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What's The Deal With Dean?

Outrageous behavior is nothing new for politicians, but Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean's recent performance has the chattering class abuzz.

The former front-runner shocked many Democrats with a ranting speech to a group of young supporters in Iowa on Monday night, shortly after he had finished a disappointing third in the Hawkeye state's Democratic caucus.

Earlier in the day, Dean had raised eyebrows by telling the news media to "get a new life" following a ceremony honoring Martin Luther King Jr. in Des Moines. But as it turned out, Dean's surprising remark was only a warm-up act.

That night, a red-faced, high-fiving Dean whipped off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and launched into a speech in which he shouted out the name of state after state holding primary elections.

"We will not quit now or ever," he told supporters, his hoarse voice rising to a scream.

The performance delighted Republicans and appalled many Democrats.

"I think many people watching it would have thought he was just losing it, big time. It's a moment that provides a window into the soul of the man. And it reinforces many of the fears that people have expressed about Dean: that he's angry and that he doesn't have the proper temperament to be president," Darrell West, a professor of political science at Brown University, told the New York Times.

On Tuesday, a chastened Dean struck a calmer tone in New Hampshire.

"You've got to have some fun in this business," he said Tuesday in appearances on the talk shows.

Later in the day, at a rally in Concord, N.H., there was shouting but not from Dean. Hecklers interrupted his speech at least five times, including one at the start of the speech who was dragged out while throwing punches.

Dean stayed calm though each disruption and during one responded by singing the national anthem into the microphone. The crowd, which included rocker Joan Jett, joined in the singing to drown out the heckler's yelling, then followed by chanting, "Howard Dean! Howard Dean!"

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