Then we have the person who was considered the front-runner, Hoynes, who is a bit more conservative. He's considered the best bet, because his views are more 'palatable' to the masses by being a little more conservative while still Democratic. Yet while Hoynes is a good person and a decent candidate, he lacks the ability to inspire the sort of fervor and devotion in listeners that Bartlett does.
Yet because of the sheer fervor that Bartlett manages to muster among voters, in the end, Bartlett ends up with the party's nomination, and Hoynes as the vice-presidential nominee to help him carry several areas. And Bartlett wins.
Though West Wing premiered in 1999, so the characters are obviously not based on the current candidates in any way...Jen's observation is that Senator Kerry is Hoynes; he's a good candidate with 'palatable' views, and is seen as electable because of that. But he somehow lacks the passion to inspire that Governor Dean has. The interesting thing is that, looking back now, many of the more extreme views that Bartlett was expressing (views on children and poverty, views on education, etc.) are similar to the stances that Dean has. And Hoynes' more cautious views do match Kerry's in some ways.
And that's finally helped me really put a finger on why I'm a Deanite rather than a Kerry supporter; I want a President Bartlett.
No, not a fictional character or anything. I'm just drawing a parallel; I want a president who can inspire that sort of belief. I want a president who doesn't just tell me what he intends to do, but who believes it so deeply, so strongly, that anyone who listens to him can't help but be swayed...even if they don't agree with him. I was a casual Deanite before hearing him speak, but after hearing his speech in Seattle I have to echo the sentiment of so many other Dean supporters inasmuch as that he made me believe in his vision.
I've not had a politician do that for a while. That's what I've missed...a candidate I can not simply agree with, but believe in. Even when I agree with their views, even when I think they make a good speech, I've never felt it came so much from the heart, so fervently, as I did listening to Howard Dean.
That's why I found my candidate. That's why I'm a Dean supporter.