Interview on "The Daily Show"
November 8, 2006
Jon Stewart, Host: Welcome back! My guest tonight, former Governor of Vermont; he is now the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Please welcome back to the program, via satellite from Washington, Howard Dean.
[Audience continues to cheer]
Stewart: Nice to see you. I believe the grin you are sporting is of the [beep]-eating variety.
[Dean and audience guffaw]
Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC: Well, it's a good day around the Democratic headquarters, I can tell you that.
Stewart: That's delighful. Haven't been many of those, so this must be a nice feeling for you guys.
Dean: I know. We haven't had any of those for about 12 years, so this is great.
Stewart: [referring to the background behind Dean] It's nice to see you guys proud enough to finally display those background posters of the DNC. [Dean laughs]
So many years, Democrats have just stood in front of green or black curtains. Nice to see the graphic element being added.
Stewart: I need to apologize to you, sir. You came on our program a while back, and I suggested to you that the Democrats should propose some sort of platform of decisive action, and you said, 'no, we've got these door-knockers we're gonna put on people's homes...'
[Dean and audience guffaw]
Stewart: ...and I said, 'that's not gonna work,' and I stand corrected, sir.
[Laughter and applause]
Stewart: It worked! Well done. Congratulations to you.
Dean: Thank you, Jon.
Stewart: What was the plan? What did it for the Democrats?
Dean: Well, we were helped, of course, by the President... [eyebrow-jump]
Dean: I think the big thing is we went to every state and asked everybody for their vote. I mean-- to be serious for a second, we got one-third of the white evangelical Christian vote. That hasn't happened for a long, long time.
We're not afraid to go to any state and ask anybody for their vote. Even though we won't get it for a while, it's a sign of respect to ask people for their votes. Democrats haven't-- have been afraid to go in a lot of places, and we won in some of those places. So I was thrilled. I think it was great. And for once, I feel like the American people really got their way.
Stewart: How long, in your mind, do you feel it's gonna be before power corrupts you absolutely?
Dean: Well, that-- you know--
Stewart: The last guys did it in 3 1/2 days. What're you guys aimin' for?
Dean: [amused] Longer than that.
Look, we got a lot of stuff to do, and I think we're off to a good start. I mean, I know half the audience wants us to impeach the President and all that kind of stuff, but we're not--
[Audience cheers and applauds]
Dean: [shakes his head] We're not gonna do that. We're not gonna do that.
Stewart: Honestly, sir, half our audience are illegal immigrants...
[Dean and audience laugh]
Stewart: ... so I wouldn't take anything they're saying right now.
Dean: We're... you know, we said we would do some things. The first is hike the minimum wage, because I think families deserve a break. If you work for a living, it oughtta be OK to get paid enough to support your family--
Stewart: --How long's that gonna be to do, to jump in there and do it?
Is that a tough thing to accomplish?
Dean: No, I think we're gonna have the House and the Senate. I think Jim Webb has won Virginia already, it's just a matter of George Allen admitting it.
Stewart: In your mind, was this a question -- and be honest -- was this a question of, if you hadn't've taken the House and the Senate under these political conditions, would there be a sense that the Democrats, for lack of a more eloquent phrase, "couldn't get laid in a whorehouse with a fistful of 20's"?
[Dean and audience laugh]
Stewart: Is that a fair assessment?
Dean: [barely suppressing a grin] Well, I wouldn't... quite as... probably that wouldn't go on Wolf Blitzer's show, but it'd be all right for the Jon Stewart show.
Stewart: Well, he's got a whole room for situations, so...
Stewart: I'm sure he'd put it in there...
Dean: The truth of the matter is, if we're gonna control the House and the Senate, we're hopefully gonna get some real change. We'd like to do some health insurance. I know we won't be able to do the whole thing with the President in the office, who'd probably veto it, but I'd like to insure everybody under 25 years old, and start that --
Stewart: The President seemed, I'd have to say his press conference, he seemed somewhat humbled, and maybe in some respects, it does change the tone. All the Republicans really needed was a little bit of a humbling, and maybe things will change.
Dean: These are the people who brought you Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld...
Stewart: All right. All right. I know where you're going with that.
Dean: We wanna be as nice as w can. We wanna work together and all that stuff, but I would say we are--
Stewart: -- Yeah. You have a memory.
Stewart: All right. Democrats won big yesterday.
Satellite Seat of Heat: [A Jon Stewart feature he does to his guests]
Stewart: ...that would convey your excitement over your victory, and go ahead and make that noise, and I promise I won't replay it.
Dean: [laughing] Would it be something like, "Boo-yah"!
Stewart: Booyah! Well done, my friend! Booyah indeed, congratulations...
Dean: Thanks, Jon Stewart.
Stewart: ...for all your hard work...
Dean: ... and thanks to the audience...
Stewart: ... Howard Dean!
Dean: ... 'cause you guys did it for us! Thank you.
Stewart: Good luck. We'll be right back.
Transcribed from the video on YouTube.