The reaction to Howard Dean’s speech last night continues to snowball. I just finished watching, via TiVo delay, two light-hearted sports talk shows on ESPN, “Around the Horn” and “Pardon the Interruption.” It is exceedingly rare for either to talk about politics. Both of them made fun of Dean’s hollering. Apparently, Howard Stern had a field day with it this morning as well. I’ll be interested in getting the reaction of Leno and Letterman tonight. I’m betting the “Live from New York” opener for this week’s “Saturday Night Live” will feature Dean for a second straight week.

Dean may have had the equivalent of the Dukakis driving a tank, Dan Quayle “potatoe” incident, or George H.W. Bush looking at his watch during a debate moment. He has to recover quickly and finish no worse than second in New Hampshire, I would think, to have any shot at all at the nomination, since South Carolina and several less-than-hospitable states loom thereafter. Rather incredible given that he was considered the odds-on favorite a week ago.

What a difference a “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” makes.

Something else has been running around my mind all day on this one, too. Compare these two sound bytes:

Not only are we going to New Hampshire … we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico. We’re going to California and Texas and New York. We’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. Then we’re going to Washington D.C. to take back the White House. “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

Howard Dean, Jan. 19, 2004

They wrote us off — three weeks ago, “Pat, when are you going to get out of single digits, pat? When are you going to get out of single digits? Bob Dole’s at 50-percent.” We told them, three weeks, stunned them in Alaska. We came out of Alaska, we came out of the tundra, we went down to the bayou of Louisiana, we did it again. When we drove across those frozen cornfields of Iowa, they said his trade message will never be heard out here. It was heard. And then we came up here, along that river with those red mills there we won it all in Manchester. We’re going on to San Diego, we’re going on to the nomination, we’re going on to the White House.


Do not wait for orders from headquarters, mount up everybody and ride to the sound of the guns.

Patrick J. Buchanan, Feb. 20, 1996

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. zygote says:

    It’s been the talk of the office around here with people breaking into Dean as they talk about their tasks for the day, “I’m going to lunch, coming back, finishing that interview, writing that article and then going hoooome! YEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!”
    Hysterical. I downloaded the squeal and made a special album cover for it in iTunes. Truly a classic moment.

  2. Dodd says:

    “Around The Horn” is still on?!? I thought that went belly up months ago. PTI rocks, of course, but ARH was just plain awful.

  3. jen says:

    It gets funnier to me each time I hear/see it. The reaction of the panel on Special Report with Brit Hume was amusing – each one trying not to laugh out loud. Mort couldn’t hold it back and ended up chuckling as Brit tried to ask them about it. Too good.

  4. McGehee says:

    I called it a “pirate yodel” on some other blog, but I like “squeal” too.

  5. Paul says: