CNN's 'American Morning'

October 25, 2004

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean was once the Democrat's front-runner in this race. He's got a new book. It's called "You Have the Power: How to Take Back our Country and Restore Democracy in America." Howard Dean joins us this morning with some perspective on the campaign.

Let's talk a little bit about the star power that's being brought out today and later on in the week when we're talking about President Bush. To what degree do you think President Clinton and really anybody who's holding (ph) by a campaign to sort of energize the voters? To what degree can they -- can they help out?

HOWARD DEAN (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you can help a lot. And President Clinton will be a huge help.

I don't think anybody needs a lot of help getting out to vote. I mean, we were -- the Democratic side is pretty energized after what's happened the last four years. Even just this morning the president has lost 380 tons of munitions. I mean, this has got to stop, this stuff.

But I do think having Bill Clinton out on the stump shows unity of the Democratic Party. It does encourage people to get out to vote because he's -- he really is a star.

O'BRIEN: At the same time, he's a star, but he just -- you know, you're a doctor. He just had quadruple bypass.

DEAN: Right. Well...

O'BRIEN: I can imagine you would tell a patient of yours don't even think about it.

DEAN: I would tell him -- no. I would tell him at this point -- it's been seven weeks or something like that -- or four or five weeks, I guess. I would tell him one a day, no late nights, which is probably tough for Bill Clinton.

O'BRIEN: That could be tough. I imagine he's not a great patient. I mean, because this is a guy who loves to hug. And he doesn't go into these kind of things in a small way. I mean, he loves to shake hands, he loves to...

DEAN: We'll see. I think there probably has to be none of that, too. I mean -- but, you know, we'll see what happens.

It's -- you know, people -- this is an operation. This is a big operation. On the other hand, people do recover fairly quickly if they're in pretty decent health, and he was in pretty decent health.

O'BRIEN: He's spending time, we're told, behind the scenes a lot with the Kerry campaign. Is it possible -- I mean, you know campaigns -- to learn from someone like President Bush the areas where -- John Kerry is perceived in the polls to be weak.

DEAN: The strength of Bill Clinton is his enormously analytical mind. And I think it is always helpful.

I used to love to talk to him when I was in the campaign, you know, because he'd tell you all these things and he'd have his way of thinking. Now, when you get advice from people like that, you don't take all of it. You take some of it. But it fits in to what you're generally trying to put together. And if it makes sense you take it.

O'BRIEN: Let's talk a little bit about your book. You've got a new book.

DEAN: Yes.

O'BRIEN: It's called "You Have the Power." And you say that the -- you -- your campaign was much, much, much, three "much"es (ph) more about America than just you winning the office.

DEAN: Well, that was true. Of course I was hoping to win the office. But the truth is that it turned out that our campaign was really about empowering ordinary people.

And what the book does is talk about what the Democrats have to do to get back on track. Electing John Kerry is necessary, but it's not sufficient. We've got a lot more to do than just get a Democratic president.

The infrastructure of this country has been really harmed by 20 years of Democratic ineptitude and Republican -- Republican success. And we've got to turn that around so we can get back to focusing on things like jobs and health care, which the Republicans never focus on.

O'BRIEN: With that in mind, what are you doing to help the Kerry campaign?

DEAN: I actually spent last week in Ohio. This week I'm spending in Pennsylvania.

I pretty much have been going around energizing folks. I was up in the Northwest for awhile, which looks fine now. It was --- you know, it was pretty shaky for awhile. And Oregon is still a little close. So I'm doing the same kinds of things that Bill Clinton is doing without quite the fanfare.

O'BRIEN: What's your prediction?

DEAN: I think John will win. I think it will be very close. If the election were held today, he would win. But, you know, nobody can tell.

It's turnout. If we get the turnout, we'll win, especially among young people.

O'BRIEN: Governor Dean, nice to see you.

DEAN: Thanks, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Good luck with your new book.

DEAN: Thanks very much.

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