How did Howard Dean go from vivid voice of the New Left to political hack defending Hillary Clinton at all costs? Joe Scarborough called Dean on it today, telling Howard he had become the "New England version of James Carville."
Dean, on today's Morning Joe, dismissed the latest Washington Post story suggesting possible financial improprieties at the Clinton Foundation as "a breathless piece of hot air" and, incredibly, Dean said he'd advise Hillary not to address the rising tide of questions.
The depth of Hillary's dilemma is reflected in the fact that defenders like Dean are reduced to the absurd claim that the Washington Post, New York Times and Politico have become tools of the right wing. Right.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: According to the Washington Post, the identities of more than 1,000 people who gave money to a Canadian charity linked to the foundation remain hidden to the public. That's despite a 2008 ethics agreement with the Obama administration that says the former president's organization would disclose sources of funding while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And let me just say, before you go on, so you were asking the question, are there any violations? Well, the Washington Post is reporting there are 1,100, starting right there. Start at 1,100. That's your baseline, and then move on from there.
. . .
HOWARD DEAN: As usual, this is a breathless piece of hot air.
SCARBOROUGH: Actually, it's good reporting by the Washington Post.
. . .
MIKE BARNICLE: Governor, just quickly, as someone who has, I think you formally endorsed Hillary Clinton's candidacy for president, if not you're close to doing it --
DEAN: I have.
BARNICLE: Wouldn't you advise her despite what you may think or what the news contends, wouldn't you advise her to address this at some point? They are awash in money stories.
DEAN: I think there is not much to these stories. Honestly, and I would not advise her to do that. I really do think -- this is a bad -- this is bad press. This is pack journalism . . . I think this is a ridiculous investigation.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: That's my answer.
DEAN: It's ridiculous.
SCARBOROUGH: You don't even know all the things that are out there and you're already dismissing it. Can I say this? I am really glad we have a New England version of James Carville because sometimes I just don't understand what he's saying. I mean he goes "does a billy goat go after a crocodile? No!" So I don't know what the New England version of that is, but -- "that's like chasin' a hockey puck."
DEAN: I think the mainstream media is in a frenzy over a right-wing book which has been pushed hard by the same company that owns the publisher. I think this is nonsense. There is no there there. I think the investigation is worth doing, but I think there is no there there.
SCARBOROUGH: You can't say that there is no there there when the investigations haven't even begun.