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October 13, 2007 8:07 AM   Subscribe

The best political speech I have ever watched (Real media) - [WMV] - Howard Dean talks politics at Johns Hopkins on Thusday October 11, and does so using intelligent, complex ideas and later responds to questions with long, detailed, complicated answers.
posted by four panels (54 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, this is from the Chair of the Democratic Party, but it is delivered with (to me) skill, respect and aplomb.
posted by four panels at 8:08 AM on October 13, 2007


Great! The only problem is that most people aren't interested in intelligent, complex ideas and don't want long, detailed, complicated answers.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:12 AM on October 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Now all he has to do is summarize that down to a 15 second sound bite for the 6 o'clock news.
posted by reformedjerk at 8:15 AM on October 13, 2007


The best political speech I have ever watched

Seriously, you complain about posts being unbalanced? Now we're introducing content with a comment on how much we liked it?
posted by phaedon at 8:21 AM on October 13, 2007


Seriously, you complain about posts being unbalanced? Now we're introducing content with a comment on how much we liked it?

Discuss.
posted by billysumday at 8:22 AM on October 13, 2007


Anyone have a copy in something besides realplayer?
posted by anthill at 8:29 AM on October 13, 2007


Now we're introducing content with a comment on how much we liked it?

Because, you know - most of us are in the habit of posting stuff we don't like to the front page.
posted by god hates math at 8:29 AM on October 13, 2007


Super. The American public just loves their politicians to be insightful, supple, intelligent.

The Card Cheat is right. Absolutely right.

Remember, we're the voting populace that turned the term "egghead" (applied to Adlai Stevenson) into a liability and an insult.
posted by John of Michigan at 8:30 AM on October 13, 2007


most of us are in the habit of posting stuff we don't like to the front page.

True to form.
posted by carsonb at 8:30 AM on October 13, 2007


Well, the argument could be made that since four panels said it was the best speech he's ever seen, with an added concession that his opinion was entirely subjective in the follow-up comment, he's just articulating the largely unspoken belief inherent to all posters that their FPPs are worthwhile, whereas the example mentioned by phaedon wasn't so much about the poster endorsing or justifying their post, but presenting a somewhat inflammatory POV as though it was accepted fact.

Regardless, one thing is certain: RP is teh suck.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2007


I'll probably watch this later when I have a spare moment.

Dean really is an effective speaker. I saw him speak at a rally in Bryant Park back in '03, and it was pretty intense.

Unfortunately, he couldn't really stand being in the limelight for too long, and I think that ultimately doomed his candidacy.

But I think he's been exemplary as the head of the DNC - seems like they're breaking fundraising records left and right these days.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:35 AM on October 13, 2007


And before someone gives the old "b-b-b-but other countries . . . " canard, watch some House of Commons Question Time or Jacques Chirac hanging out and making funny.

Neither politician seems to fall back on "freedom" or "jebus" here. How well would that play in the US?
posted by John of Michigan at 8:36 AM on October 13, 2007


Here's a link to choose between RealPlayer and Windows Media.
posted by four panels at 8:36 AM on October 13, 2007


Added the WMV direct link above the fold.
posted by cortex at 8:45 AM on October 13, 2007


The Card Cheat is right. Absolutely right.

Bears repeating.

I kid, I kid. But, it's true. What do people want out of their politicians? Stuff like this (from yesterday's Thompson thread):

When asked about Iraq, Thompson goes into a scene straight out of Hollywood, talking about visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed hospital who just couldn't wait for their leg stumps to grow back so they could give Jerry some more hell at the front. "It's the ones who are most wounded who most want to rejoin their comrades," he says.

Two minutes after that last bit, I am outside talking to an older woman named Rita Fairfield, who pronounces herself completely convinced. She likes Thompson's take on national security, among other things, especially the part about staying the course. I ask her why she thinks the surge is working. "From what I heard from the soldiers who are coming back, they're willing to give up life and limb," she says. "The ones that are coming back maimed seem to be the ones most ready to go back to battle."

posted by The Card Cheat at 8:45 AM on October 13, 2007


But did it make you want to have a beer with him?
posted by spock at 8:59 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


This speech makes me feel a bit better about the Democratic Party. Not much, but a little. It certainly makes me feel good about Howard Dean being in charge of the DNC, and about there being some hope of healing all the damage caused by the insanity of the past seven years. It's just a speech, by one man, but it counts for something if the values espoused in this speech are the values that inform his work as DNC chairman.

