Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, February 18, 2004  

Dean, who is apparently announcing the end to his campaign even as I type, posted this note on his blog this morning:

In the coming weeks, we will be launching a new initiative to continue the campaign you helped begin. Please continue to come to for updates and news as our new initiative develops. There is much work still to be done, and today is not an end--it is just the beginning.

This Party and this country needs change, and you have already begun that process. I want you to think about how far we have come. The truth is: change is tough. There is enormous institutional pressure in our country against change. There is enormous institutional pressure in Washington against change, in the Democratic Party against change. Yet, you have already started to change the Party and together we have transformed this race. Along the way, we’ve engaged hundreds of thousands of new Americans in the political process, as witnessed by this year’s record participation in the primaries and caucuses.

The fight that we began can and must continue. Although my candidacy for president may end today, the most important goal remains defeating George W. Bush in November, and I hope that you will join me in doing everything we can to support the Democrats this fall. From the earliest days of our campaign, I have said that the power to change Washington rests not in my hands, but in yours. Always remember, you have the power to take our country back.

Yesterday I expressed the wish to hear him say roughly these same words. I know many folks thought he was a loose cannon or a sell-out; many felt he might even try to destroy the party on his way out. Perhaps his campaign was crushed as much by people's strong opinions of Dean (he was neither a mythic hero or villain) as by the whole "electability" issue. Who knows. But I'm pleased to see Dean leaving on the honorable note I expected.

More importantly, it appears Dean plans to continue working at the grassroots. He may well contribute more to the party than he would have as President. I've taken a lot of heat on this blog for backing Dean down the stretch after it was clear Dennis Kucinich wasn't going to emerge. My switch is fair game for derision and I'm happy to take the heat for it. But on the occasion of his departure, I'd like to thank Howard Dean for his vision and courage in the race. I hope everyone would extend the same thanks.

posted by Jeff | 10:34 AM |
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