Letter from Howard Dean, February 18, 2004
I am very proud of all of you and very grateful to all of you for your extraordinary hard work.
I announced today that I am no longer actively pursuing the presidency.
I am so thankful for all of you who traveled around the country, showed up at our office, worked around the clock, because you believed in what we were doing - to you, thousands of Americans who have given generously of your time, in your states, because you believed in our cause.
I want to thank the 300,000 small donors that decided that they wanted their country back.
I want to thank all the people in every state who heard our message and supported us.
We have led this party back to considering what its heart and soul is. Although there is a lot of work left to do, I am very proud of all of you and very grateful to all of you for your extraordinary hard work.
As the fight moves forward, I have some things that I specifically want to ask of you.
First, keep active in the primary. We are still on the ballots. Sending delegates to the convention only continues to energize our party. Fight on in the caucuses. Use your network to send progressive delegates to the convention in Boston. We are not going away. We are staying together, unified -- all of us.
Secondly, we will convert Dean for America into a new grassroots organization, and I hope you stay involved. We are determined to keep this entire organization vibrant. There are a lot of ways to make change. We are leaving one track, but we are going on another track that will take back America for ordinary people again.
Third, there have been a lot of people who have decided to run for office locally as a result of this campaign. I encourage you to run for office and support candidates like you who run for office. We will use this enormous organization to support you as you run -- we will change the face of democracy so that it represents ordinary Americans once again.
We must beat George W. Bush in November. I will support the nominee of our party and do everything I can to beat George W. Bush and I urge you to do the same. But we will not be above letting our nominee know that we expect them to adhere to the standards that this organization has set for decency, honesty, integrity and standing up for ordinary American working people.
One of the things that I realized a long time ago is that change is very difficult. There is enormous institutional resistance to change in this country. You cannot expect people with great privileges taken at the expense of ordinary working people to surrender them lightly.
Change is hard work. Change does not happen simply because you go to a rally and simply because you make phone calls -- and I know how hard everybody has worked. But change is a process that you can never give up on.
Change is the state of America and change is the state of humankind. The history of humanity is that determined people overcome obstacles. It is natural for people to resist, but it is also inevitable that we will win.
So we will continue to fight. This is the end of phase one of this fight, but the fight will go on, and we will be in it together. We will continue to bring our message of hope and change to the American people.
Thank you very much for everything that you have done.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
Note: the letter originally was addressed to the individual recipient, not "supporters" - Crocuta