But... we're still a long way from home.
posted by Kosh at 9:03 AM on October 13, 2007


I am not an American. Edwards is hot. He is a great speaker with a great manner of communication. It is a great pleasure to listen to an intelligent politician with such well thought out views. Maybe there is hope for your country after all if you have more politicians of this calibre. Edwards descriptions of the demographics of Evangelical Christians, and Race in the rising generation; and the need to widen the political discussions to restore what he calls American values and American Culture are fascinating.
Thanks for the link four panels.
posted by adamvasco at 9:20 AM on October 13, 2007


Well, the argument could be made that since four panels said it was the best speech he's ever seen, with an added concession that his opinion was entirely subjective in the follow-up comment, he's just articulating the largely unspoken belief inherent to all posters that their FPPs are worthwhile, whereas the example mentioned by phaedon wasn't so much about the poster endorsing or justifying their post, but presenting a somewhat inflammatory POV as though it was accepted fact.

Still though, it is passive editorializing. I suppose I'm a little tired with the fact that, every time a Republican does something stupid, we are directed to laugh, and now, when a Democrat discusses strategy, we are directed to ponder the possibility that this could be the best political speech ever. Alas, such is life.

But to work with your argument here, the previous poster four panels called out may as well have introduced his post as "The dumbest thing Israel could've done" (with regards to cluster-bombing Lebanon), continued his post without the use of the phrase "True to form", and avoided the presentation of an inflammatory point of view as accepted fact, by simply letting everybody know that, in his personal opinion, he thinks Israel is stupid, before getting on with the reporting of the death of a British national.

More and more, I feel that posts are being crafted to arouse a particular emotional response out of readers, as opposed to letting the facts speak for themselves. Which is fine, but the moment somebody crosses the line and says something anti-what-is-to-be-expected, their post is deleted without the opportunity to kick around the political football, drowned out by a chorus of "this will end wells". Essentially, said post provoked the incorrect collective emotional response. Whereas an articulate, but fairly boring speech of Howard Dean talking shop, that occasionally cuts to JHU undergraduates picking their noses and filing their nails, is given latitude to describe itself as "the best ever".

I would agree that four panels' claim to everlasting bestness is much less disruptive than say, using MetaFilter as a platform for making controversial and unsubstantiated implications, and that, to that extent, the mods are doing a good job of promoting quality discussion. But I do think they are helping us "shoot ourselves in the foot", so to say, by encouraging people to destroy posts through call-outs and shit-bagging, as opposed to, say, put-downs of a more intellectual, and conversational, variety. The fact is, when we get out of hand, that's when the mods step in. And I'm sorry, but to call out somebody for writing something that - controversy aside - "is really an opinion for your blog", and then starting off a post like this - when it could stand on its own legs without a ringing personal endorsement - is just too much contrast. I would argue some innocuously pro-Israeli comment would have passed the MeTal detectors, and that ultimately, the reason james_cpi's post was deleted has less to do with editorializing in general, than say, the right kind of editorializing we want to hear.
posted by phaedon at 9:32 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


phaedon - are you colour blind?
posted by adamvasco at 9:38 AM on October 13, 2007


i'm not happy with the democratic party right now

all this talk about the democrats being for "us" and the republicans being against "those people" has a point, but ...

"us" doesn't seem to include voters from a state that's experienced more hardship from globalization than any other

currently, we've been effectively disenfranchised by the democratic party - it's pointless to vote in a primary where most of the front runners have left the ballot and the national party may not count the results

how can they claim to want to represent us when they aren't willing to count our votes?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:41 AM on October 13, 2007


I "fell for" Dean when I watched him speak for 1+ hrs, without notes, unscripted, at an Iowa town hall forum on C-SPAN.

He was thoughful, articulate, and didn't give "politicians answers". I thought I had finally found a candidate who could talk like a normal, intelligent person, and who didn't try to cover up everything with B.S.

Its a shame he didn't get further.
posted by 4midori at 9:41 AM on October 13, 2007


He's angry.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:01 AM on October 13, 2007


Ron Paul spoke at the same Johns Hopkins forum on September 11, in a speech titled "A Traditional Non-Intervention Foreign Policy."

The format of the talk itself was so civil and coherent that it almost made my head explode, and the Q&A afterwards was actually useful.

Of course, it is the outliers in both parties who have anything sensible to say about foreign policy. Truly sad.
posted by chlorus at 10:18 AM on October 13, 2007


Remind me again why the word "yehaaa!!" ruined Dean's career?...
posted by marvin at 10:24 AM on October 13, 2007


I think Dean's doing a pretty good job, and by example is acting more presidential than some of the dem candidates. this is, in part, due to him being freed up to speak candidly by not running for president. if he pisses off other dems in power, his accomplishments so far are a good defense.

the hysterical media's obsession with his yell was maddening. it's like we're fucking doomed to not keep our eye on the ball, if we trust the MSM. I thought the bigger (sadder) news was that Dean hadn't taken Iowa (you know, the news story the scream's context was taken from). I know how soundboards work, and figured the solo feed from the board would last a day or so as a really funny soundbite, and that it could possibly even help him, since it shows someone excited. I was so, so wrong.

but thanks for the link. it's refreshing to hear articulate people with a brain, whose policies I [somewhat] agree with.

