In Vermont, we’re pushing our chests out – over the airwaves – that this Victory on Tuesday was crafted here in Vermont. The once maligned fifty state strategy of former governor Howard Dean, current chairman of the Democratic National Committee, went a long way to reviving the party at the state and national levels.
from Steve Benen’s jottings:
I do think it’s fair to credit Dean with coming up with the game plan. He needed a candidate who was committed to “stretching” the map, and capable to taking the Democratic message to areas that usually don’t give Democratic candidates a second look. And Barack Obama fit the bill nicely.
…. As is often the case after an election, there are plenty of lists being published noting the various “winners and losers.” If Howard Dean isn’t very high on the list of winners, it’s a dramatic oversight.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Wednesday touted its 50-state strategy, which sought to expand the party’s competitiveness deep into red states, as one of the reasons for Democrats’ success on Election Night.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean said at the National Press Club that President-elect Barack Obama “was right in 2004, when he said there are no red states and no blue states; there are only American states, and we all share the same values.”
“You cannot be a national party if you are willing to write off entire parts of our country,” Dean stated. “Based on that pretty straightforward idea, we changed the way our party ran campaigns and reached out to voters.”
In a memo, the DNC touted Dean’s strategy, which was often maligned at its inception. “Through the 50-state strategy the DNC put paid staff on the ground (2-4 per state) in every state from Alaska to Mississippi, New Mexico to Indiana,” the DNC memo said. “When Obama became the nominee there were 183 people on the ground who have been there, been trained, and were working for the nominee. Through the course of this campaign, those staff worked to organize at least 892 field events around McCain-Palin events.”
Dean also deserves credit for focusing heavily on the West, which included moving Nevada up in the primary process and choosing Denver as the host city for the convention. The results speak for themselves: Obama won New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada, and Democrats made gains up and down the ballot throughout the region, including Brian Schweitzer’s landslide in Montana and a key victory in a House race in Idaho.
Two weeks ago, J. Patrick Coolican wrote in the Las Vegas Sun, “Dean, who wears an ill-fitting suit I’m pretty sure I’ve seen at Target, also wears a smart smirk, the look of a guy who knows more than he lets on, and more than anyone gives him credit for. He’s usually associated with the loony wing of the party, the MoveOn crowd and the liberal bloggers. But in reality, he had a vision for Democrats capturing the center, and it’s coming to pass.”
Take a bow, gov.
more from The Hill
DNC touts success of 50-state strategy
Dean said following an election that saw Democrats take the White House and make substantial gains in both chambers of Congress that he “always believed that our party’s message and values are core American values.”
“What we have lacked is a full-time professional party to help communicate those values every single day and organized around them,” he said. “And what we have lacked is a leader to inspire people to that cause. And in Barack Obama, we have found that leader.”
The memo also praised Dean’s decision to seek votes in the West, saying that the chairman “believed that the future of our party and the road to the White House runs through the West.”
The document touts Dean’s decision to move up Nevada in the Democratic primary process and to hold the Democratic convention in Denver.
Western Democratic leaders on Wednesday said the election had shown that the West has turned blue.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) joined Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter to trumpet the party’s gains. They pointed to Obama’s wins in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico, and Reid also reminded reporters that Democrats now control governor’s mansions in five of eight states in and around the Rocky Mountains.
In addition to those gains, Democratic Rep. Tom Udall captured the New Mexico Senate seat with 61 percent of the vote, and his cousin, Rep. Mark Udall, won the Colorado Senate seat with 52 percent.
“We all have looked forward to this moment,” Reid said. “Just six years ago, Republicans held every governor’s mansion in the West and seemingly had a lock on congressional elections.”
Let’s not overlook Dean’s breakthrough – the internet platform for fund-raising – expanded by President-elect Obama. Just spectacular!
And together with Obama, Governor Dean resurrected the youth and this bodes well for the future.
So Howard Dean, you’re looking good in a Target.