Late Night with David Letterman-- extract
October 4, 2004
(Dean sounds like he's on the verge of laughter throughout this part)
David Letterman: It's interesting to me, which office, which political background, which public service background, better prepares a person for the White House-- being a Senator, a Congressman, or being a Governor?
Howard Dean: Well, the egotist in me says of course it's being a governor, but that would not be a politic answer at this time, so I think a senator would make an excellent President of the United States ...
[Letterman and audience laugh, audience applauds]
Dean: Besides, the last President who was a Governor really screwed things up so maybe we need a Senator just this one time.
Letterman: But... But seriously, in terms of, I guess in terms of a Senator, you have somebody who understands Washington. In terms of a Governor, you have somebody who understands how to administrate and get things done. So, which would be better qualified?
Dean: Um, if you know something about policy, then, you know, I think governors are great. But the problem is... I think-- I mean, I don't mean this disrespectfully...
Dean: ...but I don't think the President cares about policy. I think he's mostly interested in politics. Kerry knows policy, and we desperately need somebody who understands policy in the White House.
But did you answer my question?
Dean: I don't know, did I?
Letterman: I don't know. I-- I'm tryin' to determine, forget the personalities involved...
Dean: -- This is an election year, we're only 30 days away, right!? --
Letterman: -- which experience might give somebody the edge in the White House?
Dean: I-- you know, I think Governors historically have had an easier time of it--
Letterman: -- OK. That's all I wanted to hear.
[Audience laughter, then applause]
Letterman: Your witness!
2) On whether Iraq will become stable:
Dean: You know, it's very interesting, we won't know for sure whether Iraq is going to become a stable place or not. If it becomes a stable place, George Bush will have been right.