Leaving aside the questionable notion that a public figure can say something that is wrong with impunity forever if no one stops him after the first time; and leaving aside the fact that Dean had no reason to assume it was true that the other candidates don't talk about race — it now turns out that what he said at the Rainbow event wasn't the same (as helpfully provided — via a Googling monkey — by another campaign):
In June, Dean said at the Rainbow/PUSH forum "I don't just talk about quotas here in front of a predominantly Latino and Black American, African American, audience. I talk about quotas and affirmative action in front of white audiences, because white people need to hear from white politicians that this is an important issue." [Rainbow PUSH Forum, 6/22/03]
No mention, obviously, of being the only one.
During the debate, Dean said, "Secondly, I'll tell you why I connect with African-American audiences. I'm the only white politician that ever talks about race in front of white audiences. Black people have heard lectures from white politicians for a long time. White folks need talk to white people in America about race.
Obviously, two different things.
USA Today 's Jill Lawrence contemplates the accusations of Dean's flip-flopping on (and in) black and white. LINK "Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager, said Dean's rivals are piling on because he has surged in fundraising and polls of New Hampshire and Iowa, sites of the first two contests. Dean made the same remark in June at a Rainbow Coalition gathering, Trippi said, and 'not a single other campaign had any moral indignation at that time when we weren't leading in the polls.'"
(Alleged) flip-flops: LINK The New York Post 's Deborah Orin writes that Dean is "starting to get a reputation for talking out of both sides of his mouth" in what "may be the first hint of an Achilles heel … ." LINK
The Boston Globe 's Sarah Schweitzer reports on the reaction to Dean's race comments. LINK
"Dean's spokeswoman, Tricia Enright, dismissed the criticism. 'This is not about whether any of the other candidates are committed [sic] to the issue of civil rights,' she said. 'What Governor Dean is talking about is not just the need for civil rights. He is out there talking about how when the president uses the word 'quota,' it is a race-loaded word designed to instill fear of African-Americans and other minorities.'"
The Raleigh News and Observer's John Wagner leads with Edwards' reaction. LINK The AP's Nedra Pickler reports on the other big area of pressure on Dean, where he has backed off a bit, acknowledging that he doesn't know all the diplo code yet.
"Dean drew fire from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and several Jewish lawmakers yesterday over his remarks concerning Israel." LINK
"Pelosi, Berman — who is Jewish — and several others who signed the letter are supporting" Gephardt, "while others back" Kerry.
"'It is unacceptable for the U.S. to be 'evenhanded' on these fundamental issues,' the letter said."
"During the debate Tuesday night, Dean defended himself by saying he and former President Bill Clinton held the same view on the issue — that the United States must have the trust of both sides to negotiate between the two countries. He repeated that argument during an appearance yesterday on CNN's 'Wolf Blitzer Reports.'"