Speech by Howard Dean
The Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2004
Governor Howard Dean: Thank you. [pointing] Thank *you*. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Maine and Vermont. Thank you, Texas and Michigan. Thank you. [smiling with a 'calm down' hand gesture:] Thank you. Thank you. I--
[the crowd is insistently still cheering. Laughing, Dean gives up on that sentence.]
Dean: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
[He makes another smiling 'simmer down' gesture with his hands.]
Audience: Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean...
Dean: Thank you.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
(I) like that one a lot [referring to a sign?]
Thank you very much. I was-- I was hoping-- thank you very much. Thank you so much.
[Finally, after two minutes and 40 seconds of applause as timed on the C-Span digital video file, the audience quiets down enough for Dean to speak.]
Dean: I was hoping for a reception like this; I was just kinda hoping it was going to be on Thursday night instead of Tuesday night.
I may not be the nominee, but I can tell you this: the next hundred days, I'll be doing everything that I can to make sure that John Kerry and John Edwards take this country back for the people who built it...
[Cheers and Applause]
...because tonight, we are *all* here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.
I am proud of John Kerry's leadership, and I intend to stand shoulder to shoulder with him as we fight for the things that Harry Truman promised us in 1948-- health insurance for every single American, a jobs program that will create jobs instead of destroy them. Standing up for middle class and working Americans who got a tax *increase*, not a tax cut. And standing up for a foreign policy that relies on the President of the United States telling the truth to the American people before we send our brave soldiers to fight in a foreign war.
[Cheers and applause]
I'd like a commander in chief who supports our soldiers and supports our veterans, instead of cutting their hardship pay abroad and cutting their health benefits when they get back home. I'm Howard Dean, and I'm voting for John Kerry.
[Cheers and applause]
I'm voting for John Kerry and John Edwards because I'm tired of seeing hard-working Americans struggling with jobs that pay less than they did four years ago. I'm voting for John Kerry and John Edwards because I want a President and Vice-President who is as good and as strong as the American people. I'm voting for John Kerry and John Edwards because I want to see an America that's restored as the moral leader of the world.
America's greatness rests on far more than the power of our arms. Our greatness is also measured by our goodness, it's in the capacity of our minds, of our hearts, and it's in the strength of our democracy. As I've traveled America I've seen that strength. I've seen it in the people I've met, I've seen it in their desire to take our country back for the American people. I saw it in a college student in Pennsylvania who sold her bicycle and sent us a check for $100 with a note, that said "I sold my bicycle for democracy." I saw it in a woman from Iowa who handed me $50, all in quarters. She saved it from her monthly disability check, because she wanted to make America well again. I saw it in a 19-year-old from Alabama, who had never been involved in politics before. He got in his car and drove to Vermont because he didn't feel like anybody was listening to him in Washington.
They learned that politics is too important to be left to politicians. They didn't just pack their bags, they packed their hopes, that we *can* take our country back. And you know what? We will.
We are not going to be afraid to stand up for what we believe in ever again. We are not going to let those who disagree with us shout us down under a banner of false patriotism. We are not going to give up a single voter or a single state, because we're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats-- not just here in Boston. We're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Mississippi. We're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Utah and Idaho. And we are going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Texas!
Never again will we be ever be ashamed to call ourselves Democrats. Never, never, never! We're not going to just change Presidents in this election, we're going to change this country, and we're going to reclaim the American dream. To everyone who supported me, you've given me so much, and I can't thank you enough. This was never about me, this was about *us*.
This was about giving new life to our party. This was about giving new energy to our democracy, and providing hope again to the greatest nation on the face of the earth. And so, today, even though you've already given so much, I want to ask you to give one more thing. I want you to give America President John Kerry.
Together we can take our country back, and only you have the power to make it happen. You have the power, you have the power, you have the power to make it happen. Thank you very much, thank you very much, thank you very much.
[The audience stands up and cheers and applauds]
[The song "We Are Family" is played as he walks off the stage waving. The audience claps and dances in time.]
This speech was immediately followed by Dean's Web teleconference with supporters.