Dean said politicians need to find more ways to connect with voters, going door to door, instead of depending on television to deliver their messages. He said next year's convention in Denver will be different.
"We've got to change the way we do conventions in this country. I'm looking to try to make this a transitional convention, in the sense that the day of the $50-$60 million convention is coming to a close. The day of one-way campaigns where we do everything on television, and we don't listen to people before, is coming to a close. We need to be knocking on doors, talking to them directly, asking their opinions," Dean said during an interview on the Aaron Harber show on KDBI-TV.
Dean said Denver officials have made peace with union leaders who say Denver is too hostile to unions to be the site of the party's 2008 convention and he believes the convention will go off without a hitch.
"I don't envision a big labor blowup over the convention," he said.
Dean later attended a fundraiser and a rally for supporters at a local union hall and said the relationship with organized labor has never been stronger.
"We're very proud of our relationship with the house of labor. The house of labor is stronger than it has ever been," he said.
Henry Solano, business manager for Pipefitters Local 208, which let Dean use their building, said 99 percent of affiliated locals in Colorado are supporting the union. He said there were few union supporters at the rally because the union was "just hosting the fundraiser." He said his union members backed Dean and the Democrats.
Dean said next year's elections will focus on a new Democratic agenda that revolves around promoting fairness, fiscal conservatism and a defense policy that honors troops who died in Iraq while pointing out President Bush's stubborn refusal to bring troops home.
"The more the president tries to bully us, the more it's going to hurt his party," Dean said.
(Copyright 2007. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)