Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says the media has taken criticism of presidential candidate Howard Dean’s Iowa speech too far. Harkin introduced Dean and stood on the podium right behind him as the Vermont Governor went into a rousing speech the ended with a yee-haaah, after Dean finished third in Monday’s caucuses. The speech has been replayed over and over on news programs and been lampooned by comedians as well. Harkin says Dean did go overboard a little bit, and should not have done what he did on stage. But he says Dean was trying to inspire the young workers who had stood out in the cold for him and say the fight had just begun. Harkin says Dean just gave the speech at the wrong time. He says he was trying to keep his troops enthused, and Harkin says you have to keep it in context. Harkin says the national media has tried to portray it as an outburst, but he says it was a speech Dean had already given several times. Harkin says though, Dean should’ve been speaking to the nation.Harkin says the media has kept the issue alive, when he says it’s not that big a deal.He says the “pack media” is trying to whip something up and psychoanalyze the speech and Dean continues to take hits. Harkin says he’s seen other Democrats like Al Gore and Bill Clinton give speeches where their veins were popping out. The political pundits say Dean’s speech opens questions about his ability to lead and whether Dean is to volatile. Harkin says that overlooks Dean’s work as a doctor and a politician. Harkin says what Dean did in providing health care to kids and balancing the budget in Vermont is not the work of a “raving lunatic”, he says it’s the work of a dedicated public servant. Harkin says Dean’s presidential campaign is not doomed because he finished a disappointing third after leading early in Iowa. He says they’re writing Dean’s obituary, but Harkin says people said George W. Bush was dead after losing big to John McCain in New Hampshire, and he says if you check you’ll find Bush is not dead right now.
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