Rally in the Alley

Howard Dean RallyI’m going to spare the patience of those who have no interest in Howard Dean by trying to summarize last night’s campaign rally in Manhattan very quickly: 10,000 very polite and genial supporters showed up at Bryant Park to hear Dean speak, which is a crowd count that just passes the bar for impressive but fell well short of staggering.

The campaign still has the problem of attracting too few minority and working class voters, something that it tried to redress with slight success through a diverse speaking programming leading up to the Governor’s appearance.

Below: Howard Dean greeting the crowds after his speech on Tuesday. He doesn’t look so short, does he?

Dean himself was prompt and in good spirits — he had good reason to be, because just before 10:00p, the campaign achieved its US$1,000,000 fundraising goal. He gave an energetic speech of reasonable length that contained nothing I hadn’t already heard or read about in his reams of press coverage, but he managed to do it in a way that was confident and inspiring. The man was clearly at home on the stage and in front legions of supporters, and he scored at least one big home run with me by not turning out to be a raving, frenetic left-wing idealogue. That was a relief. I’m voting for Howard Dean.

Dean at Bryant Park