Well, it's official: Dean has dropped out. Here are some choice quotes from his exit speech:
Let me just say something to the younger folks here -- those of us who do not have my hair color -- one of the advantages of age, and they are less than I thought they were when I was 25, is that you get to see things come around a second or third time. 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, we have seen that in this campaign as we literally terrified people sitting in salons in Georgetown, that they might have to look for work someplace else if we ever won. But, it is natural for people to resist, but it is also inevitable that we will win. Change is difficult, you cannot expect people with great priveleges, taken at the expense of working people, to surrender them lightly. But the history of humanity is that determined people will overcome obstacles. And we will overcome the problems that this country is facing, as a result of George W. Bush, and as a result of a Washington establishment that has forgotten who sent them there.
Some of you who have been on the road with me, have seen the speeches, have heard this before, but it's true: We have been here before in this country. When William McKinley was president, enormous trusts were put together which made it impossible for ordinary Americans to start their own business, to earn a living without enormous pressure from those trusts which destroyed their business. Teddy Roosevelt came along, busted up the trust and made it possible to earn a living for ordinary Americans in small businesses again. Under Harding and Coolidge, and Hoover - Calvin Coolidge said the business of America is business, but forgot that human beings are not meant to be cogs in an enormous government corporate machine, that we are spiritual people who need connections and have to have community. Franklin Roosevelt came along and took America back for ordinary working people again. My favorite, however, is this one: In 1824 John Quincy Adams, the son of a one-term president, John Adams, beat Andrew Jackson of Tennessee in an election where Andrew Jackson received more votes. It was decided in congress by one vote to elect John Quincy Adams as president. In 1828, four years later, John Quincy Adams became the one-term son of the one-term president.
It's funny, but when Dean talks about McKinley I wonder if he's giving a subtle hint -- after all, President McKinley was assassinated by a man who's last words before being executed were "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people. I did it for the help of the good people, the working men of all countries."
Now that the campaign is stopped, I'm going to say something that all of you heard me say before, but I want you to think about it now, because now is the most important time you've heard it. This is the real message of this campaign, you'll hear it in a different way, because i'm no longer a candidate. The biggest lie that people like me tell people like you at election time is that if you vote for me, I'll solve your problems. The truth is, the power is in your hands, not mine. Abraham Lincoln said a government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth. You have the power to take back the Democratic party and make us stand up for what's right again, allow us to fulfill the dream of Harry Truman in 1948 that he laid out when we would no longer be the last industrial country on the face of the earth without health insurance, allow us to stand up again for the rights to organize for ordinary men and women, allow us to stand again for the principles of equal rights under the law for every single American. You have the power to take our country back so that the flag of the United States of America no longer is the exclusive property of John Aschcroft, and of Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell, that it belongs to all of us again. And together we have the power to take back the White House in 2004, and that is exactly what we're going to do. Thank you very much.
I never get tired of hearing that inspirational paragraph. Although it's disappointing to see him leave, it looks as if he'll try to maintain his grassroots network and funnel that energy into other areas (an advocacy group or something like that), which is great. I can't wait to see what becomes of deanforamerica, blogforamerica, and the dozens (hundreds) of smaller Dean-related blogs scattered across the net. It'll be interesting.