The Democratic Party's chief will lead a nationwide voter registration effort, seeking to build on the burst of enthusiasm during the primaries and to follow through on Barack Obama's promise of a 50-state campaign this fall.
Starting Thursday, a bio-diesel bus, decorated to be a huge Obama campaign logo, will tool around the country, the Democratic National Committee announced today.
"People are really struggling. They want different leadership, not more of the same failed Bush policies that John McCain will continue," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said in a statement. "So we'll be going neighborhood by neighborhood, door by door to bring more people into the process to elect Barack Obama and Democrats up-and-down the ticket to bring change that all Americans can believe in."
The tour kicks off near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., then to Austin, then to New Orleans, and Shreveport and Baton Rouge, La., and Hattiesburg and Jackson, Miss.
The second swing, July 25-26, will make stops in North Carolina and Georgia -- two traditionally Republican states where Obama hopes to register enough new voters, especially African-Americans, to make them competitive. The tour will hit states in every part of the country, culminating in a swing through the Midwest on its way to the Democratic convention in Denver in late August.
UPDATE: Republicans were unimpressed.
ďPart of the reason Democrats have consistently lost all the states Howard Dean is driving through is because politicians like he and Barack Obama donít understand that confiscating more of peopleís paychecks to pay for government expansion isnít popular. Barack Obamaís partisan record coupled with Howard Deanís delivery is probably not going to change a lot of minds,Ē Blair Latoff, a Republican National Committee spokeswoman, said in a statement.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.