Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Governor Howard Dean holds a blogger conference call

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

Governor Dean, who celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday, just finished a conference call he held for bloggers. He opened the call by thanking bloggers for "their incredible commitment to change" and went on to say "You have the power and you exercised it well."

Dean took about 6 questions ranging from the Georgia Senate Race to Hispanic Outreach.

The outgoing DNC Chairman called the special election in Georgia "a difficult test for us". He believes that we need to energize the same voters that voted for Obama to vote for Martin and that getting out the vote will make all the difference in the world.

A couple of questions were asked about the 50-state strategy and how it relates to places like Louisiana and West Virginia. He said the most important victories to him were the Western states. Obama won all of the targeted states except for Arizona. He thinks the DNC will set its sites on Texas in the next election.

Dean explained that a DNC chair under a Democratic President works differently than when a Republican holds office. Obama will run the party through his people in the coming years according to the Governor. He thinks that since Obama ran a 50-state strategy that the next DNC chair will do the same.

The final question was about Hispanic voters in this year's election. The DNC spent over $20 million for Hispanic Outreach this cycle and had a large number of Latino organizers in the field. Dean said a big step came two years ago when the Republicans were fighting for immigration reform with harsh language toward immigrants. It opened the door to allow him to speak to Hispanic ministers and gain their trust for the Democratic Party.

Governor Dean deserves a huge amount of praise for this year's victories. I can only hope we haven't seen the last of him on a national stage.

Update: And while we're on the subject of Howard Dean, here's his statement on Lieberman from Huffington Post:

"You know, the desire of revenge is great, of course. But the truth is public policy doesn't run on revenge very well," he said. "And when you see the trouble this country has gotten into in terms of foreign policy, where Bush basically ran a foreign policy based on petulance because he was mad at, for example, Mexico, for abstaining on the Security Council when the Iraq War came up, if you have to actually run the country, it is best not to do it based on feeling of anger towards your enemies."