Howard Dean gave a speech on his vision for the Democratic Party. Excerpts (emphasis added):
"Our challenge today is not to re-hash what has happened, but to look forward, to make the Democratic Party a 50-state party again, and, most importantly, to win.
"To win the White House and a majority in Congress, yes. But also to do the real work that will make these victories possible -- to put Democratic ideas and Democratic candidates in every office -- whether it be Secretary of State, supervisor of elections, county commissioner or school board member."
"The most practical destination is winning elective office. And we must do that at every level of government. The way we will rebuild the Democratic Party is not from consultants down, but from the ground up."
"Now we need to build on our successes while transforming the Democratic Party into a grassroots organization that can win in 50 states."
"We cannot be a Party that seeks the presidency by running an 18-state campaign. We cannot be a party that cedes a single state, a single District, a single precinct, nor should we cede a single voter.
"As many of the candidates supported by my organization Democracy for America showed -- people in places that we've too long ignored are hungry for an alternative; they're hungry for new ideas and new candidates, and they're willing to elect Democrats."
"There are no red states or blue states, just American states. And if we can compete at all levels and in the most conservative parts of the country, we can win ... at any level and anywhere."
"If this election had been decided on moral values, Democrats would have won.
"It is time for the Democratic Party to start framing the debate.
"We have to learn to punch our way off the ropes.
"We have to set the agenda."
"Reform is the hallmark of a strong Democratic Party.
"Those who stand in the way of reform cannot be the focus of our attention for only four months out of every four years.
"Reform is a daily battle.
"And we must pursue those reforms with conviction -- every day, at all levels, in 50 states."
Howard Dean understands that the Democratic Party needs to start taking its cues not from entrenched political consultants working from fee to fee and election to election, but from the people who do the voting and run for the offices with arguably the most impact on peoples' daily lives--- city council, schoolboard, mayor, state legislature, etc. Without support, these people can't win office and eventually rise to statewide and national level. A party with no grassroots is a party with no future. Howard Dean understands this and will work to flip the party over and make progressive reform once again be what the Democratic Party is about. To support Howard Dean's bid to become chairman of the DNC, check out DraftHoward.com
to sign a petition and find other ways you can get behind him.