More of a gaffe than a scandal, but still funny enough to put into our scandal series:
Don’t tell Howard Dean, but “HeeHaw” was a tv show, not a battle cry for a presidential candidate. One reporter described “The Scream” this way:
It was more of a rallying cry to buoy a roomful of disappointed supporters than the raving of an out-of-control zealot. But it quickly became known as the Scream, and it lives on as a case study of how a brief gaffe, given saturation coverage by the media, can cause deep damage to a politician’s image. The incident happened on the night of the Iowa presidential nominating caucuses, Jan. 19, 2004. Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, had been promoted in the media for weeks as the Democrat to beat, riding a tough anti-war message, an outsider’s critique of Washington, and what he described as an army of angry insurgents. But as the returns rolled in, it became clear that Dean and the media had badly overestimated his strength and that the air was leaking fast out of his balloon. In the end, Dean lost…behind winner John Kerry and runner-up John Edwards.
That evening, Dean appeared before a crowd of downcast supporters in West Des Moines. He took off his suit jacket, rolled up the sleeves of his blue shirt, and acknowledged, “I’m sure there are some disappointed people here.” Then he tried to motivate them to continue the fight. Getting revved up by the crowd’s cheers and chants, he promised to take his campaign on to New Hampshire, South Carolina, California, and a string of other states, the names of which he shouted out like a cheerleader at a high school pep rally. His face reddening and his right hand balled into a fist, Dean shouted: “And then we’re going to Washington, D.C.—to take back the White House—YEEEEEAAARGH!” (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/01/17).
Here is our favorite Dean Scream Remix: