Here’s what the New York Times was writing eight years ago Sunday:
President Bush’s political advisers are now all but certain that Howard Dean will be the Democratic presidential nominee and they are planning a campaign that takes account of what they see as Dr. Dean’s strengths and weaknesses, Republicans with ties to the White House said.
”We’re ready to go,” said a senior Republican official involved in the Bush campaign. ”The broad thematics and the whole approach to him, those things have been well thought out. As for the tactical stuff, it’s still out there. The timing is a big decision.”
For months, members of Mr. Bush’s political team said that the nine-person Democratic field was too jumbled to predict the outcome of the primaries, and they cautioned that the situation was fluid. But with Dr. Dean, in their view, pulling away from his Democratic rivals by all indicators — the polls, fund-raising and endorsements — Republicans said he was forcing the Bush campaign to begin making decisions about how and when to engage him.