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Who's the Real Howard Dean?

As Vermont governor, the liberal firebrand was a fiscal conservative with close ties to business

Howard Dean has fought his way to the front of the Democratic pack jostling for the 2004 Presidential nomination partly because he has won the hearts of so many liberals with his antiwar rhetoric and shoot-from-the-lip style. But who is the real Howard Dean? Is he the left-of-center insurgent being portrayed in the press or the business-friendly fiscal conservative and pragmatic moderate who governed Vermont for 11 years?

Many who worked with Dean are astonished at his current image and comparisons to liberal icons such as George McGovern. "The Howard Dean you are seeing on the national scene is not the Dean that we saw around here for the last decade," says John McClaughry, president of the Ethan Allen Institute, a conservative Vermont think tank. "He's moved sharply left."