- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 20, 2004

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Howard Dean finished his Iowa campaign last night the way he began — impassioned and defiant of his Washington rivals.

“We have not begun to fight,” Mr. Dean shouted to supporters after a startling and distant third-place finish behind Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina.

Mr. Dean bounded onto stage, high-fiving supporters with a wide grin and waving an American flag. He looked determined not to appear disappointed, contrary to early-evening interviews conceding defeat that he had given to CNN and MSNBC.

“We will not quit now or ever,” the former Vermont governor shouted to supporters. “We want our country back for ordinary Americans.”

In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Dean sounded more reflective.

“Of course, I’d rather come in first, but we didn’t — and we’re alive,” the former Vermont governor said. “We just need to fight like crazy. I’m determined to take this country back from George Bush, who cares more about corporations than ordinary Americans.”

Mr. Dean blamed the loss on attacks he suffered as the one-time front-runner. His rivals pummeled him as not having the foreign-policy experience or temperament to lead the country.

A third-place finish takes the target off his back, Mr. Dean said.

“There will be a lot less incoming flak, that’s for sure,” he told AP.

Mr. Dean did well among young adults, a group he was counting on for victory, but he was not as strong as Mr. Kerry, according to an entrance poll of caucusgoers. Mr. Dean got the support of a fourth of young adults, Mr. Kerry got a third.

The former Vermont governor also fared more poorly than Mr. Kerry among those who strongly disapproved of the war in Iraq and those who had more education, according to a poll conducted for the National Election Pool — made up of the Associated Press and the TV networks — by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.

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