Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Chairman speaks

Howard Dean continues to show how it is done. He fundamentally understands that taking back our country requires changing the dialog. Witness his statement today on the results of the election (my commentary included)

Montana, one of the reddest states, has a new Democratic governor.

Democrats can beat Republicans anywhere, anytime. Don't buy the line that Democrats have no constituency in the so-called red states.

First-time candidates for state legislatures from Hawaii to Connecticut beat incumbent Republicans.

There are always openings for new political power, even, if not especially, against entrenched power.

And a record number of us voted to change course—more Americans voted against George Bush than any sitting president in history.

This is the flipside to the Republican spin point that Bush got more votes than any candidate in history.

Today is not an ending.

The battle never ends.

Regardless of the outcome yesterday, we have begun to revive our democracy. While we did not get the result we wanted in the presidential race, we laid the groundwork for a new generation of Democratic leaders.

Democracy for America trained thousands of organizers and brought new leadership into the political process. And down the ballot, in state after state, we elected Dean Dozen candidates who will be the rising stars of the Democratic Party in years ahead.

Victory is not measured in individual wins but in the progress made towards the ultimate goal. Defeating Bush was never the ultimate goal. That was just one path to that goal. There are many pathways open to us and we are well on our way down those paths.

Tens of millions of us are disappointed today because we put so much of ourselves into this election. We donated money, we talked to friends, we knocked on doors. We invested ourselves in the political process.

That process does not end today. These are not short-term investments. We will only create lasting change if that sense of obligation and responsibility becomes a permanent part of our lives.

Your efforts have not been in vain. You are not struggling in the dark. You have made a difference.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

We will not be silent.


Thank you for everything you did for our cause in this election. But we are not stopping here.

I've told people since the primaries that Dean didn't lose. He didn't get the nomination, but he achieved what he set out to do: he woke the party up. How you deal with defeat is at least as important as how you deal with victory.

We didn't lose yesterday. America lost. We will win in the end.


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