|February 5, 2007--Three months after Democrats regained control of
both houses of Congress in the mid-term elections and less than twelve
months until the first votes are cast, ten declared, exploratory and potential
presidential candidates addressed members of the Democratic National Committee
at the party's regular winter meeting.
In speeches and later in "meet the candidate" rooms, the ten hopefuls
made their pitches to the more than 400 members of the DNC, as well as
to many College Democrats and guests. Ignoring the seven-minute time
limit, the candidates outlined their experiences and visions, addressed
the war in Iraq, touched on other key issues such as health care and education,
and reached out to various constituencies including organized labor.
Campaign staffers and supporters talked to members, spread the word, and
helped sign up volunteers at tables set up outside the ballroom.
A few of the candidates brought their wives.
It was at this meeting four
years ago that then Gov. Howard Dean made a splash declaring, "I'm
Howard Dean and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic
party." Now DNC Chairman, Dean declared that, "This is one of the
strongest fields that I have every seen run for President of the United