John McCaslin

In a most unfashionable poll, Time asked the campaign staffs of top Democratic presidential contenders where they shop for clothes. The answers: Howard Dean (Gap), John Kerry (American Eagle), Wesley Clark (J. Crew), John Edwards (Banana Republic), Joe Lieberman (Urban Outfitters) and Dennis Kucinich (Salvation Army).

Come on, is this poll serious?

Admits the magazine: "Polling ... based on one to six interns we pretty much randomly grabbed."


"Just a quick reminder that in December of 2003, while most magazines were running cover stories on Howard Dean, The Atlantic Monthly had John Kerry on its cover." - Atlantic Monthly statement after Kerry scored his major upset in the Iowa caucuses


What really propelled John Kerry so rapidly to the top in Iowa after he had lagged so far behind in the polls?

One can't ignore a cleverly worded television ad launched in the state Jan. 7 by one of the nation's leading free-market political-advocacy organizations, the Club for Growth PAC, highlighting longtime Iowa caucus leader Howard Dean's liberal tax record.

The $100,000-plus ad, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee, opened with a couple walking out of a barbershop. An off-screen announcer asked what they thought of Dean's plan to raise taxes on a typical family by $1,900.

Without hesitation, the husband responded: "What do I think? Well, I think Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading ..."

His wife continued: "... body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs."

Club for Growth Executive Director David Keating told this column: "One of the things that just shocked us is how our ad not only entered the political culture, but also the comedy culture.

"We're going to poke fun at any politician with an insane tax plan," Keating continued. "And it fits Dean's plan - and persona, perhaps. I mean, you saw his rant."


TUN Network representatives are on Capitol Hill this week introducing a most unique cable-television venture geared toward young adults.

The vision of the network, which is being launched this month in several states: "To be the premiere cable and Internet destination for university students around the world."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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