Howard Dean Trivia

Howard Dean is running for the DFL presidential candidacy. Here are some questions that we used at our local meetup in Minnesota to start discussions about him and the issues.

January 2004 Trivia

  1. Multiple choice

    Which is not a real site?

    1. Riflemen for Dean;
    2. Kids for Dean;
    3. Cops for Dean;

    Answer: A, Riflemen for Dean.

  2. Multiple choice:

    Who said it?

    Whatever it is that Howard Dean knows, or whatever it is that he eats for breakfast every morning, if I could give it to every other Democratic office holder and would-be office holder, we would immediately become the majority in the Congress and we would have about 35 governors. I have to tell you, I think a big part of it is just producing for people, actually doing what you say you're going to do at election time.

    1. Nancy Pelosi
    2. Bill Bradley
    3. Bill Clinton

    Answer: C, Bill Clinton, in a speech to the governors association in 1997.

December 2003 Trivia

  1. Multiple choice

    November 17th of this year marked what turning point?

    1. The 62nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor;
    2. A nationwide Armistice day peace march;
    3. The 35th anniversary of the first lunar landing;
    4. The 55th birthday of the man who is the greatest hope for the American Presidency.

    Answer: D, Howard Dean's birthday.

    Dean's birthday was celebrated by his many supporters and fans with 331 houseparties all over the country, each with the goal of raising $555.00.

  2. Limerick Challenge

    The news had everyone stunned
    (including Bush and his donors rotund)
    The tea is in the harbor!
    Dean's fans showed their ardor,
    Voting to refuse federal matching ______.

    Answer: fund(s).

    On November 7, 2003, Governor Howard Dean, M.D., announced that, following an overwhelming vote by supporters over the last two days, Dean for America would not accept public matching funds.

    "By an 85-15 margin the people who made this campaign have voted to decline public financing. We support public financing, but the unabashed actions of this president to thwart our democratic processes with a flood of special interests money have us forced to abandon a broken system." Governor Dean said. "Our campaign has not been talk of campaign finance reform, it has been actual reform. Over 200,000 people have given an average of $77 to bring us here and they have now overwhelmingly refused to be intimidated by George Bush and his cronies."

  3. Multiple Choice

    Which of the following is NOT an organization that has endorsed Dean?

    1. AFSCME
    2. SEIU
    3. IUPAT
    4. CTA
    5. EIEIO

    Answer: E -- EIEIO

    The four large unions that endorsed Howard Dean this month were AFSCME (the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), SEIU (Service Employees International Union), IUPAT (International Union of Painters and Allied Trades) and the CTA (California Teachers Association.)

    For those true trivia junkies out there, the Encyclopedia of Acronyms does list one organization with the initials EIEIO -- the Earthwide Internet Education and Information Organization. To the best of our knowledge, they have not yet endorsed Dean.

  4. Limerick Challenge

    Bush may turn me into a debtor.
    I know we could do much better,
    So please take note,
    I'm urging you to vote
    For Dean with my personal ______.

    Answer: letter.

    Dean supporters have written over 71,000 letters to undecided voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Why is it important to do this? Because by reaching out with a personal, handwritten letter, we have a tremendous impact. Every time we have written letters, Dean has experienced a leap in the polls.

    Last month Dean was trailing Gephardt in Iowa polls by a couple percentage points, now he is leading by almost ten. Keep writing those letters! The Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primaries are only a month away.

  5. Q & A: Math Question

    Bush is expected to raise $200 million for his campaign. How many Dean supporters would have to give an average of $100 to match this?

    Answer: 2 million.

    Do you think we can find two million Americans who would be willing to give $100 to see Bush booted out of office? Could you be one of them? If you think you can afford to give, please do.

November 2003 Trivia

  1. Multiple choice:

    Which of the following is a nickname for Howard Dean?

    1. Twinkie
    2. Ho-Ho
    3. Little Debbie

    Answer: B "Ho-Ho."

    This nickname for the governor, "Ho-Ho," does not refer to the dessert manufactured by Hostess ® (a chocolate cake rolled with creamy filling), but to Dean's energy and enthusiasm. The name was coined by the late state Rep. Mary Everti in the early 80's. Upon seeing Dean, she remarked, "It's Ho-ho-ho!" because Dean was always on the go.

  2. Limerick Challenge

    Historians may someday teach
    Of a moment of campaign outreach
    When Dean jumped on a truck
    Which then ran amuck
    Making for a really moving _____.

    Answer: Speech.

    On October 19th, in Anselm, New Hampshire, Dean decided to hop a lift on the back of a truck that was pulling into the parking lot as a playful prank for the crowd. But it backfired -- the truck kept going with Dean on board. Fortunately for Dean (and the campaign staffers and crowd who ran after him), the truck soon pulled into a nearby parking lot where Dean got off, nonchalantly acknowledging rival Edwards who was giving a speech to his followers.

  3. Multiple choice:

    What is Pottawattamie?

    1. A new form of medical marijuana, endorsed by Dr. Dean for use with glaucoma patients;
    2. A nine year old tom cat belonging to his daughter, Anne;
    3. A county that Minnesota Dean supporters will write letters to in order to help Howard win Iowa.

    Answer: C.

    Pottawattamie County is one of 99 counties that Dean is trying to take in the upcoming caucuses. It was established in 1847, has a population of 87,704 and was named for the Indian tribe that used to own the territory. Pottawattamie means "Keeper of Council's fires." Council Bluffs is its county seat.

  4. Q & A

    When are those Iowa caucuses, anyway? When are Minnesota's caucuses? And when is the general election where we can start regime change right here in the US?

