Just how alike are George W. Bush and Howard Dean? The New York Times profiles Dean in the last part of their series on the presidential candidates:

“… Even so, the comparison is instructive — and not only for the likenesses it reveals. The two men’s paths diverged in the fractious, culture-shaking heart of the 1960’s.

After a post-high-school year in England in 1966, Mr. Dean shrugged off many trappings of his background, including the Republicanism that his father preached at home. He grew his hair long, experimented with marijuana, played guitar and harmonica, switched from khaki to denim, cut his hair short again and emerged liberal, antiwar and resolutely Democratic.

His life also took a critical turn away from the Wall Street career that his father had desired for him. In deciding to study medicine, he was inspired by a zeal to help others that grew out of the political ferment of the era and was fueled by the mysterious disappearance of his brother Charlie in the jungles of Laos. […]

After Yale, having received a medical deferment from the Vietnam draft because of a long-standing back condition, Mr. Dean meandered and resisted Wall Street’s pull. He spent 10 months skiing and working odd jobs in Aspen, Colo. When the spring snows melted in 1972, he returned to New York. […]

In 1980, he worked on Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign. Soon afterward, he wandered into a presentation by a University of Vermont professor, Thomas Hudspeth, about revitalizing Burlington’s waterfront with a bicycle path.

“Howard came up after the presentation and said, `O.K., let’s do it,’ ” said Rick Sharp, a lawyer.

The three men formed the Citizens Waterfront Group, to secure a nine-mile stretch of land along Lake Champlain for the path. … “

> From NYTimes: “Challenging Bush: From Patrician Roots, Dean Set Path of Prickly Independence”

Author: Rob