It’s true that, on a purely biographical plane, Dean and Clinton have little in common. Clinton was a meritocrat who began life as a poor white kid in Arkansas with an alcoholic stepfather and ended it as the first Democrat to win a second term since Harry Truman. Dean is an East Coast brahmin with a privileged candidates’ experience and interest in this area. To counter criticism that he can’t personally connect with black votersone of Clinton’s great strengthsDean protests, perhaps too much, I had two African-American roommates my freshman year.

Then there are Dean’s criticisms of his party, which bring to mind Ralph Nader’s and are often taken by Dean-watchers as a direct criticism of Clinton himself. Wit