Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Energized crowd hears Dean in San Antonio

Riding a populist wave fueled by plain talk and creative use of the Internet, presidential hopeful Howard Dean swung through San Antonio and Austin Monday, vowing to win in November 2004 by being a man of the people, not a politician of the powerful.

"This president has forgotten about ordinary Americans," Dean said to thunderous applause from more than 1,000 energetic supporters at La Villita Assembly Hall. "We're going to take this country back. The power to change this country is in your hands."

Dean, who was making his first major campaign foray into the Lone Star State, made no bones about his willingness to take on Bush on his home turf — a quality that has breathed life into some sectors of the Democratic base.

At both rallies, he hammered Bush on his foreign policy, the state of the economy, health care, the environment and affirmative action.

"This president played the race card, and for that reason, he deserves a one-way, permanent bus ticket to Crawford," he said.

Dean also praised the 11 Texas senators who fled to New Mexico, saying that they have "the backbone to stand up for what's right in this country."

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