Howard Dean Asks Us To Welcome Tim Kaine...And Hold Him Accountable
by Todd Beeton, Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:20:10 PM EST
In an e-mail to supporters today, Howard Dean looked back at what we've accomplished since he became chairman of the DNC just 4 short years ago:
Four years ago, I became chairman with a mandate for bottom-up reform -- grow the Democratic Party in your neighborhood and every other community in America.
We promised to compete in every state, for every level of office. And we demanded a party that would stand up for itself and fight for an agenda that reflects our values. [...]
Four years later, we have more Democratic state legislators and governors. We expanded the electoral map, regained a majority in both houses of Congress, and put a Democratic president in the White House.
We did it by rebuilding the party infrastructure from the ground up, creating a truly national voter database, and developing 21st century campaign tools that merged traditional organizing with new technology.
But as you know, Dean's tenure is about to come to an end with the ushering in of Obama's pick to head the DNC, Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia. Dean uses the e-mail not only to talk about the past but also the future as he passes the torch to Kaine and assures us that Kaine's tenure truly will be a continuation of the Dean legacy:
I know a lot of people are wondering what to expect as we move forward. I can assure you that Governor Kaine will continue the grassroots approach that has made our party and Barack Obama's campaign so successful.
Governor Kaine knows first-hand what a commitment to fighting everywhere means -- Virginia is a prime example of what can happen when we refuse to concede any part of this country and build our organization everywhere. [...]
Governor Kaine knows that the strength of our party comes from the bottom up, and he will need your support as we take the next steps to grow our party and elect Democrats everywhere.
As proof of Kaine's grassroots approach, Dean links to a page over at Democrats.org where you can ask Kaine a question, which he's promised to answer via video. Obviously not all of our questions will get answered but this is a great opportunity to demand that Kaine walk Dean's 50-state strategy walk, not just talk the talk. Just because Dean says Kaine will follow in his footsteps doesn't mean he will. It's up to us to hold him to it and Dean's e-mail really is a call to all of us to do just that. As Dean writes:
We will only create lasting change if that sense of obligation to one another and responsibility for the common good becomes a permanent part of our lives.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
We cannot be silent. We cannot leave it to others to see this through.