Dave Barry Sinks His Teeth Into the Primaries

Dave Barry, Miami's answer to either Will Rogers or what happens when you cross a journalist with a basoon, is reporting from Iowa. Most of the article is about meat and vegtables, especially the ambulatory carrot, but some of it has Barry's inimitable political summaries. Often, after all, comedians have a better grasp on reality than pundits. (Especially if they're the Miami Herald's pundits….)

But the biggest applause came when Howard Dean, the feisty little Surgemeister himself, surged into the room and fired up the crowd by biting the head off a live puppy.

Not really! I'm making a little joke about Dean's reputation for having a temper. In fact, it was a squirrel.


Ha ha! But seriously, Dean did express anger at George W. Bush, as well as Washington insiders and special interest groups. In covering five national campaigns, I have yet to hear a presidential contender say a single kind word about Washington insiders or special interest groups. Every last contender swears he's going to stomp these people like ants. Yet, incredibly, Washington remains infested with them.

By the way, did I say “basoon”? I meant “baboon”. Or maybe I meant “clown”. Or something.

And then there's what has to be the worst pun of the campaign:

The big news was that John Edwards, who had been stagnant, was surging, while at the same time John Kerry — who had faltered early in the race, then surged, then re-faltered — was now surging AGAIN.


This bodes badly for Howard Dean, who used to be the Lone Surger out here, as well as traditional Iowa-caucus winner Dick Gephardt, who has, frankly, been unable to surge. He is surge-impaired, and he badly needs surgification in Iowa if he is to survive New Hampshire, where, word has it, Wesley Clark, who had been faltering, is now surging like a madman. He's the Surgin' General.

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