Tuesday, June 14, 2005

''Dean defends blunt style, gets backing from activists''

"CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean plans to spend his summer working with state party leaders to craft a message and broaden the party's focus to all 50 states. "We're going to have a 50-state campaign," said Dean. "We're done with an 18-state campaign. There is not one state or one part of a state we can't deliver our message in." Dean continues to defend his often-abrasive style and is working on rousing activists with a reprise of his fiery campaign speech.
"We need to stand up for what we believe in," said Dean. "We don't have to be a Republican to win." "I am glad he is standing up for the Democratic Party," said Davenport Democrat Bill Gluba, mulling another run for Congress. "We need to stay the course and I just gave him that message."
Former state legislator Art Ollie, of Clinton, said Dean stirs strong passions, and that's an asset in a party leader. "The head of the party has to be an energizer," said Ollie. "He has to be an outspoken person." In addition to broadening the party's campaign effort, Dean said it needs to sharpen its message. "We need to talk to folks differently," said Dean. "We talk about issues, but a list of issues is not a message." He said he would work with state party leaders during the summer to develop a concise message that Democrats could offer in each state.

While Dean's presidential aspirations faltered with a third-place showing in Iowa's leadoff caucuses, he continued to appeal to party regulars with a fiery campaign speech pledging a defense of Social Security, health insurance for all and an assault on the "culture of corruption" in the Republican-run Congress. "Social Security is a symbol of responsibility we have for each other," said Dean. "We are all in this together. Any attack on Social Security is an attack on the fabric of this country." -from the article in the Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier (IA).

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