Dean: I Won't 'Vigorously' Back Obama Re-election Bid

Pour some more butter on the popcorn . . .

Yesterday, Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs took shots at Howard Dean and his opposition to ObamaCare, suggesting the good doctor didn't know what he was talking about.

It was payback time this morning, as Dean announced that he would "not vigorously" back Pres. Obama's re-election bid.

The former DNC Chairman expressed his tepid support for Obama, Part Deux on today's Morning Joe in response to new poll data indicating Pres. Obama's popularity, and public support for ObamaCare, have fallen to all-time lows.

Joe Scarborough suggested that Dean would be accused of dragging down his party and helping Republicans.

HOWARD DEAN: Look, here's the thing: every politician says this and I hesitate to do it because they all say it, but sometimes the country's more important than either party.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Amen.

DEAN: I'm going to support President Obama when he runs for re-election. Not vigorously.  I'm going to vote for him.
Scarborough can be heard bursting into laughter off-camera.
DEAN: I am, I am.

SCARBOROUGH: "Not vigorously."  Boy, I can almost feel the confetti [presumably from GOP victory celebrations] falling on my head here!

My two cents:  the MSM has largely been portraying Dean as a principled progressive opponent of ObamaCare.  I say that good old personal spite might also be motivating Doc Dean.  Remember that it was the very same Robert Gibbs who, during the 2003 Dem presidential primary campaign, was behind a TV ad showing OBL and suggesting Dean was incapable of protecting American's national security.  PBO has also hurt Dean's feelings, snubbing him for the HHS Secretary post which many Dems felt was his due.  

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.