December 27, 2003


Howard Dean, the Great Clarifier, is at it again:

New Hampshire's Concord Monitor reported that Dean said he would not state his preference on a punishment for bin Laden before the al Qaeda leader was captured and put before a jury.

"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said in the interview. "I will have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."

Now comes Deanís daily clarification:

Dean told the AP in a phone interview that sentiment doesn't mean he sympathizes in any way with the al Qaeda leader. "I'm just like every other American, I think the guy is outrageous," he said.

"As a president, I would have to defend the process of the rule of law. But as an American, I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves," Dean told the AP.

Add that clarification to the rest of Deanís bulging Clar-i-File:

Asked later how each candidate has reversed course, Dean clarified his remarks, saying only Kerry and Gephardt had changed their tunes.

Dean clarified Thursday that finding Saddam was a "good thing" because the former Iraqi dictator started wars with his neighbors and killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, including by chemical weapons attacks.

Dean came under fire recently for backing much tougher standards - U.S. labor standards. Lieberman said the country would fall into the "Dean depression" if that were to happen. Dean, however, quickly clarified that he supports only ILO standards.

Dean later clarified in a letter to the head of the Anti-Defamation League that he unequivocally supports Israel's right to be free from terror, and that he used the word"soldier" to justify the Israeli policy of assassinating Hamas leaders.

Deanís clarification of his remarks stated that although he may have used bad analogies and judgment, he did sincerely attempt to reach out to disenfranchised conservative poor white Southerners to return to the Democratic Party fold.

Dean has come under fire for calling for an "evenhanded" approach in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a statement he clarified later by saying he meant that the United States must act as an honest broker in the peace process.

Country Store has more.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 27, 2003 06:00 PM

""I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said in the interview."

WTF?!! Vote Dean! A clown for President! Seriously, my first reax when I read this was to laugh hard, but then I remembered it's cruel and wrong to laugh at the mentally ill.

Posted by: Peter Ness at December 27, 2003 at 11:35 PM

Here's a scene at Dr. Dean's office with one of his patients:

Dean: What seem to be the trouble?
Patient: It hurts when I lift my arm.
Dean: Sorry Joe, you have one month to live, and it will be a painful death.
Two days later . . .
Dean calls patient: Joe, Dr. Dean. Let me clarify my diagnosis. After consulting with an associate of mine, Dr. Henny Youngman, what I meant to tell you if it hurts when your do this (lifts arm), then don't do it. (Insert rim shot here.)

Posted by: joe at December 28, 2003 at 12:32 AM

Giving Osama the presumption of innocence is a fine sentiment. I just can't be bothered.

But if he's waiting until Osama's been given a fair trial, what does he find outrageous about him? His dress sense? Associating with Ernie from Seasame street?

Posted by: Andjam at December 28, 2003 at 03:04 PM