Life After Howard Dean

This is a partial transcript of The Big Story With John Gibson, Feb. 17, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD DEAN (D-VT) FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are leaving on track but we are going on another track that will take back America for ordinary people again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: So, will the Deaniacs stick together now that the campaign has derailed? Where will all that Howard Dean (search) energy go? Let's ask two Dean supporters. Patricia Freesen in Albany, New York and Jerome Wiley Segovia in Los Angeles. That's the big question. Patricia, you first. Do Dean's people find another guy or do they go home?

PATRICIA FREESEN, FMR. DEAN VOLUNTEER: We don't do either. We'll keep — we'll keep working.

GIBSON: Well, on what?

FREESEN: Well, it hasn't been totally defined yet, but we'll be looking at other grassroots efforts. We want to work for other candidates. We want to keep Dr. Dean's message alive. I'm actually a meet up coordinator and I'll be meeting with my steering committee and we're going to decide where to go from here.

GIBSON: All right. Let me go to Jerome Wiley-Segovia in Los Angeles. Jerome, is there a Dean campaign without a Dean? What do you do? Where does all this energy go?

JEROME WILEY SEGOVIA, SOFTWARE ENGINEER: Well, I think the campaign is going to continue until — possibly until there is a nominee that everybody can get behind. So, there is plenty of states where his name is still on the ballot. I personally became involved through Latinos for Dean. And so there is still a lot of work to be done in the Latino community. There is a lot of Hispanics in the cities where we're from and we need to activate them.

GIBSON: But Jerome, I don't mean to sound argumentative. Dean's stepped aside. Now he wants to keep this movement going, but it doesn't seem to have the focus that meant so much to Dean followers, which is himself.

WILEY-SEGOVIA: I think people have learned a lot in this campaign, people that have not been involved in politics like myself. I drove out to Iowa and I learned a lot while I was campaigning, helping with the campaign there in New Mexico. I'm out here in California now. So, I have to drive all the way back across the country. And I think that we're going to continue to want to be involved and we are going to continue to look to Burlington through the Web site and through other means to look for direction from the campaign, from Howard Dean himself. But also we're getting involved with other projects I think along the way, depending — I'm not going to speak for 700,000 Dean supporters. But in my case, there is a local race here in California. There is — Joe Baca Jr. is running for assembly and I am going to be helping him until March 2.

GIBSON: Patricia ...

FREESEN: Yes.

GIBSON: Same question to you. Dean provided so much focal point for his followers and the whole effort to get him in the White House. That's gone. So how do you keep that focus and what is it you focus on?

FREESEN: Well, number one, we're going to encourage people to vote for Howard Dean on March 2 in New York and to vote for his delegates. Kerry did not even have any delegates in our Congressional district. But Dean did. And we — he didn't bother to come upstate. So, we're going to keep it alive. We're going to keep his message alive. That is the most important ...

GIBSON: Patricia?

FREESEN: Yes?

GIBSON: It sounds to me like beating George Bush is not the number one thing in your mind. If it appeared John Kerry could do it, you don't sound like you would get on John Kerry's bandwagon?

FREESEN: I will after the convention. But I want — I want these candidates to be kept on their toes. I think that Dr. Dean defined this campaign and I want — I'll continue to work and probably — you know, at one point, we'll support someone else. But at this point, we want to keep the message alive.

GIBSON: Jerome, that sounds as though the Democratic candidate cannot count on the Dean machine.

WILEY-SEGOVIA: I wouldn't say that, John.

GIBSON: It doesn't sound very enthusiastic, Jerome.

WILEY-SEGOVIA: What's that?

GIBSON: It doesn't sound very enthusiastic.

WILEY-SEGOVIA: No. I think a lot of us were awakened, perhaps, because of the war or because a particular stance that we took on a certain issue. And we found the Dean campaign, we found the Dean candidacy. And we learned a lot of how easy it is to be involved politically and how rewarding it can be. And I think that a lot of us have not lost our focus on ...

GIBSON: Jerome Wiley-Segovia in Los Angeles and Patricia Freesen in Albany, New York. Thank you both of you and we'll talk to you again.

WILEY-SEGOVIA: Thank you, John.

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