Andrew Cline writes in the National Review Online that Howard Dean has appeal to the Democrats because, counterintuitively I think, Dean is not Clinton:
Dean is everything the Left hoped Bill Clinton would be in 1992, and nothing Clinton turned out to be. He holds the promise of being a president who is dependably liberal and uncompromising in his principles.Jon Stewart of the Daily Show described Dean (at a recent debate) as “the stern but fair drivers-ed teacher”. Is that the personality appeal of Dean? I do think that, despite his stand on issues, Dean puts on a show of resolve that gives the impression he’s solid and confident. Candidates like Kerry and Edwards (we’re for the war – we’re against it!) are diminished by comparison.
Dean is plain-spoken and honest. Clinton was obtuse and slimy. Dean was a wealthy urban kid who, laden with liberal guilt, voluntarily moved down the social ladder to maintain his principles. Clinton was a poor, rural kid who sold his soul to the highest bidder for eight years in the White House.
To the political Left, Clinton was the tall, dashing lover who swept them off their feet only to break their hearts and leave them vowing never to go out with such a creep again. Dean is the nice guy with sensible shoes who has them believing in love again.