SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) said he was tempted to give a "barn-burner" speech before Netroots Nation Thursday night in San Jose, CA. But, instead, Dean, now 64 years old, got reflective, noting that it has been -- amazingly -- 10 years since he announced his run for president that lit a fire under liberal activists.
"A lot of times, we come to these conferences, and we may be upset, may be upset with our president," Dean said, adding, "We tend to get consumed with the short term instead of the long term."
Dean ticked off liberal shifts of the past 10 years - from gay marriage to the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Is the president perfect? No. But it is sure a whole lot better than having Bain Capital, I mean, Mitt Romney in there. Progress has been made," Dean said, calling President Obama's reelection the most important in half a century, because it "cemented the fundamental generational change" that began with the workers in his campaign.
It wasn't all serene Dean.
"As we fight in the trenches every day … it does get depressing," Dean said, "some people say outrageous things ... on the other side of the aisle."
But, he contended: "We don’t have to deal with those folks. … We don’t have to talk to them anymore… We’re just going to run 'em over."