Dean to outline his vision of Democrats’ future

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(Host) Howard Dean will unveil his blueprint for the future of the national Democratic Party on Wednesday in a speech in Washington D.C. Dean will call on the party to actively compete for voters in every region of the country.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) The speech comes at a time when Dean is considering a bid to become the next chairman of the national Democratic Party. While the speech will detail Dean’s vision for the future of the party, his aides insist that he’s made no decision about running for DNC chairman.

Spokesperson Laura Gross says Dean will outline a plan that calls for the party to be rebuilt from the grassroots level, to be financed by small contributors and to galvanize voters on issues that affect their daily lives:

(Gross) “A lot of people are talking about which direction the party should go – whether it’s to the left or to the right. What Governor Dean believes is that we need to focus on the destination and how we’re going to get Democrats elected again, everywhere from city council all the way up to the presidency.”

(Kinzel) This fall Dean’s organization, Democracy for America, gave financial support to several dozen candidates at the local, state and national level in all parts of the country. Gross says DFA has had success electing local candidates in some of the most Republican states in the nation and she says it’s proof to Dean that the Democrats need to compete for votes in all 50 states:

(Gross) “A lot of times Democrats will just focus on the 17 or 18 blue states or swing states, whatever you want to refer to them as. Governor Dean has proven through Democracy for America that if you’re competitive in all the 50 states the Democrats are actually going to win. You just can’t give up and say, we’re not going to win there, it’s a so-called Republican district or so-called Republican town.”

(Kinzel) Gross says Dean will make a final decision about the DNC race in several weeks. It’s expected that there will be several candidates running for the position. A new chair will be elected by the 400 members of the DNC in early February. As part of his exploratory effort, Dean will speak at a meeting of state Democratic leaders this weekend.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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