Howard Dean visits Design District

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean visited Miami for a brief fundraiser on Dec. 13 in the city’s Design District. A few UM students joined several hundred Dean supporters for the $50-per-person event to hear the former governor of Vermont speak for nearly 20 minutes.

“I really enjoyed Dean’s speech. He spoke about the issues I’m interested in,” said Ilana Nathan, a junior majoring in history. “I went into the event open-minded, but Dean’s speech and the atmosphere made me really want to vote for Dean.”

Dean’s rote stump speech was peppered with several references to issues specific to South Florida’s role in the 2000 presidential election and the region’s ties with Central America.

Dean criticized President Bush for failing to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada, who was inaugurated roughly a month before Bush was.

“I understand President Fox is not perfect, but he had an opportunity to begin the kind of democratic reforms in Mexico that were necessary, and our president hung him out to dry because he couldn’t deal with the immigration issue,” Dean said.

Dean’s speech in Miami flanked two notable events in Dean’s campaign: former Vice President Al Gore’s endorsement of Dean on Dec. 9 and Dean’s controversial assertion on Dec. 15 that the capture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had not made the U.S. any safer.

While the $50 fundraiser featured blues group “The Albert Castiglia Band,” was titled “Red, Whites, & Blues” and included a few snacks and liquor, Dean also held a $1,000-a-person fundraiser at the home of Miami Beach attorney Dan Paul during his swing through South Florida.

The Hurricane will continue to follow up on events related to the 2004 presidential election.

Horacio Sierra can be contacted at

*Wesley Clark, four star general
*Howard Dean, former Vermont governor
*John Edwards, N. Carolina senator
*John Kerry, Massachusetts senator
*Dennis Kucinich, Ohio representative
*Joe Lieberman, former Connecticut Senator
*Rev.Al Sharpton