The CNN Brief

Today’s Fantasy Politics from CNN’s Political Gut Check: What if the 2004 presidential race had been Howard Dean vs. George W. Bush? Early on in the 2004 Democratic primary, the former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was considered a long shot candidate. This view was not only based on polling, but also on Dean’s attempts to portray himself as an outsider who detached from the Democratic leadership. But Dean failed to capture mainline Democrats like his primary opponents Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John Edwards did. When Dean finished third in Iowa, after being in the lead for much of the contest, the momentum of the Dean campaign began to waver. And if it wavered after the loss, it was his Iowa concession speech, at the Val-Air Ballroom in West Des Moines, Iowa, that really took the wind out of Dean’s sail.  In what has become known at the “Dean Scream,” the former governor let out raw emotion when he described his campaign’s next steps, leading voters and the media to criticize the speech as un-presidential and out-of-control. “Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York,” exhalted Dean. “And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yeah.” But suppose Dean hadn’t finished third in Iowa? What if the “Dean Scream” hadn’t happened and his campaign could have recovered in New Hampshire? Could Dean has beaten Bush?
Share your answers with on the Political Gut Check Facebook page and the best few will be shared in today’s Gut Check.

Today’s Fantasy Politics from CNN’s Political Gut Check: What if the 2004 presidential race had been Howard Dean vs. George W. Bush?

Early on in the 2004 Democratic primary, the former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was considered a long shot candidate. This view was not only based on polling, but also on Dean’s attempts to portray himself as an outsider who detached from the Democratic leadership.

But Dean failed to capture mainline Democrats like his primary opponents Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John Edwards did. When Dean finished third in Iowa, after being in the lead for much of the contest, the momentum of the Dean campaign began to waver.

And if it wavered after the loss, it was his Iowa concession speech, at the Val-Air Ballroom in West Des Moines, Iowa, that really took the wind out of Dean’s sail.

In what has become known at the “Dean Scream,” the former governor let out raw emotion when he described his campaign’s next steps, leading voters and the media to criticize the speech as un-presidential and out-of-control.

“Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York,” exhalted Dean. “And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yeah.”

But suppose Dean hadn’t finished third in Iowa? What if the “Dean Scream” hadn’t happened and his campaign could have recovered in New Hampshire? Could Dean has beaten Bush?

Share your answers with on the Political Gut Check Facebook page and the best few will be shared in today’s Gut Check.

Today’s Fantasy Politics from CNN’s Political Gut Check: What if the 1988 presidential race had been Gary Hart vs. George Bush?Former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination until it was revealed by the Miami Herald that he was having an extramarital affair with 29-year-old model Donna Rice. Hart dropped out, leaving the door open for Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who went on to be trounced by former Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988. But suppose Hart’s campaign hadn’t imploded. What if Hart hadn’t been caught having an affair? Would Bush have trounced Hart like he crushed Dukakis? Who would have won a Hart/Bush matchup?Share your answers with on the Political Gut Check Facebook page and the best few will be shared in today’s Gut Check.

Today’s Fantasy Politics from CNN’s Political Gut Check: What if the 1988 presidential race had been Gary Hart vs. George Bush?

Former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination until it was revealed by the Miami Herald that he was having an extramarital affair with 29-year-old model Donna Rice. Hart dropped out, leaving the door open for Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who went on to be trounced by former Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988. 

But suppose Hart’s campaign hadn’t imploded. What if Hart hadn’t been caught having an affair? Would Bush have trounced Hart like he crushed Dukakis? Who would have won a Hart/Bush matchup?

Share your answers with on the Political Gut Check Facebook page and the best few will be shared in today’s Gut Check.

Most memorable New Year’s Eve moment

Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin are back for their sixth year hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve show on Dec. 31 at 10 p.m. ET! Tweet your New Year’s Eve messages, wishes for 2013, and greetings to Anderson and Kathy using #cnnnye and you may see them on air.


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Kathy put herself close to Anderson’s baby blues by throwing his glasses off the platform

 
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Anderson scolded Kathy for targeting the Jonas Brothers
 

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Lady Gaga performed! And gave a shout out to our hosts
 

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Lil Wayne and his pole dancers perform live before tossing back to Anderson and KATHY GRIFFIN LEE 
 

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Anderson had to pull the “No Nudity” card

Vote for your most memorable Anderson and Kathy NYE moment

A huge oil boom is ahead. The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil producer before 2020, and will be energy independent 10 years later, according to a new forecast by the International Energy Agency.
U.S. to become biggest oil producer - IEA

A huge oil boom is ahead. The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil producer before 2020, and will be energy independent 10 years later, according to a new forecast by the International Energy Agency.

U.S. to become biggest oil producer - IEA

The top 20 mentioned Facebook terms/phrases in the U.S. on Election Day.

The top 20 mentioned Facebook terms/phrases in the U.S. on Election Day.

The map is completely blue on the CNN-Facebook Election Insights, showing that President Obama is dominating the Facebook conversation across the United States.
CNN-Facebook Election Insights

The map is completely blue on the CNN-Facebook Election Insights, showing that President Obama is dominating the Facebook conversation across the United States.

CNN-Facebook Election Insights

According to National exit polls, more men say they voted for Romney, while more women say they voted for Obama. Younger voters skew toward Obama, while older voters skew toward Romney.
Exit polls: Top issues for voters

According to National exit polls, more men say they voted for Romney, while more women say they voted for Obama. Younger voters skew toward Obama, while older voters skew toward Romney.

Exit polls: Top issues for voters

The most-mentioned terms/phrases on Facebook in the last 12 hours as of 5:30 p.m. ET. Ohio is the only state currently in the top 10. Also, mentions of Pennsylvania are up 715% in the last 12 hours.

The most-mentioned terms/phrases on Facebook in the last 12 hours as of 5:30 p.m. ET. Ohio is the only state currently in the top 10. Also, mentions of Pennsylvania are up 715% in the last 12 hours.