As I have traveled across our country, I have talked to thousands of people who are working for change in their own communities about the power of politics to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. Every group I have spoken to, I encouraged them to stand up for what they believe and to get involved in the electoral process—because the only sure way to make difference is to step up and run for office yourself.
Today, I'm announcing my candidacy for the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.
The Democratic Party needs a vibrant, forward-thinking, long-term presence in every single state and we must be willing to contest every race at every level. We will only win when we show up and fight for the issues important to all of us.
Yup, but any jackass running will say that stuff, here's where he separates himself from the establishment pack...
[...] That word—'values'—has lately become a codeword for appeasement of the right-wing fringe. But when political calculations make us soften our opposition to bigotry, or sign on to policies that add to the burden of ordinary Americans, we have abandoned our true values.
We cannot let that happen. And we cannot just mouth the words. Our party must speak plainly and our agenda must clearly reflect the socially progressive, fiscally responsible values that bring our party—and the vast majority of Americans—together.
Others will say that as well, but Dean means it. There are going to be times when individual Democrats will need to support positions I (or Dean) disagree with for regional or constituental reasons. I can live with that, and so will Dean. But if Dean is the leader of the Party those moments of capitulation will be kept way behind the curtain, not front and center, and that's what needs to happen. The public face of the Party needs to be starkly different from the Republicans. Howard Dean will ensure that.
[UPDATE:] Excellent post by Ezra and comment thread at pandagon.