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updated 1/22/2004 5:29:11 PM ET 2004-01-22T22:29:11

This week, Howard Dean's insurgent campaign experienced a bit of a meltdown in the bitter cold of Iowa.  And Dean didn't help his cause with his already legendary vein-popping rant.  Wild packs of journalists covering the Iowa campaign immediately circled the good doctor and declared his campaign dead on arrival, smugly suggesting that Iowa was the governor's Waterloo. 

But the same was said of President George W. Bush after being pummeled four years ago in New Hampshire, and of former President George Bush Sr. in 1988, after Iowa voters put a sitting vice president in third place, behind an ornery senator and a televangelist.  And, yes, the same was said of Republican presidential legend Ronald Reagan in 1980, after George Bush Sr. thumped Reagan in the Iowa caucuses. 

Every four years, political pundits make pronouncements and predictions based on a single caucus or a single primary.  And every four years, stubborn voters prove them wrong time and time again.  And if you don‘t believe me, just ask Pat Buchanan, Gary Hart and Pat Robertson.  They will be the first to tell you that one victory or one setback, as brutal as it may seem at the time, doesn't finish a presidential campaign. 

It ain‘t over until the fat lady sings.  And even if Howard Dean has begun to sing, the fat lady has yet to open her mouth. 

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