Friday, February 11, 2005

Flashback, Two Years Ago

Dean will be officially ensconced as Chairman of the Democratic Party at this weekend's Winter DNC meeting. The irony of this is that it was at this very meeting, two years ago, that Dean first unveiled his signature "What I want to know" speech. Many Deaners say that it was Dean's version of this speech a few weeks later at the California Democratic Convention that launched the Dean juggernaut. But for me it was the Winter DNC speech that first brought Ho Ho to my attention.

Here's a little walk down memory lane:

What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic party leadership is supporting the president's unilateral attack on Iraq. [cheers, applause].

What I want to know is why are Democratic party leaders supporting tax cuts. The question is not how big the tax cut should be, the question should be can we afford a tax cut at all with the largest deficit in the history of this country. [cheers, applause].

What I want to know is why we're fighting in Congress about the Patient's Bill of Rights when the Democratic party ought to be standing up for health care for every single American man, woman, and child in this country. [cheers, applause].

What I want to know is why our folks are voting for the president's No Child Left Behind bill that leaves every child behind, every teacher behind, every school board behind, and every property tax payer behind. [cheers, applause]. [Audience member: "We want to know too."].

I'm Howard Dean and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. [cheers, applause]. 

...

My political career is about change, and this campaign is about change. And what we're going to do here is we're first going to change this party, because this party needs to look in the mirror and ask itself, is this party about the next election or is it about changing America, about changing America? [cheers, applause].

This party [cheers, applause continue] this party--I know--this party needs to be about changing America, because only by changing America will we win back the White House.

I want a party that stands unashamedly for equal rights for all Americans. [cheers].

I want a party that stands unashamedly for health care for every single American.

I want a party that stands unashamedly for balanced budgets and taking care of poor kids and voting together and healing the divides instead of expressing the divides and exploiting them the way the Republican party has so shamelessly done since 1968. [cheers, applause].

I need your help. I need your help. We're going to change this party and then we're going to change this country, and we're going to take back the White House, and we're going to balance the budget, and we're going to have health care for everybody, and we're going to have an America with its best institutions right up to the cabinet that looks once again like America.

We're going to bring hope to America, jobs to America, peace to America; we're going to bring pride to the Democratic party. I need your help. Let's go get it; let's go do it. Let's win the White House in January of 2004. Thank you very much. [music starts; cheers, applause, chants].

Today the party. Tomorrow America!

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