Challenging his critics' view that he lacks appeal in the South, Howard Dean won the endorsement Saturday of the Congressional Black Caucus chairman as well as the backing of more than a dozen state and local lawmakers in Georgia in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland said the endorsement was his own and not representative of the 39-member caucus he leads, telling Dean supporters at a private campaign stop in Atlanta that the former Vermont governor brings a much-needed influx of new energy to the Democratic Party.
"We cannot win this race by doing the same things we've been doing," Cummings said. "I thank Howard Dean for making my little girl's dream -- and my dream -- his dream."
Critics have said Dean will have a difficult time winning the South.
Cummings' endorsement -- and that of the gathered Georgia lawmakers -- followed Tuesday's high-profile endorsement of another key Southerner, former Vice President Al Gore.
"We're the answer to the question of whether Howard Dean can campaign in the South," said state Rep. Nan Orrock of Georgia. "This is the South. We're Southerners. We're for Howard Dean."
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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
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