I tried to conjure another political speech I found better, but nothing's coming to mind.
posted by Busithoth at 10:27 AM on October 13, 2007


I understand the semblance of "come-togetherness" in the Democratic Party's election strategy, however, I can't help but cringe every time someone like Howard Deam compliments someone like Rick Warren and commends his followers' drive to "be obedient and to serve their Lord."

This continual refusal to acknowledge the role that religion plays in shaping public policy for the worst (in everything from the imagined contestability of biological evolution, the implications and consequences of stem cell research, gay marriage, faith-based schools challenging the establishment clause, etc.), completely debases any constructive and worthy thing Howard Dean and his colleagues might say. Decisiveness matters because facts do. There is something wrong with middle America.
posted by inoculatedcities at 10:42 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Had Dean yelled "Git R Done!" rather than the war cry, he'd be in the Oval Office now.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:59 AM on October 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


windows media link seems to primarily be a ron paul speech
posted by subtle_squid at 11:06 AM on October 13, 2007


why is it that if americans don't like complex, intelligent answers then that's somehow howard dean's fault?

i remember back a few years when the story broke of a police recruit who was denied entry to the force because his test scores were too high.

now you guys are doing that to your presidential candidates?

you're doomed.
posted by klanawa at 11:07 AM on October 13, 2007


am not an American. Edwards is hot. He is a great speaker with a great manner of communication. It is a great pleasure to listen to an intelligent politician with such well thought out views. Maybe there is hope for your country after all if you have more politicians of this calibre. Edwards descriptions of the demographics of Evangelical Christians, and Race in the rising generation; and the need to widen the political discussions to restore what he calls American values and American Culture are fascinating.

The problem in our country is that when there's a politician like this, who understands and demonstrates that problems are complex and require complex answers sometimes—or if they're willing to change their minds on an issue—they're labeled as "flip-flopping on the issues" and attacked for it.

And then they lose. :-/
posted by Mikey-San at 12:05 PM on October 13, 2007


Thanks for that link, four panels. It IS refreshing to see and hear someone speak thoughtfully and rationally about things that are used to be near and dear to me.

I never watch cspan because I'm usually working every waking hour. But I try to watch as many of these digital streams as possible while I'm sitting here in the studio.

I listened to the GoogleTV interview with Ron Paul and I gotta tell ya I really liked what the man had to say. I guess I would call myself a liberaltarian. I don't think a fully libertarian stance on foreign policy, social issues, governmental oversight, etc. is a very rational way of looking at the world. But after the last six years of the most astounding malfeasance and the complete lack of any real counterbalance to the administration steamroller, Paul's message is the only one getting through to me right now.

Paul seems to be the only candidate truly speaking to his convictions. To me, he's the light showing the way out of the hole the Republicans have buried us in. I'm aware that there are people out there who assume him to be a fundy wolf in sheep's clothing. And truly I haven't researched his voting record at all to compare his spoken words with his policy actions. But his speeches are so far from the norm, that I find it hard to believe his voting record would deviate too much from what the man says.

I consider myself a liberal. I am pro-choice, pro-education, pro-helping the poor, pro-smut, pro-fair trade, pro-capitalism, pro-minimum wage. Heck, there's not much that I am anti, except anti-god and anti-extremism. I believe people have the right to worship whatever they want if it gets them through their day. The minute they seek to force me to live the way they want me to live is right about the time I get violent. That's why I was pro-Afghanistan (Taliban) war and anti-Iraq war. I wanted America to seek revenge for 9/11 and I fully support the war on terror. They never convinced me that Iraq was about WMDs and I have always believed it was about the oil underneath those Babylonian sands.

Although I always equated the war on terror to the war on drugs - a low level involvement that might require freezing of assets and sending in special forces to work with local militias, police forces, etc. to combat the immediate problems, I no longer think that way. I have never supported the war on drugs. It's a waste of taxpayer money. Again, people should do whatever they want that makes 'em feel good. The minute it infringes on my rights is the minute I get involved. Terror needs to be fought wherever and whenever it's sprouts. Iraq never would have become an Al Queda base of operations if we hadn't invaded and completely destabilised the region.

