would be coming back from lab, ticked off at the world, and Howard would go by singing and buzzed and you couldn’t help but laugh," said Kerns.

His intramural gridiron feats — Dean was an offensive lineman — also came to mind, mainly because he was game enough to take on much bigger players.

"I was impressed that he dove in there and did it because you take a beating playing football like that," said Jeffrey Knight, 53, a marketing consultant in California.

There were oblique references to some "outrageous" things happening in the freshmen dorm, but no one was elaborating.

"He did some interesting things as a freshman I’m not going to tell you about, but I mean, hell, didn’t we all?" Kerns said.

There's more - it's a great piece! Read on for a description of Dean as a "bulldog" and more insight on Dean's request for a black room-mate.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.