Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has joined the critics of President Barack Obama's jobs bus tour, likening the president to a failed Democratic candidate from the 2004 election.
"Think about that," McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday, according to The Hill. "We have 14 million people out of work… and the president is out there doing his best Howard Dean impersonation."
Senate Republicans struck down Obama's American Jobs Act last week. Yet the vote has done little to sway the president's persistence. Obama launched a three-day bus tour this week, visiting southern states to tout the need for action on jobs, because, in Obama's words, "I'm the president."
"We don't need a Republican jobs act or a Democratic jobs act," Obama told the AP. "We need to put people back to work right now."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also blasted Obama's bus travels on the Senate floor Tuesday, calling the mission "wrong."
"Never do I believe any of us have seen the kind of activity that the president has engaged in, and all of it being charged to the taxpayers of America," McCain told the AP.
McConnell's mockery recalls the former Vermont governor's days as presidential front-runner. Dean's vociferous speeches wowed Democratic supporters for a while during the 2004 campaign. He appeared on the Jan. 12 cover of Time that year for a piece that analyzed his surprising lead.
Dean leads the eight other Democrats by every measure that matters (at least until people start voting): in polls, money, organization and enthusiasm. As the Democratic front runner, with only two weeks to go before the presidential race begins in Iowa, Dean is being pummeled from every angle, and his every assertion is being examined under a microscope.
The excitement proved premature. Dean placed third at the Iowa caucuses. After that loss, Dean vowed to continue campaigning across the country in one of his most memorable speeches.
Soon after that disappointing finish, Dean's financial prowess began to evaporate. The Guardian noted that after months of raising millions on the Internet, donors were leaving in droves. Instead of mobilizing his base, the show of emotion catapulted him to the center of the late-night talk shows. In David Letterman's words:
"Here's what happened: The people of Iowa realized they didn't want a president with the personality of a hockey dad."