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June 21, 2013

Morning Read: CNN Reports Howard Dean "Open" to Another Presidential Bid

MorningreadFormer governor Howard Dean has been getting plenty of ink in his home state this week. As he and former campaign staffers prepare to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the speech that launched his 2004 presidential bid, we in the Vermont news media have used the opportunity to take a stroll down memory lane.

Here at Seven Days, we got ourselves in the mood by throwing "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" in our CD player, watching that weird Michael Jackson documentary and dusting off our old "No Iraq War" lawn signs.

We also gave Ho-Ho a call to ask him about the big anniversary. But one thing we and seemingly every other Vermont reporter neglected to ask him: "Would you run again in 2016?"

CNN's Peter Hamby evidently didn't make the same mistake. He caught up with Dean at the Netroots Nation conference out in San Jose and learned that Dean "would consider another run for the White House."

Before you let out a blood-curdling scream, I should note that I'm quoting Hamby's analysis — not Dean's own words. In fact, nowhere in the piece does Dean himself sound at all like he's about to throw his hat in the ring.

This is just about as close as he gets:

"I am not driven by my own ambition... What I am driven by is pushing the country in a direction that it desperately needs to be pushed; pushing other politicians who aren't quite as frank as I am who need to be more candid with the American people about what needs to happen. I am not trying to hedge, it's a hard job running. It's really tough. I am doing a lot of things I really enjoy. But you should never say never in this business."

Never say never?

That's not quite, "would consider another run for the White House." It's more like, "So long as I don't rule it out, I'll keep getting booked on MSNBC."

And then there's this:

"If you had to put a gun to my head and make me decide right now, I wouldn't," said Dean, who became chairman of the Democratic National Committee after failing to win his party's nomination in 2004. "But who knows?"

Who knows indeed! Not Dean. And not Hamby.

Carry on.

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