I digress. I like what Howard Dean said in this speech. He was preaching to the choir with that audience and there didn't seem to be many real tough questions for Dean to answer. But what he said gave me some hope that there are people in the Democratic leadership who are trying to make a difference. I would like to disagree with him on one issue - Roe vs. Wade. He mentioned it's the law of the land and not under discussion so to speak.

I would counter that RvW should be under discussion. It's the one thing keeping us from finding consensus with those in the fundy ranks who are one issue voters (but may agree with liberals on more social and environmental concerns). Ron Paul would abolish RvW and leave it to the states. This scares pro-choice people. The situation in South Dakota has already proven that abortion would remain legal after the abolishment of RvW. When the legislature of that state passed a law making all abortions illegal. The voters, through a referendum, got it immediately taken off the books the moment they were given the chance. Something like 56% to 40%. That's an important point to make. The state Supreme Court didn't have it abolished as unconstitutional based on a federal law. The people made it happen.

If Roe vs Wade is stricken from the federal law of the land, I would take bets on the number of evangelical christians who would flood the progressive ranks.

Sorry for the novel sized comment.
posted by strontiumdog at 12:13 PM on October 13, 2007


How do I watch this as a Mac User without realplayer?
posted by lazaruslong at 12:30 PM on October 13, 2007


Hey, that scream guy is still around. Cool. Before I download the link, could you tell me whether he does the trademark scream at the end of his speech again. That would be high-larious.
posted by Slap Factory at 12:42 PM on October 13, 2007


Had Dean yelled "Git R Done!" rather than the war cry, he'd be in the Oval Office now.


no. lot's of powerful people didn't want him to be president.... and he made some political mistakes, but his was always a long-shot candidacy and he needed to be perfect to get there.

i'd like to pose the question again: was there anything about George Bush's media appearences that made you think you actually wanted to have a beer with him? or was it just something you heard enough people say until it became an easy thing to say? aside from whether you like the man or not...

everyone involved in the political process is pretty upfront about the fact that elections in this country are exercises in mass-marketing. the politician is the product, and they are the focus of a calculated advertising campaign. what appears on the tv involving the candidates is no more accidental than what appears during the product roll-out of the new Fords(tm.) the only difference is that product placement in the newscast and other media products is accepted, since anything about the candidate is 'news.'
posted by geos at 12:59 PM on October 13, 2007


Dean was already tanking when the scream thing happened. I think that was just the event around which everyone's recollection of his flameout crystallized, because it brought to life the nagging doubt primary voters had, that his overall manner wasn't sufficiently "presidential" to win the general election.
posted by dreish at 1:14 PM on October 13, 2007


How do I watch this as a Mac User without realplayer?

Buy Sorenson Squeeze for ~$500 and convert it to QuickTime.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:21 PM on October 13, 2007


was there anything about George Bush's media appearences that made you think you actually wanted to have a beer with him?

No, never. My very first impressions of him was as somebody I'd like to throw a beer AT (bottle and all). But apparently, he is the type that most of the "MainStreamMedia" people enjoy having a beer with (and many of them probably did, while keeping the story that he was drinking real alcohol 'off the record' until they die), and that speaks volumes for the poor judgment of our 'information gatekeepers'. But then, I personally can't name a single big-time MSM personality whom I would like to spend time with socially, and that includes the ones with biases I agree with and all the 'cable news babes'.
posted by wendell at 1:27 PM on October 13, 2007


How do I watch this as a Mac User without realplayer?

VLC was able to play the audio in the WMV link, at least. i havent updated VLC in a while so maybe a newer version can handle WMV3.
posted by joeblough at 1:34 PM on October 13, 2007


the latest version of VLC (0.8.6c) can play the wmv video. i had to tear apart the asx and put in these urls into the "open network" dialog box:

http://video.c-spanarchives.org/video/2007/20071012002/Video/wmv/20071012200001002.wmv

http://video.c-spanarchives.org/video/2007/20071012002/Video/wmv/20071012210001002.wmv
posted by joeblough at 1:39 PM on October 13, 2007


(one at a time, of course; the whole video is comprised of 2 files)
posted by joeblough at 1:40 PM on October 13, 2007


TCC: The only problem is that most people aren't interested in intelligent, complex ideas and don't want long, detailed, complicated answers.

JoMThe Card Cheat is right. Absolutely right.

and others.

