Having been disappointed at the last federal conference in Bournemouth that we hadn't had any external speakers, I was delighted to see that this time round Howard Dean was invited to speak.
The former Vermont Governor and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee between 2005 and 2009 gave an excellent speech. He focused on the '50-state' strategy which led to the Democrats becoming far more competitive in places previously regarded as Republican strongholds and helped the Obama campaign win in November. It also helped ensure victories in congressional races such as the Senate seat in Alaska. There are perhaps lessons here for the Lib Dems in moving beyond a strict targeting strategy towards developing the party more widely across the country.
Dean also spoke of the need to talk with people on their own terms, emphasising the way the Obama campaign had reached out to groups previously considered unreachable and talking to them in their own language. He also noted that people tend to vote with their values.
He also outlined some of the challenges the Obama administration is facing, particularly in the international sphere. He noted the need for the USA to act in a multilateral fashion and the importance of direct diplomacy. In doing so, he made the important point that you don't make peace with your friends but with your foes.
All in all, this was a terrific speech from Dean and got him a deserved standing ovation.
Recommended Lib Dem blogs and websites
- Andrew Reeves
- Caron's Musings
- Charlotte Gore
- Cicero's Songs
- Cllr Debra Storr
- Councillor Alex Graham
- David Boyle
- Duncan Borrowman
- Fraser MacPherson
- Freedom Central
- Himmelgarten Cafe
- Jock Coats
- John Hemming MP
- Lib Dem Blogs Aggregated
- Lib Dem Voice
- Liberal Burblings
- Liberal Bureaucracy
- Liberal England
- Love and Liberty
- Lynne Featherstone MP
- Mark Reckons
- Millennium Elephant
- Norfolk Blogger
- Peter Black AM
- Quaequam Blog!
- Sara Bedford
- Scottish Liberal Democrats
- Social Liberal Forum
- Stephen Glenn
- Steve Webb MP
- The People's Republic of Mortimer
- UK Liberal Democrats
Other good political sites
Miscellaneous non-political sites
- I'm not a fan of Polly Toynbee...
- The real significance of 'Porngate'
- The easiest job in the world
- You can't trust the SNP, part 4,937
- Alistair Campbell has a point
- Scottish Conference: Tavish Scott
- Scottish Conference: Investigating the 'blood ban'...
- Scottish Conference: More powers for the Scottish ...
- Scottish Conference: Vince Cable
- Scottish Conference: The Economy
- Harrogate Conference: Kirsty Williams
- Guardian in a parallel universe?
- Harrogate Conference: The Cleggster
- Harrogate Conference: Childcare
- Harrogate Conference: Faith Schools
- Harrogate Conference: Howard Dean
- Harrogate Conference: The dog that didn't bark
- Referendum issue won't go away
- Why the Aberdeenshire expulsions would be unjust
- Booze and price: the evidence
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