    Answer: January 19, 2004. March 2, 2004. November 2, 2004.

October 2003 Trivia

  1. Multiple choice:

    While he was governor, Dean established a social program in Vermont that he wants to take nationally. Is it:

    1. A lottery
    2. Free donuts for law enforcement
    3. Universal healthcare coverage for children?

    Answer: C

    While he was governor of Vermont, Dean ensured health care coverage for all of Vermont's children, all while creating good paying jobs, lowering taxes and balancing the budget. Now that's fiscal responsibility!

  2. Limerick challenge:

    The people Bush recruits
    Are fat cats in 3-piece suits
    We don't need all that
    Let's swing the bat!
    Our power comes from the grass_____.

    Answer: roots.

    The Dean campaign raised at least 14.8 million dollars this quarter (they're still counting mail-in donations) shattering the democratic fundraising record formerly held by Bill Clinton while he was still president! And all of it from donations averaging under a hundred dollars. We've changed the face of politics, de-emphasizing the power of big money donors and corporate special interests.

  3. Q & A

    This is our toughest question. As many of you know, the Democratic presidential primaries have just become a ten candidate race. Can anyone in the room name all ten?

    (Allow others to help with hints -- almost everyone forgets one of these!)

    Answer: Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Dennis Kucinich, Carol Mosely Braun, Al Sharpton, Bob Graham, John Edwards, Dick Gephart, Joe Lieberman and John Kerry.

    Editor's Note: The answer was accurate at the time that we gave the quiz. Since then, Bob Graham has dropped out.

    There are many fine Democratic Presidential candidates, but here is why I think that Dean is the best in the field: he clearly articulates his positions, values grass roots over big money, and has an exceptional record in education, healthcare, and fiscal responsibility. With Dean, you know what you'll be getting.

  4. Limerick challenge:

    At the parties we had a ball
    Dialing in one and all
    With 3500 aboard --
    My, what a horde --
    In the world's largest conference ____.

    Answer: call.

    At house parties across the nation, 3557 households dialed in to hear the governor, breaking a Guinness World Record. This highlights one of the great strengths of the Dean campaign, the ability to combine serious political content with inventiveness and whimsy.

    (Other examples of this inventiveness? Dean's Texas Rangers -- 500 volunteers from the Lone Star state who went door to door last week in Iowa and New Hampshire, speaking with voters about why George W. Bush must go ('cause they know better than anyone!) and about why Howard Dean is the candidate that will defeat Bush in 2004. And don't forget the life imitating Doonesbury moment earlier this month when Seattle for Dean created a flashmob rally at the Space Needle in Seattle, after it had been suggested in one of Gary Trudeau's comic strip! As one writer for ironically put it, "Heaven forbid politics should be fun again.")

  5. Q & A

    Over one hundred Minnesota volunteers did a road trip to Harkin's steak fry to hear Clinton talk, meet with Iowa democrats and rally for Dean. Can anyone tell me what color the t-shirts were for this event?

    Answer: Orange

    [This is a visual gag. One of the volunteers will be holding up an orange "Hey Harkin, these steaks are Dean-licious!" T-shirt behind my back as I ask the question. We included this question only because we had one of these shirts to give away...]

September 2003 Trivia

  1. Multiple choice: Dean was the first '04 presidential candidate to
    1. have a website
    2. raise a million dollars
    3. have his own ice cream flavor

    Answer: C

    The flavor was "Maple-Powered Howard," a concoction of vanilla, maple syrup, maple cream and nuts from Ben and Jerry's.

  2. Limerick challenge -- fill in the last word of the limerick

    I know it sounds a bit funny:
    The outlook should be sunny.
    They cut taxes galore
    While deficits soar,
    Republicans simply can't handle _____

    Answer: money.

    The last line is a direct quote from Howard Dean's interview with Larry King in reference to the fact that no Republican president has balanced the budget in 34 years. In contrast, Howard Dean's record of fiscal responsibility is exemplary.

  3. Multiple choice:

    How many of the following recent news stories are true:

    1. Two thirds of American Democratic voters polled over the Labor Day weekend could not name even one of the nine Democratic presidential candidates.
    2. California Gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwartzenegger said, "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman".
    3. Bush's campaign manager, Marc Racicot, complained in an e-mail to Bush supporters that Bush was the fund-raising underdog of the campaign, unable to raise enough money to fend off attacks from democratic candidates.

    (Hint: if the contestant picks any individual option say, "and?" and "and?" again. We want people to win.)

    Answer: All of the above.


    1. -- an NPR labor day broadcast;
    2. -- CNN;
    3. -- All of which proves that we have our work cut out for us!

  4. Limerick challenge:

    Right-wing pundits may bray
    of Peaceniks and marriages gay;
    But their view is extreme,
    I'm the center, says Dean,
    Look at my rating from the NR_.

    Answer: A

    Potential supporters should be aware that Howard Dean's views are all over the political map. While very liberal in some areas, he is conservative in others. He has an A rating from the NRA, in part because he views gun control as a state's rights issue, stating:

    If you say "gun control" in Vermont, Tennessee, or Colorado, people think it means taking away their hunting rifle. If you say "gun control" in New York City or Los Angeles, people are relieved at the prospect of having Uzis or illegal handguns taken off the streets. They're both right. That's why I think Vermont ought to be able to have a different set of laws than California.

  5. Q & A

    Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Bush Jr., and Howard Dean all held what job before running for President?

    Answer: Governor (Carter: Georgia; Reagan: California; Clinton: Arkansas; Bush: Texas; Dean: Vermont.)

    Let's see history repeat itself!