Howard Dean is criticized both Democrats and Republicans

It was a scalding day on Capitol Hill yesterday, and that includes tempers. Things got particularly hot during a photo op in the office of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) after the minority leader and his Senate deputies completed a 17-minute meeting with the hot-tongued &to=http:// 22/98/387/11639_HowardDean.html ' target=_blank>Howard Dean.

About 60 reporters and cameramen attempted to shove their way into an office equipped to handle about 20. The resulting spectacle offered yet another distillation of why so many people believe that politicians and the media deserve each other, tells the Washington Post.

Just four months into his tenure as chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean has found himself on unforgiving - if familiar - terrain. As he visited &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Capitol Hill on Thursday, he faced a growing number of critics and received a private scolding from leading members of his party for several derogatory remarks he has made about Republicans in recent weeks.

According to the New York Times, Howard Dean, left, met with Sen. Harry Reid, center, and Sen. Charles E. Schumer at the Capitol Thursday. Mr. Schumer said the Republican uproar over comments by Dr. Dean was a "smoke screen."

Republicans have attacked him with glee for those remarks, which they have described as "below the belt," while Democrats have struggled to defend him yet have quietly acknowledged that Dr. Dean was showing signs of being as polarizing as they once feared.

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