This is so sadly cynical. I choose to believe that it is only partially correct. If the news media hadn't been scared off by the vast right-wing conspirators and their anti-intellectualism, I think the American public would be perfectly happy with intelligent complex ideas. I hear lots of people complaining that the American public can't handle complexity but I don't really hear actual people complaining about complexity. The problem is that the agenda-driven pundits and the agenda-driven media and agenda-driven special interests take any nuanced position and attack it colorfully, so that it fits into a 40-second news story.
posted by nax at 1:42 PM on October 13, 2007


How do I watch this as a Mac User without realplayer?

windows media player works fine on my mac.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 2:19 PM on October 13, 2007


This is so sadly cynical. I choose to believe that it is only partially correct.

I am spending a bit of time at (for all intents and purposes) my in-laws' place, in Ontario, through the recent election, and I got a first-hand look at what a large family other than my own considers important for political leadership:
- nice (not scary) smile
- positive, not defensive, sounding
- dresses well
- nice looking, appropriately behaved, wife
- hits personal interest issue of choice

If pushed to discuss policy, all kinds of mistaken assumptions and outright incorrect assertions are trotted out, and when corrected, grudgingly accepted as already known but you know, that's just window dressing on the chosen brand. These aren't dumb people. It's just all about identity and personality. I've heard as much a hundred times on MeFi (oh, we don't know what Obama stands for, but I like him when he talks!).

I need a drink.
posted by dreamsign at 2:21 PM on October 13, 2007


How do I watch this as a Mac User without realplayer?

wmv player
posted by gorgor_balabala at 4:15 PM on October 13, 2007


Four panels, thanks for the post. Now, go watch more political speeches.
posted by humannaire at 7:37 PM on October 13, 2007


We Americans like our leaders to be better looking and less intelligent than us.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:59 PM on October 13, 2007


We Americans like our leaders to be better looking and less intelligent than us.

no wonder why we're always pissed off at them
posted by pyramid termite at 9:52 PM on October 13, 2007


Dean for president in 2008! Yeaargh!

*weeps quietly*
posted by Deathalicious at 3:37 AM on October 14, 2007


And before someone gives the old "b-b-b-but other countries . . . " canard, watch some House of Commons Question Time...

Oh man, question time is brilliant. I've never seen how Gordon Brown does it, but I listened to a few back when it was what's his name* and he had an answer for everything:
Q: I thank the prime minister for not getting his wunderchufs in a tumnoodle as I prostoglicate (good humored chuckles from the Tories). My constituency is made up almost entirely of old people, all of whom naturally suffer from terribly bad constipation. (asserting grumbles from the Tories, dissenting grumbles from Labour, forcing questioner to raise his voice) And I should like to know what he intends to do about it! (roaring approval and hear-hears from the Tories).
A: Well [jerky pause] as you know [jerky pause] this problem [short jerky pause] is a concern for many. Now, what I'm not going to [ very short jerky pause] say to you is that this problem will go away on its own. Indeed [pause] , what I'm not going to do is stand here and say [jerk] like others might [jerk] that this is not a problem at all. What I will tell you is that a special committee has been -- uh -- set up [pause] to -- uh -- study [jerky pause] this problem and has found that the [pause] (in anticipation, the Tories begin their dissenting grumbles) solution is the increase (louder grumbles, forcing an increase in volume) of stewed fruit availability to our older population. Now this is something we have been pushing for many years, and just last year our [jerky pause] stewed fruit -- uh -- [pause] production increased by 45%. So I [short jerky pause] hardly see [pause] why the honored sir from Crowtingspittleshire has - uh - any [pause] complaint at all (cheers from Labour).
*Me being an American not knowing who the prime minister was is a joke. Of course it was Tory Blain.
posted by Deathalicious at 3:57 AM on October 14, 2007


How do I watch this as a Mac User without realplayer?

wmv player


Actually, you want the newer windows media components for quicktime.
posted by klausness at 6:10 AM on October 14, 2007


dreamsign my husband did a big eyeroll over my naivete as well, but I just can't get through the day if I really believe "the American people" are as pathetic as discussions like this make them out. I'll take a nice vast conspiracy theory any day. Oddly, it helps me sleep at night.

sigh.
posted by nax at 9:59 AM on October 14, 2007


I watched in on my Mac by booting Windows on it. Parallels is awesome.

I am very puzzled by the current crop of political candidates. None of them seem to be very... smart. I would have thought that after 8 years of Bush all the candidates would be scholars or something.

I'm glad Dean is busy at the top of the DNC, maybe that's why the Democratic field looks smarter than the Republican field (especially if you subtract Ron Paul from the Republican side)
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 8:32 PM on October 14, 2007


I am very puzzled by the current crop of political candidates. None of them seem to be very... smart.

the smart people have concluded that the next president will be remembered with the same fondness and approval as herbert hoover
posted by pyramid termite at 8:50 PM on October 14, 2007


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