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11.1.05

From Howard Dean and Democracy At America:

Dear Supporter,

As I have traveled across our country, I have talked to thousands of people who are working for change in their own communities about the power of politics to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. Every group I have spoken to, I encouraged them to stand up for what they believe and to get involved in the electoral process -- because the only sure way to make difference is to step up and run for office yourself.

Today, I'm announcing my candidacy for the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

The Democratic Party needs a vibrant, forward-thinking, long-term presence in every single state and we must be willing to contest every race at every level. We will only win when we show up and fight for the issues important to all of us.

Another integral part of our strategy must be cultivating the party's grassroots. Our long term success depends on all of us taking an active role in our party and in the political process, by volunteering, going door to door and taking the Democratic message into every community, and by organizing at the local level. After all, new ideas and new leaders don't come from consultants; they come from communities.

As important as organization is, it alone can no longer win us elections. Offering a new choice means making Democrats the party of reform -- reforming America's financial situation, reforming our electoral process, reforming health care, reforming education and putting morality back in our foreign policy. The Democratic Party will not win elections or build a lasting majority solely by changing its rhetoric, nor will we win by adopting the other side's positions. We must say what we mean -- and mean real change when we say it.

But most of all, together, we have to rebuild the American community. We will never succeed by treating our nation as a collection of separate regions or separate groups. There are no red states or blues states, only American states. And we must talk to the people in all of these states as members of one community.

That word -- 'values' -- has lately become a codeword for appeasement of the right-wing fringe. But when political calculations make us soften our opposition to bigotry, or sign on to policies that add to the burden of ordinary Americans, we have abandoned our true values.

We cannot let that happen. And we cannot just mouth the words. Our party must speak plainly and our agenda must clearly reflect the socially progressive, fiscally responsible values that bring our party -- and the vast majority of Americans -- together.

All of this will require both national perspective and local experience. I know what it's like to lead hands-on at the state level and I know what it's like to run for national office.

With your help, this past election season, Democracy for America, already started creating the kind of organization the Democratic Party can be. This past election cycle, we endorsed over 100 candidates at all levels of government -- from school board to U.S. Senate. We contributed almost a million dollars to nearly 750 candidates around the country and raised millions of dollars for many more candidates.

Together, we helped elect a Democratic governor in Montana, a Democratic mayor of Salt Lake County, Utah and an African American woman to the bench in Alabama. Fifteen of the candidates we endorsed had never run for office before -- and won.

I also have experience building and managing a local party organization. My career started as Democratic Party chair in Chittenden County, Vermont. I then ran successful campaigns: for state legislature, lieutenant governor and then governor. In my 11-year tenure as governor, I balanced the state's budget every year.

I served as chair of both the National Governors' Association and the Democratic Governors' Association (DGA). And as chair of the DGA, I helped recruit nearly 20 governors that won -- even in states like Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi.

All of these experiences have only reaffirmed what I know to be true. There is only one party that speaks to the hopes and dreams of all Americans. It is the party you have already given so much to. It is the Democratic Party.

We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe.

Thank you and I look forward to listening to your concerns in the weeks ahead.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D


I've made absolutely no secret about the fact that I really like Dean as DNC Chair. I think that his passion is contagious. I don't mind the fact that he's not polished, and I think that people respond to him because he's *not* polished. I think that he's not going to try to make the Democrats the Republican-lite. If anything, he's going to push them further left in giving them identity. I can't think of anything better for the Democrats. He is unquestionable anti-war (a position which I think we are seeing the majority of the American public solely turn towards, as the deaths pile up. Keeping the coffins from view isn't making the public blind to the mounting death toll. It's just making it take a bit longer to sink in.) I think that Dean understands that the Democrats problems are, and I think that he has an idea of how to change things. I also think that the youth responds to Dean in a way that they don't respond to other Democrats. The Democrats need to increase participation at local levels, and I think that the younger generation is imperative for this. The Democrats need change. What represents "CHANGE" more than Dean?? We don't need more of the same. The only part that would make me sad is, by serving as DNC chair, he is giving up the option of '08. And I was a Dean supporter in '04 and was hoping to see him in '08. I'll admit it. The scream didn't faze me at all. That's the passion that I do so love.

4 Comments:

  • At 12:12 PM, Blogger Kevin said…

    Howard Dean is a great choice for DNC Chairman. What he does well (raise money, articulate a clear message, organize people and get them motivated) are all skills that are put to best use as DNC Chair. Whether or not he can pull the Democrats together into a coherent political movement capable of rivaling the Nazi-like efficiency of the Republicans remains to be seen, but I feel like he has a fighting chance.

    Now they just need a Presidential candidate capable of beating John McCain...

     
  • At 7:00 PM, Blogger Me said…

    No way the Republicans go with McCain. He's too much a wild card. Will go against the party for what he thinks is "right." They will not let him anywhere *near* the White House, no matter how popular he is. Hell, *I* even like the guy.

     
  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger Kevin said…

    You don't think Republicans are willing to risk it, eh? I suppose the they might take offense to someone with a backbone, who has actually served America in the past, occupying a position of power. But what other explanation can there be for McCain becoming a pom pom waving member of the Bush cheerleading squad in the past election? This is wild speculation of course, but my sense is that McCain was willing to play nice in the last election for his title shot in 2008. Either that, or I have vastly underestimated the strength of Republican party discipline.

    If not McCain, then who?

     
  • At 1:49 PM, Blogger Kevin said…

    (Okay, last post, feel free to ban me from further polluting your blog if I get too annoying with my inane prattle... I just get very few opportunities to talk politics.)

    Also, are you sure you like McCain? He's no facist neo-conservative, but his old school Republican stances are unnerving enough for me - he's pro gun, anti abortion, a proponent of increases in defense spending (which I don't mind personally), and a supporter of privatizing social security. As a left leaner, I would think a few of those things might irk you, too.

     

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