Statement of Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun
January 15, 2004

CARROLL, IA- I want to thank everybody for your kindness to me, and for allowing me to participate as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. This campaign has been a wonderful learning experience for me, one that restored my faith in the political process and renewed my belief in the goodness of the American people.

I am here today to thank those Iowans who were prepared to stand for me in Mondays’ caucuses, and to ask that you stand instead for Howard Dean.

Your support is precious to me, and so I make this recommendation with the most sincerity and thought I have ever brought to any decision.

Gov. Dean has the energy to inspire the American people, to break the cocoon of fear that envelopes us and empowers president Bush and his entourage from the extreme right wing, and he has a program to put our country back on track to tax fairness, job creation, balanced budgets and an economy that works for everyone regardless of sex or race. He has the experience to know that state and local and national government have to cooperate and collaborate, and end the destructive game of monetary musical chairs that creates unfunded mandates and failing schools. He understands that a real war on terrorism starts with putting the domestic security of the American people first. He can “work well with others” around the world and craft a foreign policy that is neither arrogant nor preemptive, but that begins with respect and builds on alliances. He takes seriously our stewardship of the planet and our environmental responsibilities.

Howard Dean is a Democrat we can all be proud to support.

I am so very grateful to you who have made my candidacy possible, and who believed, as I did, that my campaign offered Americans a unique opportunity for progress. When barriers of gender and race fall in America, our nation is richer for it, and all Americans will benefit from the opening up of a reservoir of talent and capacity and contributions and ideas that have been locked up for too long.

But the funding and organizational disadvantages of a nontraditional campaign could not be overcome, and so this campaign was unable to compete effectively or support your hard work as it should. Continuing would not have been fair to hundreds of delegates, (especially Congressmen Bobby Rush and Danny Davis), and thousands of volunteers and millions of supporters who wanted to give the American people a message of hope and progress. We were and are determined to give the next generation of Americans no less than what we inherited for the last one, and we are committed to opening up our democracy.

We will get there one day. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Progress for our republic will come when we live up to the ideal of equality and inclusion that is at the heart of the American dream. The political process is an avenue for building a more perfect union, if for no other reason that it is, in the end, a purely mathematical process: with one vote more than the next guy, you win (most of the time!)

When women run, when people of color run, we open up the possibility that women and people of color can win. I have a record of building bridges, bringing people together, and breaking barriers, and I am proud of my role in breaking new ground with this campaign. I was able to walk in the footsteps of my hero, Shirley Chisholm, and we qualified for ballot position in more states than any woman has ever done in the history of this country.

So to those of you who believed in this effort, I say, take heart, you can claim the nobility of moving our country forward, and of opening up possibilities for all our daughters. I thank you for your vision and your patriotism.

But today, especially, I ask that you share my view that Gov. Dean is the candidate best equipped to continue the progress we need to have, to bring Americans together to renew our country and restore our privacy, our liberty and our economic security. His leadership will help us live up to our generational responsibility.

I am happy to support him, and hope you will stand for him with the conviction and courage with which you would have stood for me.

I appreciate your continued support and look forward to dancing with you at the Inaugural Ball for Howard Dean this time next year.