Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) took a strong lead in partial results from the Iowa caucuses over Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who was running a surprisingly close second in the first major contest to determine the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.
With 67 percent of the state's precincts reporting, Kerry led Edwards by 37 percent to 33 percent. Running third in the early results was former Vermont governor Howard Dean with 18 percent, followed by Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.) with 11 percent. Two other candidates -- Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) and New York activist Al Sharpton -- drew scant support.
Earlier in the day, Dean told news media to "get a new life."
With the start of the Iowa Caucus only hours away, the former Vermont governor arrived at the Iowa Historical Museum for the State of Iowa King remembrance.
Dean, who was not scheduled as one of the speakers, arrived with the national and local media waiting. The event had been posted on the media roster by his campaign.
After Dean’s bus pulled in at about 10:30 a.m., he circled the large building, just blocks from the golden-domed capital, as hordes of press and orange-capped Dean “storm troopers” followed in tow in the subfreezing weather.
When Dean finally made his way into the building, chaos ensued - although nothing out of the ordinary for the kick off of a closely contested caucus race.
“Dean came here and he was hoping that his henchmen would get the job done," said 26-year-old Seville Lee, who heads a mentoring program for at-risk youth in Des Moines. "He thought he was going to speak."
“I’m offended that Dean would even try and do this,” said Lee, who organized a children’s play that day in honor of King. “He wasn’t scheduled to speak.
"If he wanted to come he could go sit down like everyone else.”
After Dean entered the packed auditorium with a mostly black audience of about 300 people, the former Iowa front-runner took a seat in the front row for about five minutes.
..."You know why I wasn’t able to attend this event,” Dean said, “because you guys are behaving so badly you’ve got to get a new life.”
Upbraiding the media, Dean told the press: “I’m feeling great, we’re going to win but you guys got to behave yourselves out of respect for Dr. King.”
Blaming the media for the commotion of his arrival, Dean refused to answer any more questions.
If you travel with a circus, expect to get attention. What I want to know is, how did he manage to get a front row seat? Why not go alone and sit in the back? Arrogant behavior from a man who wants to educate me about race.Posted by marybeth at January 19, 2004 10:10 PM Politics