MIKE TYSON REPLACES DEAN AS DNC CHIEF
Promises to Offer More Moderate Voice as Democratic Leader
Just days after losing to Kevin McBride on Saturday night and announcing his retirement from boxing, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson made a stunning comeback today, replacing former Vermont Governor Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Tapping Mr. Tyson for the top job at the DNC could heal wounds caused by Gov. Dean, who had ruffled feathers in recent days with his controversial remarks about Republicans.
In assuming the reins of the DNC, Mr. Tyson told reporters in Washington, "I promise to offer the moderate voice that this party has been lacking under my predecessor."
While the selection of Mr. Tyson raised eyebrows in Democratic party circles, many called it a shrewd move, since the former heavyweight champ is expected to choose his words more carefully than the volatile Gov. Dean.
In his first press conference, Mr. Tyson gave reporters a taste of the rhetoric that would characterize his tenure as DNC chair, telling them, "I want to make Dick Cheney my bitch."
As for President Bush, Mr. Tyson said, "I want to rip out his heart and feed it to him."
When Davis Logden, a reporter for The Toledo Blade, asked Mr. Tyson to clarify his comment about the president, the former heavyweight champ lunged at him and bit off his ear.
Democratic insider Charlton Danziger gave Mr. Tyson a qualified thumbs up for his performance: "Biting off the ear wasn't great, but he was still better than Dean."
Elsewhere, the cable news networks reported that Tropical Storm Arlene generated less wind, rain and TV ratings than originally expected.