The televised debate, held in Dread Fork, North Dakota, attracted a national TV audience of 17 viewers, facing such stiff competition as old reruns like "Third Rock From the Sun" and "Martha Stewart's Inmate Hints on Prison Decor."
Democratic rivals Dennis Kucinich and Carol Moseley Braun, until now the shortest contestants in the long-running and really boring pre-primary race, expressed satisfaction at having cut Dean down to size. "It all about height, and he losing altitude fast," said Moseley Braun, who stands 4'9" in her stocking feet. "Twenty-six more debates and he be short enough to suck my knee-cap."
Senator John Kerry, long considered the tallest of the Democratic candidates, said he felt he had added about a cubit to his height in the latest discussions. "It's all about who has the stature to stand up to George Bush in November, and any fool can see I'm the tallest. Plus I have the best hairdo."
Commentators were divided on the issue of which contender had the best hairdo. Some pointed out that they were still waiting to see what Al Sharpton's latest conk would look like when it came out from under the do-rag. Sharpton missed the debate, saying he had a late-night Scrabble game with Bill Clinton and Charlie Rangel in the Harlem Office Building.
Generalissimo Wesley Clark, considered by some to be the strongest threat to Dean's drive for the nomination, also skipped the parley, since he was on tank maneuvers with the Fifth Panzer division in occupied Manitoba.
In one major slip during the debate Dean attempted to show off his newly acquired Bible knowledge by telling the audience that his favorite book of the New Testament was the Bhagavad-Gita. George Bush hurriedly called a news conference to jeer at Dean's mistake. When asked his own favorite book of the New Testament, Bush replied: "Jebediah, of course."