WASHINGTON -- I don't know about you, but I like Howard Dean and, as a reporter, I love listening to him. The former Vermont governor and presidential candidate is the essence of forthright. You always know where he stands, and he retains, at 64 years of age, the feisty mentality of the high school wrestler he once was.
Wherever Dr. Dean (a pediatrician by trade) is, an argument usually ensues -- a good thing for the health of the American body politic.
Colorful, progressive and knowledgeable, Dean is an apt figure to interview at the launch of a new feature called The HuffPost Q&A. The idea is simple: Whenever it makes sense, we want to sit down with someone who is in the news, or who should be in the news, to have a deeper conversation about something important.
In this case, the urgent topic is how Democrats should deal with the looming sequester of $1 trillion in federal spending over the next decade. President Barack Obama and most other Democrats see this as a disaster in the making. Dean, a lefty deficit hawk -- if there is such a thing -- sees the sequester as a blessing in disguise.
He explains why in his HuffPost Q&A with Senior Political Editor Sam Stein (an equally feisty character). Dean briefly mentioned his view of the sequester to Sam at a Washington event the other day; Sam followed up with a request for a longer explanation and discussion. The result is the conversation you can read in our news pages right now.