More about my pick for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

The most exciting thing to me about Howard Dean’s rally today in Portland wasn’t the candidate. Oh Dean gave a good if slightly shortened and touch more refined version of his standard stump speech (which I’d heard several times before on the Internet). He had lots of interesting and inspiring things to say, and if you’re interested you can even hear it for yourself in MP3 format. As stump speeches go, it’s pretty good and well worth the listen.

The most exciting wasn’t the number of people there either, though Portland turned out some 5,000 (into an area that held about half that many). Dean even remarked it was the largest crowd they’d seen (since surpassed by the 15,000 folks who showed up in Seattle).

No, the most exciting thing to me was the organization that Dean has build in a very short time. Things were well coordinated, and volunteers were in abundant supply. You simply cannot win the presidency without strong organization, and to my eyes, Dean’s got it.

There’s a long road ahead, and even though Dean’s currently the flavor of the month, there’s no telling who will be when the actual voting starts. Polling from Iowa, New Hampshire, and California all show Dean either clearly in first place or within the margin of error. If Dean convincingly wins Iowa and New Hampshire, I would not be surprised if it spelled doom for Gephardt, Kerry, and Lieberman. Edwards will live on to fight the good fight from his base in the south. Who knows what the other minor candidates will do. None of them has achieved much traction, and they could drop out tomorrow, and we’d all be the better for it. (Not because they’re bad people or candidates necessarily but because they ultimately draw resources away from the fight against Bush.)

I think Dean has what it takes to go all the way, and I think he’s exactly the type of fellow we need in the White House. I’d encourage you to check out his web site, listen to his speech, read his policy positions, and decide for yourself. Maybe you’ll even do what I’ve done—and had never done before—give money to a political candidate. If you believe as I do that there may be no more important task in the next year and a half than getting George Bush out of office, perhaps you’ll even consider contributing to the Dean cause as well.