In early 2004 Howard Dean was running for the Democratic presidential nomination and went on a tour of the Holy Land to shore up his foreign policy credentials and squash speculation that he was a secularist who couldn't connect with religious Americans.† A New York Times story of January 4, 2004 details some of the awkward and humorous aspects of Governor Dean's efforts to make the religious side of his nature more familiar with voters, but the most memorable moment came when he spoke about his credentials as a serious reader of the Bible.
Touring with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Dr. Dean also visited Galilee, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. "If you know much about the Bible--which I do--to see and be in a place where Christ was and understand the intimate history of what was going on 2,000 years ago is an exceptional experience," he said.
Asked his favorite New Testament book, Dr. Dean named Job, adding: "But I don't like the way it ends." "Some would argue, you know, in some of the books of the New Testament, the ending of the Book of Job is different," he said. "I think, if I'm not mistaken, there's one book where there's a more optimistic ending, which we believe was tacked on later."