EVANSTON—In front of a full Pick-Staiger auditorium last Wednesday, Howard Dean disappointed many supporters by not making any funny noises during his debate with former senator Rick Santorum. Dean’s constituency was devastated.
The former Vermont governor won over many fans when he effectively ended his 2004 presidential campaign by making a squealing, high-pitched scream noise that was both disastrous and hilarious.
Dean’s supporters were dismayed. “I mean, you follow a guy for so many years, you think you know him, and its like he totally changed,” said Steve Gershwin, a member of College Democrats. “It’s disappointing to see how much he gave into the politics.”
Bethany McCormick has followed Dean closely since that initial scream in 2004. “I really didn’t want to just sit there and listen to them babble about the policies and young voters or whatever,” she said. “I came to hear Howard make funny noises and it is disheartening to see him abandon his fan base like that.”
Even Sen. Santorum seemed surprised by Dean’s serious tone. “Really, the fact that Howard never made that little piggy noise was a huge strategic error. That definitely undermined his credibility.”
Dean could not be reached for comment, although a spokesperson for the former governor said that funny noises “are not completely off the table” at future speaking events.