Latham & Dean: What does it Mean?

A version of this article was published as "Maverick vision hangs on detail", Australian, 08 January 2004

The rise of Howard Dean and Mark Latham indicate the beginning of a new era of politics. Both are completely unconventional candidates whose major suit with the electorate is that they are alternatives, in the case of Dean, to so-called establishment or ‘Washington Democrats’, and in Latham’s case to the insular father-son dynasties of Labor.

Both have the capacity to put their foot in their mouth, and yet recover and be forgiven for gaffes and overblown statements that would be fatal to any other politician. This alone indicates that there is a new mood abroad in the country.