Dean’s Corporate Jet

At the end of this afternoon’s press conference, Freddy parted ways with Howard Dean, who’d just endorsed him as “the education candidate.” Freddy hopped into a black sedan; Howard descended the stairs at 86th and Broadway to catch a downtown 1 train.

After a brief scuffle with a disagreeable MetroCard machine and a cranky turnstile, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee made it out to the platform just as the train’s doors bing-bong’ed shut. The next train was full of rush hour commuters, most too exhausted to notice him. “This is my corporate jet!” Dean jibed, responding to a barb from Bloomberg earlier today.

So what came out of the actual presser? Freddy and Howard tried to maintain a tight focus on education, taking shots along the way at Mike’s limitless campaign fund and his support for Bush. But everyone else wanted to talk about the flap over Freddy’s blog. Finally, an exasperated Dean intervened: “What is this obsession with blogs? Does anybody care about education in this city?”

Piping up from behind, Senator Schneiderman joked: “You started it!”

Freddy was asked if he feels slighted by the Working Families Party, which will endorse him but won’t bestow the coveted ballot line. “An endorsement by the Working Families Party is an endorsement,” he insisted. “And as you all know, the Bloomberg forces very heavily contested this, so I’m very proud to have the endorsement of the Working Families Party.”

Finally, Freddy and Howard wandered to Broadway where, along with a beaming Scott Stringer, they greeted straphangers coming out of the subway station.

“Weclome home West Siders!” Stringer hollered. His constituents looked bewildered as they surfaced into the media fray. “We’ve been waiting for you,” he yelled. “This is the welcoming committee!”

From the edge of the crowd, an intrepid Columbia J-School student managed to shout a question: “Freddy, what do you say to Democrats for Bloomberg?”

Before the candidate could speak, Dean fired back. “What Democrats for Bloomberg?” Dean’s Corporate Jet